As you move into the working world, you may find that your leadership skills are put to the test often. But how can you become a leader if you’ve never had to before?
Take our word for it: leadership is not as scary as you think! It may seem as though many of your friends and colleagues are naturals, but chances are they weren’t always that way. Anyone can become a leader; it starts with confidence. Want to start channeling your inner leader? Follow our top tips to let that inner executive shine through.
Act with confidence (even if you must fake it).
This may seem like a no-brainer, but confidence really is the place to start. If you act confident, stand tall, and speak assertively, you will come across as a good leader. Showing insecurity and second-guessing yourself or your actions will make you to appear timid or passive. And if you’re in a situation where your leadership abilities are put to the test, you don’t want to be viewed as weak. While confidence can be hard to channel, just remember that every other person struggles with it in their own way. You can accomplish everything you set your mind to—so own it!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you are unsure of something or you want another opinion, don’t be afraid to ask for it. While it is important to be confident in yourself, it is also important to admit when you don’t know what to do. Nobody knows all the answers, and asking for help from others only makes you more human. It is a sign of strength and humility for a leader to admit when they need help.
Support your team.
Be the person others can turn to for help or advice, and always support the members of your team through the good and the bad. This means providing assistance when someone needs help, starting a discussion when there are areas of improvement, and recognizing others’ hard work. (In other words: don’t be a jerk and treat people like you want to be treated). If you’ve ever been in a situation where a person in leadership is disconnected from the rest of the team, you know how disheartening it can be to not have a person to turn to. Be the supportive leader who you would want to follow—and please, leave the ego at home.
Have you ever worked with a manager or supervisor who is just the most negative person around? How did that make you feel as an employee? It’s never good to be the person constantly looking at the glass as half empty and bringing others down. As a leader, you can be the one that others turn to for a positive spin on otherwise unfortunate situations or daily setbacks. You are in a position where you can empower others, so you should strive to be positive and uplift your team.
Stay true to who you are
This is true for any situation you’re in, but especially in a position of leadership. It is highly important that you stay true to yourself and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Faking a personality will show—and it could cause your team to grow untrusting of you. Your team will love you more for your confidence in your true self than a fake version of who you are pretending to be.
Remember: leadership is what you make of it. By staying positive, owning who you are, and admitting when you’re wrong, you can walk confidently into any situation.