How to be an Effective Leader

Being a leader in the workplace has its advantages. In fact, you don’t even need to be a manager to be a leader at work. You can lead simply by integrating these character traits into your daily mindset and activities.leadership traits

Communication – Essentially, every leader is a good communicator. That means they not only know how to engage with others, but more importantly they understand how to listen. Leaders pay attention, ask a lot of questions, and can express themselves accurately.

Team Player – Remember that old saying, “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” Well, that statement still holds true. A good leader is a team player. They understand that success comes from working with a group of talented individuals and that no one person can do it all alone.

Risk Taker – A leader isn’t afraid to put themselves out there, share ideas, and explore new opportunities. Taking risks showcases that you have confidence in yourself, and even if the risks do not pay off, you aren’t afraid to jump back in and try again.

Vision – Individuals, who are leaders, also have vision. Having vision means seeing the big picture, and what needs to happen in order for that vision to come to fruition. They know where they want to go, and have a good sense of how they can get there. They can also easily share that vision with others, get people to jump on board, and lead the team to success.

Leadership can be learned. Stepping up and leading starts by making a conscious choice and commitment to lead. Are you ready to lead?

How to Get Your Good Ideas Heard

Good ideas, sharing ideas in the workplace(This post was adapted from Steve Roesler’s post on How to Get Your Good Ideas Heard from his website All Things Workplace.)

We all want to be heard, and we most of us in the corporate world want to share our ideas with our team and management. Here are four questions to ask yourself before offering up your next big idea:

1. Will this idea make other people successful?

Really. If it’s not going to do that, you’ve got what might be a good idea for you or you and your immediate work group.

2. Is my presentation as brief as possible because I have thoroughly edited my thoughts?

Figure out what is important to those in the room and what isn’t. Everything isn’t important to them. And if they do start asking questions it means they care enough to engage you. That’s an indicator of interest, even if the questions sound critical They are evaluating. And they aren’t worried about the time because you’ve given them something worthwhile to ponder.

3. Do I have objective criteria for success?

Even if your idea is a creative one, take time to link it to something that can be measured. If not, it will appear fuzzy to many. The more concrete you can be, the clearer the picture you are able to paint.

4. How do I feel about the idea?

Yeah, I know it’s yours. But make sure that you feel confident about it as well as committing to the work that would ensue. Ideas are sold on confidence and emotion supported up by reasonable facts. Pay attention to your gut.

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When you have a good idea – don’t sit on it for too long. The longer you get it to yourself, the more momentum is loses. Speak up and be heard. A good idea doesn’t become a great one unless it’s implemented it.

Lead through Innovation

Perhaps it’s time to step outside of the box and lead in a new way – innovative. Most team leaders tend to step into the ways of their successors, doing what’s always been done, and most likely get the same results. While that may not be negative, in fact, that has its own advantages. Besides, if something is working – why fix it?

However, while your leadership style may not be evolving, your team is likely to be. As technology increases, work-life demands shift, and staff members come and go – your team and workforce will experience changes. While many  employees resist change from management, they do in fact appreciate when management catches up to their evolution.

For instance, most employees who are in the trenches may be tech-savvy and your company software may be very outdated. Advancing your company’s innovative levels in small or large ways, helps your employees to stay in a cutting-edge environment, where they know their skills are always current, and that their company cares about moving into the future.

There are many other ways you can lead through innovation as well, such as considering what your team wants and desires. Do you have all working mothers in your office? Would child care, even just a few days a week contribute to their overall happiness or productivity? Do you have a stressful work environment where employees typically put in long hours? Perhaps you could create a space for exercise in the office, or bring a yoga instructor in a few times a week.

Leading through innovation is about forward thinking. It consists of going beyond what is normal, standard, or typical and seeking out opportunities and experiences that can make a difference for your team, your company, and your clients.