Could it be that you are a natural leader, but you don’t know it yet?
Maybe you’ve been working in the same role for a long time, and you’re very good at what you do. You’re starting to notice that your peers are asking you all kinds of questions as well as requesting your advice about how to approach certain tasks. Or maybe they are looking for feedback on their work. You’re giving presentations and pitching clients. Your boss respects you and compliments you on your work, and is encouraging you to take on more challenging tasks.
Many people who are great at their jobs are not “official” leaders—not by choice–but because it never occurred to them to be a leader. They are smart, passionate, driven, focused, easy to work with, good at explaining things, and have a “get-it-done” mentality.
What are some of the key signs that you might be a great leader?
You don’t wait to be told what to do.
You simply look around, see what needs to be done, and do it.
You have a proactive approach to work.
This is the first step in seeing the big picture. You look at everything that needs to get done in order to have a successful day, and then plan accordingly.
You “drive defensively.”
You look ahead for pitfalls in the road in order to avoid them. Same with traffic jams.
You’re more anxious when things are slow, so you look for ways to stay busy
—and increase business (or productivity).
You’re an “ideas” person.
You are constantly thinking up ways to innovate and improve things.
You don’t need pats on the back.
Leaders don’t do things because they are looking for approval. The opinion that matters most to a leader is his or her own.
You hate meetings.
To be fair, it’s not meetings that you hate so much, but the time that gets wasted. You understand better than most, just how valuable time is. There is little value in chatting if isn’t accomplishing something. You prefer to make decisions quickly and move forward.
You care about getting it right.
You understand the value of investing time and effort in certain areas because it will make the difference in producing something great which will set you apart from the competition, and make your customers happy.
You care about people.
Every rare leader understands that their people, i.e., their employees are their greatest assets. They also understand that they are creating or building something for other people. The product needs to make a difference in the lives of their customers.
You’re a great listener.
…Which means that you’re an active listener. You’re not thinking so much about how you will respond to the person you’re conversing with that you miss the importance of what is being said. On the other hand, because you listen well, you create the opportunity to contribute to the conversation, or to offer solutions.
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room.
This has to do with ego. If your ego is fragile, then you’ll be more concerned with whether or not you are right. The rare leader has a natural understanding of equanimity. She doesn’t see herself as above anyone else, or below anyone else. The goal is about finding the best ways to reach goals.
People follow you.
Are your teammates asking you for suggestions, help, or advice? Maybe you are the one that others seek out, or expect to take charge at meetings and brainstorming sessions.
So Now What?
If you see these things in yourself, and you’ve been wondering if maybe the time has come to take it to the next level, then maybe it’s time to take it to the next level. Start thinking about how to position yourself for that move. Questions or thoughts? Please share or get in touch!
Thanks for the collaborative writing with Trish Hundhausen – http://www.creativebeasts.com