Most people in leadership positions in this country are pretty lucky. Why? Because it seems that no matter what they do, no matter how they treat those who report to them, and some of the people who don’t directly report to them, that because people need jobs they can get away with a lot of bad behavior that, in real life outside of the workplace, would be unacceptable.

Leadership
Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Compfight

Over all my years, I’ve seen many people who get a taste of power and immediately lose perspective on who they are and the responsibility that this sudden boost of “power” gives them. Sometimes what makes a person a bad leader is not taking charge and pulling people together towards a common goal. Most of the time what makes a bad leader is forgetting that once upon a time you were where the people who report to you are now.

I’ve known few people who have worked for a bad manager who said “If I ever get into management I’m going to be just like that.” Yet I’ve known a lot more people who become that very thing. It’s as if they can’t think of another way to do things, or they get jaded early into their new position for one reason or another and decide to rest on their laurels.

Let me ask this question: do you want people to follow you as a leader because of the position or because they respect you?

If your response is the second one, these 3 offerings will help you. If not… you’re on your own. Let’s go:

1. Always start with the best part of your personality as far as how you act towards other people.

You might already have the demeanor it takes to be a good leader. If not, think about a few things.

If it takes your being the life of the party to get people to like you, you might have something to work with to learn a better way to be a good leader. (because you might not know that’s not really the best part of your personality).

People with negative personalities usually have a few things they like about life. If this is you, work on figuring out what those things are, then figure out why they make you feel better. It might help you find a change in perspective that could make you someone others want to work with.

Do you like being liked? Do you like being stepped on? Find your strength in the middle of these two things and use that towards finding your way as a leader.

These are only a few examples of ways to think about how you are personally and how you can be better.

2. Take time to think about your objective and what you’re looking for from others.

Are you trying to maintain a level of performance or increase it? Are there numbers you need to hit on a monthly basis or quality standards critical to your area? Do you need talent, workers, thinkers, people ready to step up to the plate, helpers, motivators…

Here’s a reality that most leaders never consider; you don’t want everyone to be everything. You don’t want everyone to be leaders; who’s going to do the work. You don’t want everyone to be free thinkers unless your business is in creating things; you need a lot of people who are good at following directions and in learning how to do things the way you need them done.

All leaders need a well rounded group of employees and peers to achieve the best success possible. While you don’t want everyone to disagree with you, you also don’t want everyone to agree with you. You don’t want all your employees to be strong willed, but you also don’t want everyone you work with to keep their opinions to themselves.

3. Whatever you need, talk to people like… well, people.

Don’t talk down to people, don’t look down on people, and don’t put people down. When you treat everyone as an equal, even when you have to be the one in charge here and there, you get the best out of others and they will be willing to follow you as the leader.

I’m not the only one who states this; just go to Google and check out numerous studies of what employees want, and though it won’t be worded like this all the time, this is really what most people want in a leader.

Don’t yell at anyone. Don’t use profanity. Don’t treat people as children. Don’t talk over people’s heads.

Learn how to communicate with others professionally, directly, and courteously. Learn how to listen as if you were listening to a friend of yours telling you a story.

Remember, this is business, not your personal life. No matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you have to be a human being towards others in the workplace. If you want people to follow you, give them a reason why they should do it other than because you’ve assumed the position.

Leadership is both as easy and as hard as you decide to make it. Try the easy way first; you’ll sleep better.
 

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