While some of your top employees may not be in a managerial or supervisory position, that doesn’t mean that they can’t lead their teammates and peers in the workplace. Moreover, employees should be encouraged to take control of the reins when applicable. Instilling a strong sense of leadership into subordinate employees can be a challenging task to achieve, but it can pay off in huge dividends when done correctly, efficiently and successfully.
As Dee Hock, founder and past CEO of the Visa credit card company, once said: “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself – your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.”
Even though this quote was originally spoken years ago, it still applies today. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can be a positive role model in the workforce without holding a role of direct leadership.
For starters, true leaders are able to maintain an unending pursuit of organizational milestones, goals and visions. While this is easily achieved by a supervisor or manager with direct control over their employee’s day-to-day actions, it is a little more difficult for those who are not senior-level figureheads in the organization. The best they can do in this situation is to make sure all of their peers understand the goals of the company and that everyone is continuously working toward that end goal.
Staff members who do assume a leadership role should always try to lead by example whenever possible. This is something that managerial officials usually struggle with, as they have their own daily responsibilities to tend to. As a member of the common workforce, however, employees are in a much better position to provide assistance to co-workers, offer recommendations and even increase morale more readily than some supervisory personnel.
Keep in mind that a great leader very rarely takes credit for achieving a task or obtaining a goal. Instead, make sure to take the time and make sure the entire team receives recognition. Highlight any specific achievements or contributions from your individual teammates and, if possible, offer some kind of reward to those who exceeded expectations. Recognizing the productivity of co-workers is a great way to bolster team morale, ensure long-term motivation and drive cohesion within the workplace.
Finally, try to offer leadership classes or seminars to top-performing employees. These types of courses can often be found at local community colleges or even larger institutions, but employers should feel free to host such classes on their own when feasible.
In the end, it’s all about taking initiative and stepping up to the plate when the opportunity presents itself. Assuming additional responsibility, helping others complete their daily responsibilities and maintaining clear communications with your managers can all go a long way in fostering leadership prowess within a workforce, regardless of the exact titles your staff members hold.
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