Believe it or not, no matter what industry you work in or what your skill set is, you can become a leader. If you are staying below the radar and not meeting your potential, you are not alone.
But don’t worry, it is easier than you think to change and become the leader you were born to be.
Failing to Lead
There are many reasons why people fail to step up to the plate and take charge in their company.
Here are three big reasons:
Lack of Confidence
Most people know when they are in the midst of a crisis, personal or professional. However, the one crisis we are often in the middle of but don’t recognize is a crisis of confidence.
A lack of confidence can have destructive consequences, such as fear.
When fear becomes the barometer for whether or not we express our thoughts or ideas, we often choose to say or do nothing. We think that doing nothing is safer than walking through any kind of storm that might ensue as a result of attempting something different.
When you let the fear and lack of confidence take over, you may find yourself in a monotonous routine with no opportunity for upward movement. You wake up every day living life on autopilot, doing the same thing and wondering why you don’t have different results.
I should know. I did this pattern for ten years.
Ten years of crawling on broken glass every day but refusing to change. What a mess my life was.
But, guess what?
Change is the only constant in life, whether you like it or not.
There came a time when I had to get out of my own way and give my life permission to expand so that I could see all the opportunities in front me.
How to Break the Routine and Start Leading
1) Break the Status Quo
Today’s leaders never accept things as they are and are constantly challenging existing thoughts and methodologies. In the day where stock market tickers change like the wind, people want some sort of status quo.
Face it, status-quo status sucks.
Look at your daily routine and find the steps toward incremental change. This doesn’t have to be drastic, wholesale change, just start small.
2) Keep Your Head Up
Look around. When you keep your head down, you miss the chance to open your eyes and notice what leaders and opportunities surround you.
That is not to say that keeping your head down and working hard won’t pay off. But I can guarantee that you will not capitalize on nearly half of the opportunities you could take if you don’t pick that head up and pay attention.
The first step is to dispose of the notion that your title or job description determines whether or not you are a leader.
Remember this: It is YOU that determines if you are a leader or not. And a good place to start is by being a leader in your own life.
By keeping your head up and showing up to life every day, you commit to yourself and to your future.
3) Be or Become a Mentor
Take your personal expertise, whatever it is, and use it to help ANYONE around you that needs help today. Over the years, I have mentored many valuable associates. I was constantly on the lookout for high potential where no one else saw it. Believing in yourself that you have high potential allows you to not only subconsciously surround yourself with other high potential people but to help others realize theirs.
Having a mentor is also a great way to take action.
Meet with them once a month to learn a new skill. This action will begin the shift in your thinking.
Start studying the leaders, how do they do think, pick their brains. Take what your learn from them and apply it to your own life in your own style. Every good and influential mentor offers the ability to offer life-changing advice.
Allow them to help you change your life.
4) Take Charge, Even If You’re New
When I got into sales 30 years ago, I worked in a branch of 20 sales people and was the new girl on the block. Why would anyone listen to me? I didn’t have the type of track record and sales success that the others had.
Despite my “new girl” status, I orchestrated a weekly breakfast meeting with my peers. Here we organized and shared information and brainstormed new strategies to be successful. I certainly wasn’t a leader, but that didn’t stop me from behaving like one with my colleagues.
When this group’s performance began outpacing the rest of the veteran salespeople, everyone wanted to join the weekly meeting.
5) Invest In You
I always say “invest in you.”
What that truly means is take control of your life by knowing who you are. Become your own best friend and advocate, and the world around you will change. You will discover new people and opportunities. And above all, a new self-confidence that will “lead” you to success.
Today’s most successful leaders have two things going for them:
- Humanity (why do they care, empathy, etc.)
- Expertise (this is not title, but actual skill set)
They bring their expertise and a level of personal humanity to the workplace so we, as employees, want to sit up and listen to what they have to share with us.
Absent the humanity and expertise, it is unlikely the leader will be successful in guiding the team through change transformation, because the team will have no reason to listen to the leader to begin with.
First and foremost, work on improving these aspects about yourself. And then you can confidently take steps toward becoming a valuable leader.
So, are you investing in yourself? Are you afraid to become the leader you have the potential to be? Are you letting fear get in your way? Why are you letting yourself stay below the radar? If you are fearless, tell me why! I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Image Source: tommyland modified kidzcoolzone.com
- 5 Ways To Free Yourself From A Leadership Rut (forbes.com)
- Leaders: 3 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown (linked2leadership.com)
- Leadership Success is no Longer Measured by Money or Power (forbes.com)