Leaders lead–whether they are titled leaders or otherwise!
And let me attempt to explain this with my story.
In my previous organization, I was responsible for campus recruitment. I had been doing campus recruitment in the past too. And over the years I had observed that after the process is over at the college, we used to get back all the papers
(the resumes of the candidates and their evaluation sheets) of every person taking part in the process. They were then segregated into two–the selects and the rejects. The papers of the selected candidates used to be retained to be filed once they joined, while the others were discarded.
Every other organization followed the exact same process.
I used to wonder if later we have to discard the papers of candidates who could not make it through–why do we get it back in the first place?
An idea struck me. It helped convert what’s a waste for me into gold for someone else.
And thus was born the concept of sharing the feedback with the candidates who could not make it through. The candidates used this feedback positively, worked on their areas of improvement, and eventually got placed in the other organizations. The college authorities highly appreciated this gesture of providing feedback. In no time, we became the preferred recruiter in all the colleges.
On the other hand, I got a larger visibility in my organization. The management was extremely impressed. I had become the talk of the town–and all for the right reasons.
The result–I was promoted… soon after!
Your actions make you a leader
John Maxwell rightly describes leadership as–
Leadership is an influence, nothing more, nothing less…titles don’t have much value when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned, it comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned.
Influence comes from small actions that you keep doing regularly–every single day. It comes from your atypical responses to the typical everyday scenarios.
And this can’t be done when you are too busy doing your job!
So today’s challenge is to awaken the leader within–whether you have the title or not; to set yourself on the path of grand career breakthroughs.
Here are 5 simple suggestions to get you started –
#1 – Pause!
Oh yeah, you read it right!
Pause for a moment and critically evaluate yourself. Is your job like a hamster running on a wheel – You need to keep running (doing your job) but the outcome is the wheel not moving forward (you not getting anywhere)?
Then, something definitely has to change. Pause! Get off the hamster wheel.
#2 – Begin with leading yourself
If you can’t lead yourself, you have no right to lead others. So Un-busy yourself. Take charge!
The new paradigm for workplace success says–
Busy is the new stupid.
Take a moment to evaluate–is everything that you are doing an absolute must? If it is–does it really have to be done by you alone? What is it that you can do away with? What is it that you can delegate?
It is imperative you make space in your work schedule.
It is imperative you be in charge of the work you do.
#3 – Then, look for opportunities around
Space in your work schedule will allow you to observe. Look for opportunities around. What can you do to respond differently to the everyday scenarios? What difference could you make that other people would love?
You may not find something to act on in the very first go. The key is to be observant. Exactly like I did. Someday you will get it. How early? Well, that largely depends on how keenly you observe!
#4 – When you see it, grab it!
Everyone around needs help–subordinates, peers, bosses, super bosses, clients–everyone! If you have been observing, you will see plenty of opportunities.
When you see the opportunities, grab it! Lend a hand or maybe offer some interesting insights. Learn and make others learn. Go on a mission to make life easy for everyone. See the difference!
#5 – Last but not least, be consistent
“The farmer has patience and trusts the process. He just has the faith and deep understanding that through his daily efforts, the harvest will come. And then one day, almost out of nowhere, it does.”–says Robin Sharma in his book, The leader who had no title.
Influence takes time. It is not episodic. It isn’t about one enormous thing you do once in a while, but it is about small consistent efforts you take every single day.
Thus it is crucial you stay consistent–for days, months, and years. And suddenly you would be influential. But that’s not the end. You need to continue to be consistent ever after!
You have it in you!
Yes, everyone is born to be a leader. It is our thoughts that limit us from taking action and being influential. So, keep the faith and awaken the leader within.