It’s the middle of March. The days are finally getting warmer and longer, but after that cold winter, you may be feeling uninspired, maybe even worn out or disengaged entirely from work. It happens to the best of us; we push through the early winter to get to the holidays, then we have just enough energy and inspiration to get through January and maybe most February relatively motivated and still fresh-faced. And now, many are starting to feel springtime lethargy (it’s totally a Thing). Our top tip? Taking up a position of leadership in the workplace can re-ignite that passion that first drove you to your job.
The best part is this tip is for everyone! You absolutely do not have to be in a position of leadership to take on the role of a leader. You do, however, need to have the right resources to be able to reach your full potential. So, let’s talk about how you can renew your lease on your work-life through leading others.
How Leadership Can Renew Your Passion for Your Work
In an article for Harvard Business Review, former NFL linebacker Matt Mayberry writes about taking up a leadership position, even in a non-managerial position. According to Mayberry, one of the actions one looking to improve their leadership skills in the workplace can take is to improve their connections with their colleagues. And this is key to re-igniting your passion in the workplace.
This is because a huge part of passion and motivation at work is engagement with both the work itself and one’s colleagues. And, as many studies have shown, those who have the highest levels are in leadership positions. This is because, as this report from Businesswire shows, “As leaders within an organization, executives have more power to influence their own experience, while individual employees may feel less control over their interactions with a company.”
Moreover, this report continues to note that “Even as companies make efforts to keep their employees happy and productive, introducing trendy new benefits to address the changing workplace, individual contributors remain less engaged than executives.” But that doesn’t mean that the executives should have all the fun, right?
You can start taking the lead on projects and even taking on positions of leadership or mentorship with peers to offer you a reprise from mundane everyday tasks. Over time, your colleagues and employer(s) will start to take notice of the extra initiatives you’re taking.
With this said, it’s important to also remember your boundaries in work. Taking on new positions of leadership should not mean you’re taking on more work than you are paid for. This brings us to what makes a good leader.
The 3 Best Qualities in a Leader
Even if your Packfinder results told you that you’re more on the relaxed/dependable end of the motivational profile, you can still take steps towards being a leader. That is, not everyone will or even would want to be an executive member of an organization. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take on a leadership role of your own, even within your department or smaller group setting. In order to best balance your role as a leader, then, you’ll need to be conscious of and work on the following skills.
Your risks may be smaller or larger depending on the scale of your actions towards improving your leadership skills. But no matter the size of the role you take on, you are sure to face some sort of risk. And with risk inevitably comes failure. Knowing when to take responsibility for your team and your own actions is a crucial part of being a leader. So, don’t forget to admit when you’ve made a mistake. But then, learn from your mistakes and continue to improve. The very best leaders always do.
Along with humility, your ability to grow also requires discipline. Especially when taking on new roles of leadership or mentorship at work, you want to always be updating and expanding your skills. You can do so by taking online courses via a platform like Coursera or attending workshops or conventions in your field.
But perhaps what is even more difficult than working hard in your field is knowing when to stop working. This may become even more challenging with new leadership responsibilities, but this is crucial for getting out of your efforts as much as you put in.
As Wilmar Schaufeli writes for Frontiers in Psychology, “Engaged employees invest highly in their job because they enjoy it, nevertheless they know when to stop and also have a private life outside of their work.” And as a leader, you will also be responsible for setting a good example. So, make sure to respect your own work-life boundaries, so your colleagues will, too.
As an employee, surely you’ve seen how crucial honesty and transparency is to have in a boss or supervisor. After all, how can one expect an employee to follow and trust someone who is themselves not trustworthy? Demonstrating this trustworthiness, then, comes with showcasing your vulnerability and your honesty. Show rather than tell your colleagues you are worthy of their trust by encouraging consistent and open communication and returning honest, respectful communication in return.
Of course, this will take time, as this article by Gallup suggests. But consistent transparency and honesty will prove to your peers that you mean what you say and are a reliable and trustworthy leader.
If you find that the above skills resonate with your behavior and practices in the workplace, you may already be leading others in even a very minor capacity, even if only by being a good example. Not sure if you’re right for a leadership role, even in a minor capacity? We’ve got just the tool for you.
Our Top Tool for Leaders
Unless you’re new to our website and blog pages, you’ll surely have heard about Packfinder by now. Packfinder is our very own psychometric assessment made to determine your soft skills and personality traits on various sliding scales. These sliding scales gage where you tend to fall in terms of your self-management skills, your motivational profile, your comfort with conflict, your people and analytical orientation, and your environmental fit.
Knowing all of the above can be a crucial step in improving your leadership skills, so you know where you may need to focus more of your attention. With Packfinder, then, you can discover what skills you already have so as to improve upon them and even guide others to find similar success. You can also find tips on how to improve areas that may require improvement to reach your full potential as both a leader and a team member.
Ready to discover areas of strength you didn’t know you had? Sign up for your free Workwolf personal account here to take the assessment at no cost.