Don't Have A Good Leader? Be One!
Do you feel stuck at a dead end job feeling like nothing but a cog in a system with little to no meaning? Are you waiting for your big break to come along and thrust you into a leadership position? Is your boss an example of poor leadership and severely hindering your morale?
How do I know all this about you? Because this has been my experience!
As a person who delights in finding meaning and purpose in my work and helping others stay motivated during the worst of times; I have a tendency to get extremely frustrated with people in leadership roles that are just in it for the nice paycheck and the unicorn horseshoeing work hours. These are not true leaders. Don’t wait for these people to suddenly get inspired to take you under their wing and give you the job of your dreams.
Yes, circumstances like these are for waiting. However, you are waiting on the Lord; not people. It is not up to them and they do not have the power to hurt or help your cause.
During these times of waiting, you can develop your leadership skills right where you are. Become the leader you want to be for all of your colleagues. You do not need a fancy title to influence people. If you are in an environment where there is widespread discontentment among the ranks, this is your chance to become the mentor you have always dreamed of being. Life has offered you an amazing opportunity. What will you do with it?
Sure, not every day is going to be rainbows and butterflies. You will never be perfectly optimistic all the time. Yet, I am encouraging you to take the bull by the horns and decide today to be the chief of your tribe, the captain of your ship, the beacon of light among your coworkers. If you can lead during the most hopeless and darkest of times, you can lead through anything.
How do you lead from what you believe to be your insignificant position? Consider what you would want from a leader. Here are a few examples to get you started.
1. Put everyone else’s needs before your own and have a servant heart.
I once had a manager who would say “what can I do to make your life better right now?” Unfortunately, this manager did not sincerely mean this. It was sarcasm. But it still taught me something. What a great line! What if you really did mean it when you said that to someone. Imagine the impact you would have. And you know what? You can even say that to your manager. Believe it or not, they need help too. Who knows? Maybe that could be the thing that launches you into your destiny.
2. Do not feed the negativity.
During tough times like this, everyone is complaining about everything all day long. And probably for good reason! However, this can make it extremely challenging to have a good attitude in a position with which you are having your own dilemmas. Colleagues will come to you to vent and it will be tempting to get into a hot, raging gripe session with them. Everything they’re saying is right! You couldn’t agree more! You know what they really need from you? The strength and courage to not join in and feed their negativity.
3. Be the motivator.
After they are all done pouring out their grievances, they need encouragement. A hopeful declaration that everything will be okay and will eventually work itself out. Not a lie. But true and sincere certainly that there is hope on the horizon. “One way or another, you’ll get a different job that you will like much better, or things will improve here once we get through this transition.”
Staying positive is a very difficult thing to do. However, if you’re reading this it’s probably because you have aspirations to do something bigger and you may be frustrated with your current situation. You need a mission. Thinking of ways to develop from where you are will be the catalyst to cultivating your skills for the next step in your journey.