Today’s workplaces are undergoing a massive shift. We’re experiencing the ‘Great Resignation’ even as some organizations begin hiring freezes and layoffs in anticipation of a recession. As some employees move, many are holding their ground and waiting for the seas to calm. Now is a great time to consider how you can learn to lead from where you are, within your current role, for maximum impact at your organization.
As we recently explored, many individual contributors see themselves as a leader but have not been equipped with leadership training. Leadership does not always coincide with your title. Today we’ll explore practical ways that you can learn to lead from where you are, the barriers you may face, and how they can be overcome.
1. Recognize that leadership is not about you.
The question a leader should be asking is, How am I helping others be successful? In order to find the answer to this question, leaders must actively build relationships with others. Look around at your department or your cross-functional team. If you have strong relationships,
You get to know them as people, versus just “doers of work.”
2. Practice building alignment.
Leaders must actively build alignment with others to keep moving projects forward. Our program The Exceptional Leader™ highlights practical ways to build alignment. Most team members have to do this in their everyday role, regardless of their leadership title. Very few of us spend time being intentional about building alignment. No matter where you are within an organization, you can remind others of how their current project supports the larger organizational mission and strategy. Understanding this connection from small to large leads to greater motivation on the team, and thus better work.
3. Consider your shadow.
In our Lead to the Max!® Emerging Leader Coaching, we encourage leaders to consider their shadow. Your “leadership shadow” is the tone you set to those around you. Leaders must be mindful of how they are showing up each day. Each one of us has a shadow. When thinking of your leadership shadow, consider these questions: Am I living out the values of this organization? Do I bring perspective or cast vision for my team? How am I caring for other people?
4. Develop effective communication strategies.
Leaders understand that communication matters. Every time you communicate with others, determine your objective. You need to know your audience and what is important to them. Our popular Speak Up Be Effective™ program provides practical tools for leaders to develop effective communication strategies. We discuss tactics to think on your feet and manage nerves, project more confidence, and craft messages that are clear, concise, and focused.
As we approach the start of a new year, now is a great time to learn to lead from where you are. Ask yourself, How can I build relationships with my team? How can I actively build alignment and support? How can I communicate effectively with my coworkers? By leading from your current position, you are giving yourself an opportunity to stretch and try new things, find more satisfaction in your work, and prepare yourself for future leadership roles. Contact us for more information about how you can grow in your leadership journey.