With the UN Theme of Generation Equal this year 2020, What makes you a great leader is not having years of experience alone and talents but lot more things that you need to be aware of!
As you move from being a Manager to a Thought Leader, there are few things you should be focusing on!
1. Focus on what you want to do
It is very important we identify all things we do, like in every single day., organize and prioritize and focus on the things that need top most attention. You should be able to assess this at the beginning of the day so that you can make the best use of every work day. It is very important that we do not procrastinate on things that need to be finished that day. A good professional is one who is able to manage multiple things and still work effectively. That is possible only when you are able to compartmentalize your day according to the priorities and stay focused to complete the tasks in hand.
2. Are You Executive Material?
First you need to do a deep self-introspection on what takes it to be a Senior Executive or a Thought Leader in a Organization. It is very important that you enable yourself with upskilling/reskilling and preparing yourself to be a great Executive. Self-assessment to identify the needs of the Top Layer of the Organization and preparing yourself to get there is key for your success. Years of experience will not take you to the top always. What brings more revenue and business to the Organization and what makes you the face of the leadership is what will give you the advantage to get to the top. Getting there is not easy but not impossible if you have the confidence to be the Executive Material. Believe in it and prepare for it and don't believe in luck
3. Identify the mistakes that may sabotage our growth
Today in the digital era, what you are in the Social Media reflects on what you are as an individual persona. Your thought patterns, your emotional balances, your reactions/responses, everything is under scrutiny when it comes to professional growth. Gone are the day people rely on the resume or experiences or the ratings within the Organization. In the rat-race to win everywhere, there is a strong competition. So be very cautious of your social media posts, your ideologies that may reflect on your professional behavior, your people skills that may show up in your references and also your emotional and social wellness matters a lot.
Next, it is very important that we learn from the mistakes of similar professionals around us and we do not get caught into the same situations. Stop being overeager to explain all things for a simple reason that you cannot please everyone. Also ask for forgiveness if you make a mistake and give a reassurance that you will not do it again, and move on. Do not stay in one single troubled situation and whine over it for long.
4. Be Assertive - Learn to Say No
Always saying YES is not an acknowledgement of accepting things as they are. Sometime , the situations may demand to say NO. So say NO firmly when you have a reason to say so. Do not hesitate to say no just because it may strain a relationship or give up on a business opportunity. In the long run your firm decisions may not only benefit you but also the Organizations. So being firm and strong and having a strong reasoning ability, analytical thinking and logical reasoning is very important for a good leadership
5. Stop making couching statements
It is very important we keep our statements brief, precise and clear and avoid making couching statements that can be interpreted in any way others want. Sometimes saying negative comments in couching statements may be pleasing for others, but its not always practical in a work environment. We should not making deliberate statements that can hurt others, mislead businesses and may impact negative work environment. It is always advisable to have clear communication, in simple sentences that are non-ambiguous or non-provoking and hurting sentiments, triggering wrong emotions and causing confusions at work place.
6. Self- Motivation to be a Leader
No one will make you a leader if you are not ready. Leadership is not something that will crowned on you unless you make conscious efforts to reach there. Make every effort to make yourself worthwhile to the change in life. A good leader is one who takes utmost responsibility of his/ her actions as well as be ready and accountable for the actions of the team. A leader is respected for what they do, instead of what they preach. One thing to remember is that every leader is closely watched, followed, admired, inspiring someone or people can even have a negative impact of jealousy and fake friendships due to your position and success. It is very important to be conscious and take success to heart and not to head resulting in egoistic behavior that will destroy your success. Being humble, approachable and setting yourself as an example are key traits of successful leaders
7. No need to be liked all times
You cannot please everyone every single time. It is ok that your actions may disappoint others when their expectations are not met. However, you have to be clear and consistent in your work, stay focused and be sure that the outcomes are what matters in business and take every effort to achieve the objectives of the work you do. Integrity, Trust and Consistent Hardwork has no parallels and you can actually see these qualities in any great leader around you. There are no short cuts to success. As you climb the Corporate Ladder, always remember there is less crowd up there and there are chances that you can get really alone and miss the fun of being in the crowd. But once you become a leader, your perceptions and growth mindset will make everything else insignificant and trivial. As a Professional you will standout, when you can overcome your emotional imbalances.
8. Stop letting people waste your time
Do not give time or attention when someone walks to your desk and calls you for a coffee..For them, it may be a break, but you may be in midst of something really important. Learn to politely refuse niceties that no longer necessary. Grapevine helps but unwarranted gossip doesn't. So do not indulge in political, religious discussions and reacting to every single negative current affairs happening around us. Without you even realizing, you will be spending more them on these non-productive activities at workplace which in turn may push you to work late into the night to finish your priorities. It is OK to burn mid-night oil to learn new things or focus on innovation and creative things that benefit you as professional...but not for useless chatting, overloaded push of unwanted forwards on social media. which actually may negatively impact you. You should be strong enough to filter out what is needed and act accordingly.
9. You are a leader not a MOM at Workplace !
We all love our families and friends. We all have Gods and faiths that guide our lives. Keep that private and limited to your homes. Do not decorate office workspace like a living room. Having religious texts or pictures at workplace can add sentimental value to some..but in reality it is better to avoid any kind of religious marks at workplace. Today we are talking about a much inclusive society and being equal. We respect all faiths and we as a Nation are far more secular in the world today. However, keeping our work places out of any of these sentiments is worth giving a thought. And also stop feeding people at work just because you are a great cook and a great mom. Celebrations and team bonding is always fun and productive. But going out of the way, to keep pleasing your team is not necessary. It is ok to be professional and productive and learn to draw a thick line between being a good friend, a great person Vs Great leader or a strong professional. Don't bring emotions and attachments that may impact promotions, assessments, ratings and appraisals.
10. Miracles don't happen
Have Faith. Faith in the possibilities and power behind the veil. But don't expect miracles to bring you success. Rome was not built in a day. A great leader is also not made overnight. Being a successful leader is like a penance. It takes years of learning, skill enabling, hard-work, perseverance, handling challenges, going through difficult situations, handling various types of people and business situations, focusing on innovation, keeping your creative juices flowing to find new improvements, experience, focusing on health, team work, various soft skills and then the leadership factors.
Great leaders are those who have
- Own Strong Personality
- Personal Branding and Image Management
- Make Statements that matter to business outcomes
- Who are ready to take the stage - for both success and failures
- Being fearless and unafraid of your beliefs.
So go ahead, become those leaders who are ready to be real change makers in this world. The World need strong leaders! Get yourself there sooner than later! God bless!