Don’t wait for a title to lead

When you think about leadership, what comes to mind? Title, position, authority? These demand leadership but are not the whole story. As you go higher, more is expected of you. Here are some tips to get you started:  

Start with self: If you can’t lead yourself, don’t expect to be able  to  lead others. The fact is we influence people daily with our excellence or shoddiness, our accountability or our excuses. Have the discipline to follow through on the rules you set for yourself.

Have a mission: Be intentional in what you do. Champion something and act with purpose. Moving forward means having a vision and then aligning your daily actions with it.

Leave ego out: It’s normal to want recognition but flaunting your ego isn’t the way. Avoid becoming an ‘it’s all about me person’. Don’t brag about yourself, take things too personally or overreact in unpleasant situations.

Maximise possibility: How often do you stop to think about what could be? You can’t achieve anything new or different if you’re focussed on protecting the status quo. Ditch any ‘we’ve always done it this way’ attitude’. Be curious, show initiative, think creatively and make finding a better way your approach. 

Follow things through’: People who get results are valued more than those who don’t. Period! So take charge of your responsibilities and make some impact. Do what matters. Show drive and ability to see things through to completion.

Be a multiplier: This is not about cloning yourself, but about focussing on people, enlarging others, sharing, engaging, committing and using your strengths to complement those of others. . 

Manage your energy:  Apply your energy to things that are productive and help you grow. Focus on priorities; pace yourself so that you’re available when it matters. On the flip side, avoid inertia; to lead you can’t afford to idle or be immobilised by challenging situations.

Demonstrate integrity: People follow those they trust. Intelligence and skill are important but are no substitutes for character. Don’t wait till you are in a visible role to demonstrate integrity. Make your word your bond and earn watertight credibility.

Now take action : Identify three ways in which can you show greater leadership.

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