HOW TO BECOME A LEADER AT THE WORKPLACE

“Some people predict the future; a leader creates it”

-unknown

DEFINING LEADERSHIP:

Have you ever wondered what defines leadership and how to practice it? Well, leadership is about making decisions and taking responsibility for them. A leader has to be an action taker. One of the most beautiful quotes from General Manekshaw’s speech says it all “Take action, you can always make a mid-course correction”.

WHY IS LEADERSHIP IMPORTANT?

A leader is very important to direct and accomplish the goals of an organization. Leaders inspire and boost the morale of the employees of any organization. They produce more leaders and infuse passion into the lives of their followers and also provide important guidance and vision for the future.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FROM US, TO DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS AT THE WORKPLACE:

  1. Choose One Leadership Style:

Analyse your organization’s goals and bank on past experiences to select a leadership style that works for you. Ensure you play it fair, whichever way you decide to lead.

  1. Read:

Read extensively on a variety of topics related to leadership, productivity, smart work, etc. Self-help books like the Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz and others go a long way in helping people sail through confusing times.  Employees should be given solutions whenever they are in need and this is possible only when you as their leader are an aware and informed person.

  1. Training Programmes:

A leader develops other leaders as well. Train your employees in management and watch your team function seamlessly. Arrange training programmes for them in technical skills, soft skills, and other work-related skills.

  1. Interpersonal Skills:

Work on your interpersonal skills. An effective leader gets along with his/her followers and is emotionally intelligent and sensitive to their needs.      

  1. Communicate Clearly:

Make sure your communication to your team is very clear and crisp. Communication is not about language; it is about clearly disseminating your thoughts and instructions. Also, practice active listening skills, make an effort to understand people than just replying to them.

  1. Achieve and Encourage Excellence:

Give your hundred percent to everything you do, be an example for others and see them follow suit. Encourage the efforts and results of your team and appreciate those who take initiative.

  1. Accountability:

Take responsibility for the consequences of your actions and accept praise and criticism equally.

  1. Be neutral and inclusive:

When it comes to leadership, set aside your personal biases. Make sure you are neutral and fair with your team members. Hear out all sides and opinions before you take a call on anything. This will make you gain respect amongst people in your organization. Encourage offbeat thinking and out-of-the-box ideas.

  1. Strive for Continuous Improvement:

As a rule, take time off to understand and identify how you can improve yourself every week.  Leaders are also about continuous innovation. See how you can streamline and reinvent your approach to work and implement it. 

  1. Look for a Mentor:

Find a mentor who can see you through difficult times. Taking advice from senior and experienced individuals in the same field can help a lot. 

  1. Upgrade your knowledge:

Keep yourself updated about the latest developments in your industry and encourage employees or team members to practice the same as a collective effort to be aware.

  1. Goal-setting:

Help your organization set realistic goals and achieve them. Track their progress and help them through the journey of accomplishing the mission and vision of the company.

TYPES OF LEADERSHIP AT THE WORKPLACE:

  1. Autocratic: This is a highly controlling type of leadership where decisions are swift and productivity is high, although it does not work in today’s environment. It is a one-person rule which does not allow for discussion or the flourishing of ideas. Creativity is completely crushed in this setup.
  2. Authoritative: This is a more inspiring kind of leadership where leaders show the way, especially during difficult times. They do take common consensus and provide a vision for everyone to follow.

  3. Pacesetting: Pacesetting leaders set the benchmark high and keep driving their team to work to achieve those standards. They keep pushing and, on the flip side, have to be careful about team burnout.

  4. Democratic: A democratic leader takes the input and opinion of all team members, but the final decision rests with them. It is a good approach as it involves everyone and incorporates creative suggestions into any decision.

  5. Coaching: A coach spots talent and develops it, they discover and unlock the potential of the team members. Such leaders, provide direction to their followers.
  6. Laissez-faire: Such leaders are very trusting towards their team; they swim with the tide and may appear aloof or complacent at times.

HOW TO CHOOSE A LEADERSHIP STYLE?

  1. Become aware of your strengths and areas of improvement
  2. Read about different styles and pick the one most authentic to you
  3. Practice it
  4. Be flexible and adapt to new ways with time.

 

On a concluding note, follow this blog as a guideline, and not something sacrosanct. Go with the flow and figure out your leadership style naturally. Keep it an organic process, you will learn a lot.