As a woman, I love empowering other women, like yourself, to not only see their potential but manifest it as well. Many corporate women are ready to go to the next level in their vocational fields and start making moves. But, what if I told you that being a boss is not the direction you want to go? What if I told you that being a boss is the opposite of what you ACTUALLY want to be? That what you ACTUALLY want to be is a leader, not a boss.
“Wait, aren’t they the same thing?” Not necessarily.
You see, just because you’re a boss, doesn’t mean you’re a leader and an effective one at that. You can have the title of “boss,” have extensive experience and knowledge, give orders and commands, but that doesn’t qualify you as an effective leader.
With over twenty-four years of corporate experience, I’ve seen a plethora of individuals that have come and gone. I understand how it can be difficult for a woman coming from the junior ranks to transition smoothly into the senior ranks. As an effective leader, you are a focal point that your organization can rely on because you communicate clearly, give direction, and earn respect, not demand it. These are just some of the things I mentioned in my leadership development program for mid-level managers.
If you’re ready to go in the direction of creating a cohesive community by collaborating with your peers and junior members, here are the four things you need to get started.
In the current political climate, having good character is a must to be a great leader. You have to determine what your core values are and stick to them. It can be difficult as issues arise and more is demanded of you, but you can’t lead without it. If you do, it can lead down a path of manipulation, lack of integrity, and abuse of power.
Considering the people you most admire and both your positive and negative experiences, write down your core values. This can be a myriad of values, so try grouping them into different categories that link to your leadership style.
If you don’t know where you and your organization are going, how will you measure success? As a leader, your team will depend on you to have a clear vision of where you want to go, how to get there, and what success will look like for your organization. It’s time to think outside the box. Anticipating problems and forecasting solutions will be of great benefit to reach your end goals smoothly. With the vision in mind, you must clearly communicate your vision, expectations, and responsibilities to your team. It’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about being able to track progress and identify achievements by every team member in a tangible manner. Everyone has to know what success will look like, and it’s up to you to show them how.
Once you cross that line into the leadership ranks, you are officially in the people business, lady. It’s no longer about you but how you can serve your team and guide them towards successfully realizing the vision. Now is the time to get to know your team and understand who they are in their work and as individuals. What are their styles, personal goals, and personality types? Where can you place them on your team where their skills and talents will be utilized to manifest their best? You can only go as far as your team will go, so make sure to be alert for opportunities where you can help them develop and succeed. Building those lines of honest communication and recognition will not only build credibility but will also gain the respect of others.
4. Avoid Distractions
Effective leadership requires you to make timely decisions, accurate assessments of complex situations, and quick responses to any disparities in your organization. That’s a hard thing to do when you’re constantly distracted. Much will be demanded of you and your mind will have multiple tabs open. But by avoiding distractions, you will be able to lead at your best. Here are three ways you can become a distraction-free leader.
Stop multitasking - Women are masters of multi-tasking, but it may negatively affect your team when your focus is on ten different tasks instead of focusing on the focal important task.
“Do not Disturb” - This feature on your device may be one of the most effective features that will help with your productivity. It’s no secret that we can get caught in the wormhole that is social media, tiptoeing into email or delivering motivational speeches via text message. Stay connected, but no need to jump at every alert. Press that button.
Put people over projects - Don’t allow the rush of project deadlines to take precedence over people. You might have to take a moment to audit your time, properly delegate tasks, and assist the team with getting the overall goal accomplished. You are leading a team now, lady. No more “I” talk.
So, what’s it going to be? Do you just want the title of boss, or do you want to be the woman that comes up with solutions and works together with others to solve problems? Maybe you’re feeling like you lack the guidance and support to start thinking like a leader, and not just a boss. Don’t feel alone, lady. I have been there and so have many of the women that I have helped mentor and guide up the corporate ladder. I’d love it if you’d joined me this February 17th, 2021 for a session of The Conversation. It’s here that corporate and professional women come around our own virtual table to connect, share, inspire, and encourage. This is a place where you can feel safe to share your dreams, goals, and ask any questions that you feel you can’t ask in another atmosphere. What do you say? Are you ready to join The Conversation? Click here to get registered. I can’t wait to talk to you soon!