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How to Develop Leadership Skills

When you have high career aspirations, one thing you need to establish right off the bat is the fact that you can be a leader. Whether you’re new to a particular office environment or you’ve been thinking about a way to get to the position you really want, being a good leader is important. Everybody can think of at least one “natural” leader in the office, but how do you become a leader if you’re not born with those skills?

When you’re trying to become an excellent leader, you have to first make a name for yourself. Avoid looking like someone who is overbearing or ridiculously ambitious. Take some time to consider the tips below to help you become a great leader at work.

Get to Know Everyone

No matter who they are, or what they do, whether they’re related to your projects or not, make it a point to really get to know everyone you come in contact with. This means getting out and mingling a little bit.

For example:

  • Go to company gatherings.
  • Stop and talk to people; develop a true interest in their work.
  • Ask others about themselves – let them do most of the talking.

Even if they’re not people who can help your career directly, getting to know those you work with will teach you a lot about how the business works and what is going on. You can start making connections between the different individuals you come in contact with and this can lead to wondrous things later when you need to put together a team.

Develop Your Brand

People want to follow leaders they know, like and trust. So, take an active role in shaping your personal brand. Develop an image that you will consistently convey both verbally and non-verbally. What key principles will be at your core? A simple internet search can provide numerous lists on this topic. Consider the personal attributes of leaders that you admire. Visualize and write down a personal statement about your brand. Keep it simple. Craft your appearance, mannerism and attitude in support of your brand.

Work as Hard as Anyone Else

One of the great traits of good leaders is their willingness to work as hard as any of their teammates. If your team is working long hours, work with them. Lead by example and show them you’re willing to work and not just sit back and receive the credit.

By showing your team this kind of respect, you’ll find they’ll respect you in return.

Offer Solutions

While you should strive to tackle problems before they happen, from time to time this isn’t possible. When things are problematic, make sure you step in with a solution that you’re willing to work on to improve the situation.

Being remembered as someone who came forward with a solution will go a long way to earning respect as a leader in the workplace.

You can become a leader in your workplace, it just takes a little bit of time and effort, but it’ll be worth it!

Continuous Learning

Leaders understand the importance of continuous personal development, of staying sharp, understanding emerging trends and being open to opportunities. Here is some suggested reading to get you started on the path of leadership development.

  • Wait, What? And Life’s Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

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