Written by: Lea Serrato
Who do you think of when you imagine a leader? Did you think of Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs? Well, in this day and age, the image of a leader is no longer that of a stereotypical middle-aged, salt-and-pepper-haired man. Nowadays, anyone could be a leader. She could be the girl next door, operating a major e-commerce company out of her room in her parents’ home. He could be the casually-dressed young man sitting right next to you on the subway on the verge of a multi-million dollar idea.
Management consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker once said, “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
Seems hard! Still, as varied as leaders are today, there are some great things that leaders do to achieve those things. Here are some ways to inspire leadership:
Confronting problems and keeping employees informed of the situation.
A challenging situation is already hard to deal with; having an open communication with your employees at the same time seems like an impossible task! Great leaders have the courage to confront these problems, and deal with them candidly. Keeping employees informed of the situation shows that you trust them and it will also lessen the spread of unnecessary gossip around the workplace.
Earn your employees’ trust and loyalty.
Trust and loyalty are earned. If you won’t show you trust them, how do you expect them to trust you? Show your interest in their success, and their life outside the workplace without being too personal. Asking about their children’s well-being or studies is a good way for them to open up.
Trust is also earned when you can calmly handle situations wherein an employee has made a mistake. Calm down first before speaking. Explain what they did wrong, and what they should do in the future to avoid making the same mistake again.
Earn your employees’ respect.
Same with trust and loyalty, respect is also earned. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have automatically earned their respect. Don’t take your position for granted. To earn respect, conduct yourself as you would want others to conduct themselves. Be more responsible with your actions and be accountable for the effect your influence has on your employees.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you’re someone who is laid-back, don’t pretend to be formal. Wear rubber shoes if that is what’s comfortable for you! Pretending means you’re basically lying about who you are and your employees might start to wonder what other things you might be lying about.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ― Albert Einstein
Don’t shy away from your curiosity and your commitment to learning more. Look for new ideas, information, and insights that will help you and everyone around you succeed. Remember, everything and everyone is an opportunity to gain more knowledge!