It is the goal of many employees to become a manager in their workplace. This is a fairly logical goal, it comes with power and often a significant salary increase. However the great managers wanted to become managers for a simple reason, because they wanted to improve the company and help those around them. The amazing mangers were leaders long before a title was ever given to them.
Too often I hear the same thing in aspiring managers or supervisors, they have a plan to fix the workplace all they need to do is get in a position of power. While that makes sense to a certain extent, there is a great amount of power you can use to enact your will once in management, it is a lie we tell ourselves to delay action. People will complain about their boss while saying if they were in charge things would be different. Words are cheap though.
One doesn’t need to have a title to be a leader, much like a solider doesn’t need to be a general to inspire his troop. You have the capacity to be a leader today, right now. This is an important chance in mentality that you should adapt immediately. Acting as a leader in your company will give a sense of control in your life that you will notice that you are missing. Things tend to be clearer when you are taking more personal responsibility for your actions.
Lose the drone mentality. No one ever got what they wanted in life by droning on at work. You need to take control of your life. So don’t wait for your big break to start improving the company and helping everyone around you. Do it today. Become a leader to your peers.
The best thing about acting as a leader at work is that it will increase your chances of becoming a manager at work! It’s an act as if situation, or fake it till you make it. If you act like a leader, people will start treating you like a leader. If you play your cards right you can eventually get paid like a leader. Let’s go over how you can best become a leader in the workplace today.
A leader is not a dictator; a leader is a team player. He/she doesn’t yell orders all day but get in there and helps everyone push forward. This is super simple for you to do and with just a few minor adjustments you can start standing out as a leader. You must have the right mentality in doing this though. Don’t help someone just to try and get ahead, people will see through it and you won’t have the passion to do it long term. Help people because it’s the right thing to do!
Let’s say you are a quick worker and able to get a little ahead of your work. Instead of slacking off or working even further ahead look around to see who needs help. Go to that person and talk to them. See what they need help with the most that you can have the most impact with. I have done this a lot and no one has ever hesitated with giving this answer. When you help them out be very supportive. Let them know you two are going to crank this out and get back on schedule! As you are helping or after you are helping give any tips or advice that you think could help them avoid getting behind. Don’t lecture them but give suggestions. It is best to phrase it as an issue you dealt with. “It used to take me so long to do this report until…” This person will undoubtedly be very grateful for all the help. See you are already becoming a leader.
Volunteering for the tougher tasks is another great way to be helpful. This is especially effective if they asked for volunteers a few times and are about to assign someone to it. You would be the one jumping on the grenade for the team. Just remember to not over do this one. It’s easy to just be seen as the guy that is going to take the hard work and people will stop appreciating it. This is how people get worn down and taken advantage of.
The workplace can be very stressful for people. It can carry a lot of high pressure demands which can wear people out. This is why gossip and complaining are common place in many work place environments. Negativity is very cathartic and spreads rapidly. You must resist this urge and instead be a force for positivity. Be there for your coworkers without joining in on the complaining. Wallowing doing nothing for anyone, it should be avoided.
When you a fellow worker hitting their breaking point, you can invite them out for lunch. Getting them out of the work place may clear their head and help reset them to get through the rest of the day or week. They will complain, and let them. Just don’t let it dominate the conversation and don’t feed into it. Say you are here if they need any help or to stop by your desk if they just need a moment to get away. Be in their corner when they need you. Do this with a few people over a few months and you will start to be seen as a leader within the work community for sure.
Treating the team is also a great way to be seen as supportive. Bring in a box of doughnuts or a treat if things have been hectic lately. Let people know that our brought them in due to this and they will be very grateful and feel a sense of accomplishment. They will associate this feeling with you! It’s a very cheap and effective way to help with morale and you don’t even need to be a supervisor.
Lead By Example
It’s hard to be supportive or help others if you are struggling worse then they are! In order to be the leader you must lead by example! If you expect anyone to listen to your advice at work you must be seen as an above average employee. That is just logical. This does require more effort on your end and it might not come easy to everyone. Keep trying though. If you keep trying you will make improvements. Take advice from your managers or other leaders within the team on how to improve.
Once you do become a stand out employee you can better lead. Be the rock of the team. When everyone else is getting overwhelmed and flustered be the stable level headed one. The ones that get ahead and get promoted are the ones that can reliably do their job quicker than most and better than most. Help the team rally and push to finish the work load. No title is needed for this.
Be a Resource
To lead you must have respect, there is no getting around that. One way that you can stand out is be a resource of knowledge for your department. Knowing the tips and tricks of your job and sharing it is the best way to do this early on. You may not have the most technical knowledge of the product but you may find a way to use the system better. This is usually easier for newer people as they see the systems and programs with fresh eyes. You just need to be willing to bring up these concerns and help in finding solutions.
It also helps if you know a fair amount about the company’s nonoperational side. Knowing the benefits offered, especially the lesser known ones, and letting people know about advantages they can take can make you very well liked. Be the go to person for information on their educational program and people will start respecting your opinion more. There are many different kinds of knowledge out there, find out what you can understand quickly and with great detail. The idea is to be the one people go to. When other people send people to you is even better. This carries value.
As you can tell by now you are probably already doing some of these things to a certain extent, many people are. The key to being seen as a leader is just cranking it up a little bit. Put more effort into your coworkers when you help them. Put more effort into your own training. If you do all of these things consistently will over time make you viewed as a leader by your company and eventually they will promote you as such. If not, don’t get too discouraged and start finding a place that values you more! Best of luck.