Be a Leader, Get that Promotion

Some find it quite easy to become leaders, while others would rather be working in the background. While it is very easy for others to lead, others would need a lot of training, courage, and determination to step up front. Most would prefer to be a follower than a leader.
How many times have we seen the office staffs pushing each other when the boss asks for someone to lead a task? It is disappointing for managers when no one shows the inclination to become a leader. Yet part of the blame may lie in the failure of management to train their personnel for leadership.
In many companies, the only way to gain a substantial increase in pay is to get promoted. And if it is your desire to get a promotion, your personality, expertise, plus “LEADERSHIP SKILLS” would be the winning combination.
When there are projects or assignments that your boss would want to delegate, grab it. It is your chance to let your boss know your strengths and capabilities.
But do you have what it takes to be a good leader? To be one, you must have the following qualities:
Good character. Lead by example. To be a good leader, you must be honest and responsible. Never employ dirty tactics when accomplishing tasks. This is the only way you can earn the full trust and confidence of your team.
Planning ability. A leader must know how to identify potential problems, and how to solve them before they occur. You must know how to work even during crisis situations. Also, you must be adept in laying the groundwork to carry out responsibilities. Most importantly, a leader must have options and contingency strategies, when events do not work out as planned.
Delegation skills. Leadership is not a DO-IT-ALL attitude. Even if you are the expert on the field, you must know how each member of the team can contribute to the project. To be a leader, you must know how to discern which tasks must be delegated, to whom it should be delegated, and how tasks must be delegated in the right way.
Training skills. Each subordinate has his/her strengths and weaknesses. A leader must identify the skills of each follower, so that tasks delegated are according to the abilities of the subordinates. Impart knowledge and develop skills so that you may inspire and motivate others to excel.
Confidence. To be a leader, you must not only believe in yourself, but also in the capabilities of the team. It is so demoralizing to have a leader that always thinks negatively, and so unsure of his or her own ideas. A leader thinks of success, and not failure.
Flexibility. You must be able to work under extreme conditions, and under different circumstances.
Good communication skills. A leader must be able to give clear directions. Good communication is not only judged on how you can communicate effectively, but also in the most tactful (read: diplomatic) manner you can converse with your team.
Good listener. You must be willing to accept contributions or suggestions from the team. A good leader gets group consensus before carrying out a plan.
Calmness in crisis. There are times when things can go wrong. In this case, it is better to stay cool and steady, rather than being involved in heated arguments. Never let the pressure get you into trouble. Being overly emotional may lead to poor decision making, and jumping to conclusions.
Appreciation. Credits and rewards must be given in every successful project. This may not be in the form of monetary rewards. A short simple hand-written thank you note is enough to show you appreciate each member’s contribution. After all you would find it difficult to complete a task, without the participation of the team.
Desire for self-improvement. A good leader does not stop learning, and always continue seeking ways to improve his/her skills. You may opt to read books on new leadership and management styles. It is not easy to persuade people to follow you, so always learn new techniques on how to lead. Another option is to attend seminars and workshops on how to develop leadership skills.
While leadership comes naturally for a few, the overwhelming majority needs to be coached, trained, or even pushed to learn the skill. It is neither easy nor quick, but aspiring to acquire the qualities of a good leader can reap you tremendous benefits.
BusinessCoach, Inc., provides training on how to be a leader.

Click here to view details of the training program: Basic Leadership Training >>>

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.