May 3, 2023

How to lead when you’re not in charge

None of us were born as leaders but we are capable of leading regardless of what we are doing in an organization. We might think that we’d be stepping on someone’s toes if we tried to lead though we are not in charge. But trust me, the principles I am going to share with you will help express our absolute best and elevate others without needing a title. We can show the leader inside us by just following these simple principles. 

1. Extreme Ownership

One key skill of being a leader is the sense of accountability and you can show it by taking extreme ownership. This means that you take charge of every task assigned to you and put in all the hard work. This might be a scary endeavor because you are asking yourself to do more than the familiar. Be proactive and take all the necessary initiative to improve yourself so you will not miss out on any possible opportunity. We can express our absolute best within us and we don’t need a title to do it. 

2. Humility and Readiness to Learn

There will be instances when a task assigned to us will go wrong. The least we can do in situations like this is to take full ownership. But instead of snapping into our own lenses, be humble to admit that things went wrong and that you need help. Take the other person’s perspective to get clarity of the situation. This way, you will learn new ideas and get a bigger picture of the situation which can help you assemble logical ideas on how to address the matter that went wrong. We don't need to be reprimanded by our managers to recognize that we need help to learn. Humility and the readiness to learn does not require any title to use it. 

3. Mindfulness

We deal with people in our day-to-day activities and getting along with the people is quite challenging sometimes. It is difficult not to bring out our emotions especially during hard times and when engaging in tough conversations. Mindfulness requires paying attention with our thoughts and feelings. We need to take a balanced approach so we are not caught up and swept away by our negative reactivity. Being mindful also allows us to easily articulate and communicate our ideas since we don’t exaggerate and overly identify our emotions. Knowing how to get along with people by being mindful helps us build trust and connection to our team. We don’t have to wait to become a leader to learn how to be mindful.

4. Giving Kudos to Everyone Around You

Was there a situation when your colleague recognized you for the work you did? Did it encourage you to do even better?

A team can’t be successful without everyone’s contributions. People need to be appreciated even in the smallest things especially in the face of adverse and stressful situations. By giving praise even the slightest improvement inspires the other person to keep on improving. As Dale Carnegie said “Praise is like sunlight to warm the human spirit; we cannot grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow people the warm sunshine of praise”. Do not wait for your manager to recognize excellence and praise good work. Celebrate the effort of others and shine a light on people. You do it. 

Infusing the above principles to your activities will help you expand your limits, soar your career and ultimately express your absolute best.

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