Late one night at work Stan passed by, looked at me hard at work and told me that I reminded him of a pretty daisy waiting by the roadside to be picked- with everyone rushing by and nobody ever noticing. And he walked off home.
It was a career changing moment – ever had those?
Sure, I was ambitious, but simply doing my job well was ensuring I would stay right where I was, the best at what I did. In that moment I realized I could be taking on the next job – even without the title, or the authority.
Hello entrepreneur! – Hello leader!
Becoming a leader at work can be a challenge. You want to be a leader but you do not carry the title. So, how do you go about positioning yourself as a leader at work?
There are many ways, but listed below are some that comes to mind. You can use these actions that will inevitably position yourself as a leader at work without being too obvious about your ambitions.
1. Take Responsibility
You want to be a leader at work, learn to take responsibility for anything that has your fingerprint on it. That means, as long as you participate in the project, you have a hand at the failure of the project.
Learn to take responsibility for not just the good things, but even bad ones. Admit to your mistakes – it’s okay to be wrong. You cannot learn if you have not made any mistakes.
2. Believe In Win-Win
A rising tide lifts all boats – always think win-win. It exists. Just because the world thinks the business world is nasty, and that you need to be manipulative and maneuvering to win, you need not participate in it.
In fact, make it your contribution not to be nasty and bullying in your ways. You want to be a leader at work, believe in your hands as leader to change the world.
The power of positive influence you have on the people around you and the power to inspire people to greater heights is in front of you.
3. Push The Envelope
Try new things. Take some risk. Make yourself uncomfortable. Do the things that may risk making you look foolish – what do you have to lose? Leaders take risks. They are not afraid of doing what they believe.
What do you believe in that you are willing to take some risk? To be a leader at work, you need to take even simple risks like taking on the project no one wants.
4. Do It, Write It
I have often said this. This world is full of people who talk too much and don’t do enough. If you want to be a leader at work, act upon something. Work that plan.
If you have any ideas that are simmering in your mind, write it down. It doesn’t matter if it’s not a plan yet, just write it down.
If you don’t write it down, there is no one to present to and there is no record of the idea. How can it count? If you want to be a leader at work, you have practice writing down everything.
5. See Opportunities Everywhere
There is no need to create opportunities for yourself to lead. The opportunities to lead are everywhere. You need to be mindful of these opportunities.
I have just mentioned one earlier. Are there any opportunities to take on the project no one wants? If you don’t see opportunities everywhere, you are missing the point.
6. Be Open
Be open to criticism, otherwise you are just living off yourself. What does it mean? When you are open to feedback, you are being fed ideas from others that are free. Often times, these ideas come from people smarter than you. They will give you tips on how to improve and how to be better.
That’s what a leader needs – constant feedback. You need feedback to be a leader at work, otherwise you are “feed-own” (I just created that word to mean feeding yourself) and you will go hungry soon. With no new ideas, a leader dries up.
7. Give, Give, Give
That’s how you open up. Pour out all you got from inside you. Give all you have ideas, thoughts, plans. Feel the vulnerability and learn to like it. When you pour all your ideas out you will need new ones. Where do new ideas come from? From critics who want to tear you down, from well-meaning supporters and from people you least expect.
More comes back to you. You have more to input. It enriches you. That’s how you become a leader at work.
These are the seven actions to position yourself as a leader at work. You want to be a leader at work? Do not be afraid of taking risks. You have more to gain than lose when you open up.
Adapted from an original post by Yun Siang Long on Careeralism.com