Today, many companies are failing because they are run by people who do not want the responsibility and accountability of being a leader.
Many people have given up hope at ever becoming a leader because they are fearful that they will not succeed or they will make a mistake. (Get over it! Leaders make mistakes daily)
Some people say leadership is only for the select few. (That is garbage) Leadership is a choice that every person has control of.
Other people indicate that being a leader is too time consuming and they would rather focus their energies on activities outside of work. (Ok – then stop complaining about work)
For the rest of you who want to be a leader, here are some tips that I have discovered during my professional career.
Be a Leader at Your Workplace
If you want to be a leader, start acting like one today. Do those things that ultimately help your clients. Start by serving your internal clients and developing a strong bond and trust with these people. No one should have to tell you how to do this.
Listen more than ever. Try to stop issues from going out of control. Listen to your client service staff. Listen to client complaints. Listen to the news and be informed. Keep listening for ways to keep ahead of your competitors. The moment you stop listening to people is the day you have effectively lost all respect from the people around you.
Be a Leader Online
Look at your website daily, make it easier for people to access and find information. We are in the mobile era. People want to find their information in 10 seconds or less. If it takes them longer than this, they will move on to another site.
Find a niche social media channel to build your message on. Stop trying to be on every social media platform. Pick one and start acting like a leader. People want to follow people who have strong recognition and a quality following. The old message of you have to know where your customers at is old news. Does anyone really have a good handle on this? Continue to be cautious and listen closely to what is happening on these sites. Social media platforms change their rules quite often, proceed with caution. Facebook is going to introduce dislike option. Do you really want to be on a platform that encourages people to be negative towards you and your company?
Be a Leader of Your Brand
Treat yourself and your company with the utmost respect. It is too easy to go negative with all the bad information and extreme views on things. Make sure you always watch what you are posting on social media sites, blog articles, email communications or phone communications. It is critical to take the high road where possible.
Leaders Do Not Act Alone
The best leaders connect with the best people. Watch who you connect with and make sure you re connecting with great people. Connect with people who are smarter than you. Connect with people in all areas of your business: Financial, Human Resources, Regulatory, Legal, IT, Marketing, Sales, Consultants, Professors, Educators and others. Find experts in different areas and continue to work together and find ways to add value to other people in these areas. Build a strong network that isn’t made up of just marketers.
Lead With Conviction
Show people what you believe in. Actions speak louder than words. Come to work prepared to be questioned. Make sure you act with integrity where possible and keep your expectations high. If you are one who frequently leaves work for golf, don’t look now but you may be telling others it is ok for them to disconnect from their work too. The internet is a huge distraction these days. What are you doing to insure people have enough work to do and working to grow the company’s revenue each day?
There are relatively few leaders these days. Many people are comfortable in their work and have no desire to grow. Other people are stuck in their positions and cannot find a way to break out. If you are committed to growing and becoming a leader, you will find a way to break out and lead. It may not be at your current employer, but don’t give up just yet. I actually think you can make a difference at your own company, if you continue to build the right relationships. Be a leader at all cost. At some point your hard work will pay dividends down the road.