Leadership in the workplace does not always mean a formal leadership role. You don’t have to be someone’s boss, manager, or supervisor. Now, more than ever, leadership is about the example you set and those are the leaders that others look up to – those who know what needs to be done and do it.
As you look for ways to contribute, add value and lead through remote work in a world of uncertainty, I’m sharing five tips to help you develop career leadership so you can be the leader your colleagues need most.
1. Communicate and communicate more:
Good leaders communicate, in good times and bad. In moments and months of uncertainty, communication is even more important. Whether your employees or your colleagues, transparency is key. It’s about sharing what you know and reiterating that you are in it together. Because you are.
2. Be confident:
When much is unknown, confidence is necessary to inspire others, build trust, and be the voice of reason. Transparency is important when you aspire to lead, but it’s also important to focus on the things you can control and influence. Don’t dwell on your fears and concerns about the future… at least not at work.
3. Find the good in others:
Leaders see the good in others. It’s about paying attention to the details and knowing where others excel. Whether leading in a formal capacity or as a member of a team, it’s important to recognize the strengths of the team and delegate accordingly. There is also an opportunity to push those who are capable of more because sometimes we just need a nudge to grow and improve. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the team makes for a stronger team overall.
4. Show appreciation:
Be grateful and show that gratitude. Recognize a job well done. Good leaders know that the efforts and good work of their team reflect positively on their leadership abilities. Employees want to feel appreciated. They want to know that someone cares and their hard work is noticed. Be the cheerleader and the coach. Shout out hard work and recognize accomplishment.
5. Creative problem solving:
The world of business has changed. Much is unknown. This is a time to step up and get creative. With uncertainty comes much opportunity. Think creatively about the problems your organization and department faces. Bring a solution-oriented mindset to the table as you face problems head-on. When things get hard, it’s about brainstorming potential solutions and thinking differently about the path forward. Leaders think outside the box, especially when things get tough.
As the world continues to change, so does the nature of work and the leadership required to succeed at work today, especially in a remote work environment. You can lead no matter what your role, no matter what you aspire to, and in spite of what is happening in the world. Whether leading in a formal capacity or positioning yourself for a role you’ve been dreaming of, this is a time to step up and do more with the opportunity you have.
What does career leadership mean to you? To me, it’s about supporting and inspiring. It’s about being a voice in a time of uncertainty and seizing the opportunity that is in front of you.