7 Tips For How To Become A Leader At Work
How To Become A Leader At Work
There are many ways, but listed below are some that come to mind. You can use these actions that will inevitably position yourself as a leader at work without being too obvious about your ambitions.
1. Take Responsibility
You want to be a leader at work, learn to take responsibility for anything that has your fingerprint on it. That means, as long as you participate in the project, you have a hand at the failure of the project.
Learn to take responsibility for not just the good things, but even bad ones. Admit to your mistakes - it’s okay to be wrong. You cannot learn if you have not made any mistakes.
2. Believe In Win-Win
A rising tide lifts all boats – always think win-win. It exists. Just because the world thinks the business world is nasty, and that you need to be manipulative and maneuvering to win, you need not participate in it.
In fact, make it your contribution not to be nasty and bullying in your ways. You want to be a leader at work, believe in your hands as leader to change the world.
The power of positive influence you have on the people around you and the power to inspire people to greater heights is in front of you.
3. Push The Envelope
Try new things. Take some risk. Make yourself uncomfortable. Do the things that may risk making you look foolish – what do you have to lose? Leaders take risks. They are not afraid of doing what they believe.
What do you believe in that you are willing to take some risk? To be a leader at work, you need to take even simple risks like taking on the project no one wants.
4. Do It, Write It
I have often said this. This world is full of people who talk too much and don’t do enough. If you want to be a leader at work, act upon something. Work that plan.
If you have any ideas that are simmering in your mind, write it down. It doesn't matter if it’s not a plan yet, just write it down.
If you don’t write it down, there is no one to present to and there is no record of the idea. How can it count? If you want to be a leader at work, you have practice writing down everything.
5. See Opportunities Everywhere
There is no need to create opportunities for yourself to lead. The opportunities to lead are everywhere. You need to be mindful of these opportunities.
I have just mentioned one earlier. Are there any opportunities to take on the project no one wants? If you don’t see opportunities everywhere, you are missing the point.
6. Be Open
Be open to criticism, otherwise you are just living off yourself. What does it mean? When you are open to feedback, you are being fed ideas from others that are free. Often times, these ideas come from people smarter than you. They will give you tips on how to improve and how to be better.
That’s what a leader needs - constant feedback. You need feedback to be a leader at work, otherwise you are “feed-own” (I just created that word to mean feeding yourself) and you will go hungry soon. With no new ideas, a leader dries up.
7. Give, Give, Give
That’s how you open up. Pour out all you got from inside you. Give all you have ideas, thoughts, plans. Feel the vulnerability and learn to like it. When you pour all your ideas out you will need new ones. Where do new ideas come from? From critics who want to tear you down, from well-meaning supporters and from people you least expect.
More comes back to you. You have more to input. It enriches you. That’s how you become a leader at work.
These are the seven actions to position yourself as a leader at work. You want to be a leader at work? Do not be afraid of taking risks. You have more to gain than lose when you open up.
Have JobCrystal day all!
Surviving Psychometric Assessments
If you are applying for a senior job in the public sector or are seeking a move into the private sector then it is likely that you will encounter the assessment centre at some point.
The psychometric assessments are a series of structured , timed, exercises which are designed to simulate the kind of activities you would be doing in the job itself.
- As well as interviews, these could include:
- Presentations (Individual or Group),
- Role Plays,
- Group discussions and tasks
- Written case studies
- Psychometric tests of aptitude and/or personality
- Social and networking events (such as meals)
The aim of these tests is to be as objective and scientific as possible in evaluating candidates’ potential.
This means that:
The assessors will be trained to document everything you do and say in order to evaluate you against a pre-agreed framework of competencies.
You are usually scored numerically against each of the competencies. Each competency is assessed across a number of exercises. Your scores for each competency are then reviewed by the panel and a decision taken whether to hire.
Here’s how to ace the psychometric assessments:
Prepare In Advance
Research the organisation and job as you would for a normal interview. Make sure you are familiar with the competencies for the job.
In addition you should:
Think about how you are going to introduce yourself to staff and other candidates in the introductory session and during social activities. This is your ‘elevator pitch’ and needs to be polished (see Your Personal Profile)
You may be asked to deliver a short impromptu presentation on a familiar topic (common ones are The Best Day of My Life or My Favourite Hobby). Preparing a few ideas in advance can reduce stress.
If you are given a presentation to prepare, make sure your timings work. Prepare a few extra slides/points and a few you could take out in case you run over or under time.
Keep It Simple
When asked to deliver a presentation or participate in a group exercise, the assessors are evaluating your general approach , communication and organisation skills. They are more interested in the process than the subject matter. So don’t get drawn into too much detail or agonise about the right answer to a problem. Stick to delivering a few key points well .
Listen and Co-operate
Being open to the views of others, demonstrating listening skills through your body language, seeking to build consensus and helping the group focus on the task in hand are more effective ways to show leadership than coming up with lots of ideas or issuing instructions to others. Avoid the temptation to argue with, criticise or interrupt others at all costs Standing up for your views in a diplomatic way is your aim .
Employers often comment that successful candidates are those who are ready to have a go at any exercise, who show genuine interest in fellow candidates and who participate actively in discussions. Try to enjoy the assessment centre as an experience in itself which will enhance your self knowledge, regardless of the outcome. Your enthusiasm will shine through.
Let your natural personality show. Don’t try to second guess the sort of person you think the employer wants . It’s impossible to keep this up over an extended period and your behaviour will appear unconvincing, and you risk being placed in a job for which you are unsuited.
Ask For Feedback
Whatever the outcome of the tests, ask your assessors for feedback soon after you hear their decision. This can pinpoint where you might want to improve when preparing for your next selection centre and once in the job.
Most of all...RELAX...and have a JobCrystal day!!
Creating Credibility: Ten Tips for the Workplace
Words have to match actions. In addition to meeting your deadlines and hitting all your goals, it's vital to establish trust in your word...to build your credibility. In both verbal and written communications, including everything that you publish through social media, a lack of trust will lower your credibility. And once you’ve lost it, it’s all but impossible to win back.
No matter where you are in your career, follow these rules to establish and maintain your credibility.
People will care about you, and more importantly trust you, when you care about them. People want to know that they have a sympathetic ear in you. Even companies in reputation crisis mode know the first reaction must be to show sincere concern over individuals in question.
Demonstrate Cooperation with Good Intentions.
To be credible, you must demonstrate that you are acting in good faith to the best of your knowledge and ability. People must believe that you want to cooperate to help them achieve their personal and career goals. They will forgive you for poor judgment, but they will rarely forgive you for poor intentions.
Admit What You Don’t Know.
When people smell blood, they start to dig. It’s human instinct to push when they feel they are being bluffed, especially when you’re trying to gloss over spotty patches in knowledge, memory, experience, or something else. Admitting ignorance is a simple principle...easy to remember and easy to accomplish...but can be a difficult pill to swallow. Nothing makes people believe in what you do know like admitting what you don’t.
Are you telling all you know? You need to recognize the difference between lies, half-truths, omissions, and cover-ups. True but incomplete statements can lead to false conclusions; literal truth, when offered without complete explanations, can lead to literal lies. Knowing smiles accompanied by long silences can elicit wrong conclusions. Lying happens in numerous ways. Intentions stand center stage here. Ultimately, questionable intentions cast doubt on character.
Give up outdated data, opinions, and stereotypes. Given today’s information overload, data more than two or three years old can’t support your decisions. Correct but outdated statistics soon become incorrect.
Sometimes the better we understand something, the worse we are at explaining it; our familiarity makes us careless in describing it. It’s difficult to remember a time when we didn’t know something that has become second nature to us. Ambiguity creeps in when we least expect it. Meanings depend on context, tone, timing, personal experience, and reference points. The best test of clarity is the result you see.
What happens when a boss or confidante tells you, “This information is not to leave the room,” and it instantly does? And you’re the carrier pigeon? When people know you break confidences -- that you share personal, confidential matters -- they fear you. Breaking confidences speaks volumes about your character. People who observe your ability to keep your promises and your confidences will begin to trust you with their real feelings.
Did you wait on the phone for five seconds or five minutes? Did the supplier raise the rates by two percent or ten percent? Did the scores dip to 30 or to 10? Spinning a story can put you on a slippery slope. Exaggeration makes for great humor, but it's a credibility killer.
If you were involved in the decisions, actions, and results, or had some control over a situation that didn’t end the way others wanted it to, own up to it. Shirkers suffer credibility gaps.
Be Sincere and Genuine.
People who pretend to be sincere can pitch an earnest plea, look at you with pleading eyes and a straight face, and promise the world. But genuineness comes from character and is therefore harder to generate on the spot. You either are or you aren’t. What you experience is what you share. What you value is what you give. What you say is what you believe.
I will end off with an excellent quote from John Quincy Adams..
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Have a JobCrystal Day!
Why Relationships and Your Network Are Important to Your Career
Let’s get clear about your network and its importance.
What is a network?
A network is nothing more than your relationships with a variety of people. They range from the well-known best friend to the casual acquaintance at the gym. They are all part of your network. Your network is also a living organism, as there will be people that come in it and out of it on a continual basis. The easiest way to define your network or networking is to say “relationships” or “building relationships.”
What are the ways in which a network can support your career?
Your current career.
You are not alone. You can only accomplish things in your career with and through others. That means that the relationships you develop will be one of the things that will define how well you do both short and long term.
New Job. When you are first in your job, your peers will help train you and help you understand the way things work in your company. Your relationship with your co-workers can play a significant role in how well you enjoy your job.
Dependencies. Your ability to perform your job well will depend on how well you work with others. In the work place, you’re all connected. Sometime these relationships extend beyond the next aisle. They could be vendors and customers. These dependencies can help deepen your relationship as you grow to support each other’s ability to succeed.
Support. We aren’t always able to see ourselves, nor all of the political dynamics going on at work. Your relationships can give you much needed input that will help you navigate successfully.
Mentor. Some relationships you develop will be with people who are higher levels than you and have advanced skills. These people are great to learn from and can often times support your promotions.
Influence. As you all grow you will find some people moving at a faster pace. They not only can influence your actions, but they can influence others in support of you.
Outside information. A key element of all relationships is the ongoing sharing of information. If you keep track of people as you and they move around, you will find that they can become an important source of outside information for all kinds of things like competition, trends and opportunities.
New jobs. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking or not. A person in your network can be the link between you and a new job. If you notice, you don’t see jobs for executives posted, which has to make you wonder how they get their job. This is how it happens – with and through their network. You can network like an executive and have the same benefits regardless of your current level.
Promotions. As you move up so do those around you. Eventually one of those people will either directly or indirectly impact your promotions. If you have developed a good working relationship along the way, the decision will be much easier to support.
Business opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you work for a non-profit or a for-profit business. The better connected you are with people in other groups and other businesses, the more business opportunities will arise. It can range from benchmarking or sharing best practices to partnering on a new project.
There is no downside to having and continuously growing your network. Sometimes we think it is “fluff” or “nice to have”, but it isn’t. It is actually vital to your ongoing success.
4 tips to respond to questions/objections regarding retrenchment
Recruiters and hiring managers can be concerned about executives who are unemployed and looking for another job. Some may assume if you are not working there must be a problem.
Thankfully, not everyone has that attitude, however, you need to be prepared for the negative thinkers and turn them around to believe you are the best candidate for their company.
1. Be careful how you describe your retrenchment.
First and foremost be truthful. If your layoff was part of a company-wide downsizing, mention it to deflect any thoughts about performance issues as the reason for your layoff. Also, if you survived one or more rounds of layoffs, mention that too as a way of showing that your employer valued you and kept you as long as they could. Give a reason for the layoff if you can (eliminated product line, consolidated several departments, etc.).
2. Confirm that you maintain a good relationship with former employer.
Always be positive about former employers, no matter what the circumstances of your departure. Ask for references and endorsements from former bosses and colleagues (you can request it online on LinkedIn). Also, if there is an opportunity to do consulting projects with a former employer, this shows they still value your talents and skills.
3. Highlight strong skillsets & development of new skills.
Recruiters will want to know what you’ve been doing while unemployed. One thing they are checking on is if you have kept your skills up-to-date and developed new talents that will be beneficial to their client/company. If you have consulting projects, volunteer programs, or new degrees or training under your belt, this will show people you are continuing your career development.
4. Look forward not back.
Dwelling on the past doesn’t generally propel a person forward. Learning from past experiences should add to your knowledge base and help you put the lessons in perspective as you move on in your career.
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for potential candidates extensively online at sites like LinkedIn. Make sure the online profiles in your social media sites are up-to-date, free of digital dirt, and keyword searchable.
Be as positive as you can so recruiters don’t detect a hint of desperation or negativism. Prepare responses to describe your off-work time to your advantage. And, most of all, maintain your professional image during job search.
Hope you all have a JobCrystal day!