Not everyone can bear the title of “manager,” but anyone can be seen as a leader.
I can remember the moment this notion clicked and I had that “a-ha” feeling of finally getting it. It may have been that my 22-year old self was finally in her first year or so of her “big girl” career OR it could have been that I had finally joined a team and organization that was focused on leadership as part of their culture.
In one of our weekly HR meetings, Our Director was giving one of her “pep talks” and reminded us that everyone at the table was a leader in this company. Looking around the table, I was surrounded by seasoned professionals who easily had 25 years of experience together. I thought to myself “I’m not an expert nor am I a manager- there is no way I’m going to be taken seriously by anyone. How could I, the most junior member of the team, possibly be a ‘leader’?”
After being with that organization for a few short months, I soon realized how wrong I was. Being a leader wasn’t a title that was given, it was a culture that was lived. It was not only understanding our values, but acting on them and demonstrating them every single day. Being a leader was building trust, establishing relationships and being a role model for others
Leadership wasn’t some unattainable title held by a Director or President, it was a way of life for everyone from the janitor to the CEO.
Over the next few years, I learned many lessons on what makes a strong leader.
3 Characteristics of an Effective Leader
1. Leaders are uplifting.
Leaders not only hold themselves to a standard, they hold others accountable. Leaders challenge those at every level (even their superiors) to do their very best work day in and day out. If they see areas or opportunity, they encourage growth and change. Leaders empower more leaders.
2. Leaders are consistent.
Consistency is key. Leadership is a behavior that has been cultivated into a lifestyle, due to building and practicing habits. It’s remaining at your highest standard, responding with grace and poise, no matter the surroundings and experiences– whether trying or victorious times–and inspiring others to do the same. It’s communicating and acting under the same beliefs and guidelines regardless of who your audience is. Leaders are unbiased and inclusive, open to new ideas, and able to make decisions based on sound understanding.
3. Leaders are relationship builders.
Leaders grow relationships with others around them. Building and maintaining trust creates credibility, eliciting buy-in from others. Leaders are nothing if not credible, believable or follow-able.
Of course there are so many other aspects that make up a leader. However, these are the three most basic but most powerful attributes a leader displays. There are no secret codes or passwords to being a leader- it’s purely actions and intentions that anyone can possess.
What attributes do you look for in a leader?
Are you interested in creating a culture of leadership in your organization or within your team? At HireLevel we have established a year-long leadership program training on improving communication, accountability and outlining expectation. To learn more about implementing a Leadership Program for your team, contact Erin Kopec at email@example.com