Sunday, April 15

How Can I Lead When I Am Not in Charge? 

I just came across this article, which reminds me that a LOT of advice and strategies and tactics that are supposedly geared towards women... apply equally (in some cases more so) to MEN!! Take a look below and you'll start to see what I mean.

Whether we're talking about self-management, leadership, building trust, attitudes, respect, assertiveness, or influence... these lessons apply whether aimed at one gender or the other.

Men MAY be from Mars; Women MAY be from Venus - but here's the news folks... planet Business works pretty much the same way for all of us.

-- David

How Can I Lead When I Am Not in Charge?
Four tips that will help you lead your boss

By: Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

Let’s face it – almost everyone has a boss. Our relationship with our immediate supervisorimpacts so many aspects of our lives. A solid rapport with that one person allows us tobalance work/life more effectively, work in a positive environment and feel more fulfilled inour careers.

On the other hand, a poor relationship with our boss gives us a bad attitude – one that spillsover into our personal lives after we’re off the clock. When the bond between us and ourboss is weak, we often feel helpless – like victims to our careers. These feelings cancontribute to career uncertainty, job dissatisfaction and, ultimately, they can make usquestion our professional ambitions.

Rather than suffer through the daily grind, there are things we can do to improve ourrelationship with our supervisors. First, and foremost, we can be better leaders.We don’t have to be in charge, or have a management position, to be a leader. A leadercan be anyone, despite rank, title or tenure. Leadership is not about power or prestige. Aleader is someone who takes control of their lives to influence outcomes, which includecreating a more gratifying relationship with our boss.

To work towards that ideal relationship, you can incorporate the following leadershiptechniques into your professional life:

1. Don’t take things personally. Your supervisor’s mood swings or snide commentsmay get under your skin, but they shouldn’t affect your disposition. As a leader,you’re confident about who you are and you’re able to shrug off negativity before itweighs you down. Your supervisor’s bad attitude has nothing to do with you – sowhy take it personally? The less emotion you give to someone else’s unpleasantnature, the more energy you have to spread some light on your day. You can alsouse your optimism to make your coworkers days a little brighter. If you have atough boss, chances are, they also need some cheering up.

2. Set the example. Your words and actions set the tone for how you want to betreated. If you want more responsibility, prove yourself dependable. If you wantloyalty, don’t disparage your boss to your coworkers. If you want more pay, justifyyour salary increase. Always hold yourself to a high professional standard, one thatmay even be higher than the one your boss holds for himself. When you set apositive example, you contribute to creating a more positive, professionalenvironment.

3. Earn respect, not praise. You may never be your boss’s best friend – and that’sokay. Stop looking for affirmation from your boss and start striving for respect,which can be earned by your hard work and integrity. You may never have theperfect relationship with your boss– but if you have her respect, then you’re in agreat position to influences outcomes.

4. Be an Effective Communicator. If you feel your boss’s attitude has become aroadblock, have the courage to voice your concerns. Confrontation can be difficult,but it’s easier than suffering through a bad situation. Approach your boss with tact –choose your words carefully to ensure your message is received clearly. Prepareyourself with suggestions and ideas. Always have proposed solutions ready whenyou plan to highlight a problem. Chances are that your boss is unaware that hisactions contribute to a poor work environment. You may be surprised how quicklyyour situation can improve.

Your strides towards leadership development will help you regain control of yourprofessional life and will allow you to develop and maintain a positive relationship with yourboss. While you cannot force another person to change, by being a leader you can influenceprofessional behavior through your solid example. Each step you take towards becoming astronger leader brings you closer to job satisfaction.As you develop your leadership abilities, you become a person your supervisors will want topromote. This professional progress will allow you to have an even greater influence overyour environment in the future.

Angie and Courtney are founders of Lead Star, a leadership consulting company thatchallenges women to be the best leaders they can be. The duo learned valuableleadership lessons while serving as Marine Corps Officers. For more information onLead Star, visit www.leadingfromthefront.com

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