Proactive. Innovative. Ambitious. Assertive. Whether you’re CEO of a company, a team manager or a hard-working employee, adopting and possessing leadership qualities can enhance your professional trajectory and even personal life. Labeling yourself as a leader and possessing leadership qualities personally executed can be seen as different entities. Traditionally, perhaps even misleadingly, people who manage others in a professional environment are labeled as leaders. In a small business setting for example, the owner or entrepreneur most likely serves as the leader. He or she oversees operations and makes decisions for the organization. Does the business need international address verification software to enhance marketing strategies? How will the products and services continue to exceed expectations? In what ways can employees keep their level of motivation high? Because you’re in a supervising position, you’re not always a leader.
To be a leader you must have leadership qualities, but by exhibiting superior leadership qualities, you don’t have to necessarily be in a leadership role. Typical leadership characteristics include the following:
- Dedication to honor, principles and moral obligations that you strongly stand for
- Ability to inspire and influence
- Curiosity to learn and acquire more knowledge
- Courage to think differently and imagine the impossible
- Drive for seeking what looms on the horizon
- Ambition and the desire to take initiative
- Creativity for thinking outside the box
Adopting and exhibiting leadership qualities, even if you’re not identified as a leader in a professional sense, will help you excel as an employee, professional and individual. By striving to practice leadership qualities, you’ll naturally become a leader who is, if not directly inspiring and supervising others, inspiring and supervising yourself to reach your highest potential. Don’t discount the fact that as an indirect result of possessing exemplary characteristics, you will inspire and influence others as well as change the perceptions others’ have of you.
Act Like a Leader
According to CNN.com, CEO of Booher Consultants, Dianna Booher puts it bluntly: To reach that “next level of success” act like a leader. With small baby steps, you can develop, modify or grow your “habits, attitudes, skills, and characteristics” that may limit you.
To professionally benefit and garner the respect proven leaders receive, Booher recommends you make the decision to:
- Live With Integrity: Actions and decisions based on honesty and sincerity creates trust and credibility. People who are trusted and credible are given opportunities.
- Listen Be Observant: In silence you can learn a lot; whether you’re silent and carefully listening to someone else speak or you’re literally in silence and listening to your own thoughts. If you received nothing beneficial from listening to another person, you’ll still be perceived as likeable and reliable.
- Commitment Consistency: Say what you mean and do what you mean to. Saying something you think people want to hear, to make people feel happy or to falsely shed yourself in good light has zero positive consequences. Deliver what you promise. Hold yourself accountable. Be consistent.
- Form Relationships Connections: As you meet people, you’re increasing your network, and there’s always the likelihood that you can help someone or vice versa. Plus, meeting new people provides you with different perspectives, experience and stories that can help you grow. Be someone who’s confident and whom you’d like to be around.
Want to Lead Smarter? Check out the eBook The Portable Guide to Leading Organizations, which you can download absolutely FREE.