Strategies to be an Influential Leader at Work
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We're often told that in order to become an influential person at work, we must rise through the ranks or obtain a slew of fancy credentials. However, this is a common misconception.
Despite the fact that leadership is a skill, not a title, most people do not identify as a "leader" unless it is explicitly stated in their job description. Hundreds of early-career professionals and individual contributors have projected more influence than their own managers over the years. The best leaders do not wait for a promotion to take the next step. They begin practicing much earlier.
You may not yet be a manager, but there are three steps you can take right now to improve your leadership skills and become a well-respected and influential team member. Here are three strategies for increasing your workplace influence.
1. Make time for daily growth.
We begin the process of becoming more valuable in terms of what we can offer and the level of impact we can generate when we improve our skillset and become a slightly better version of ourselves than we were the day before.
2. Recognize and appreciate your personal strengths.
While we all have areas where we can improve, when it comes to gaining influence, your advantage will be in identifying and maximizing your strengths. Your uniqueness, personal background, and interests are what set you apart. Nobody can deprive you of those things. Once you've identified your strengths, consider what tasks or projects you can undertake to highlight them.
3. Enhance your ability to connect with others.
Making genuine connections is more advantageous in leadership, and anyone — introverts, ambiverts, or extroverts — can learn how to do so. It all boils down to how we communicate as opposed to what we communicate. This skill can be practiced by being intentional in your interactions with others — be vulnerable, authentic, and empathetic.
Being a powerful leader has nothing to do with your title or position in the organization. The more you can add value and influence others, the better your career trajectory and impact will be. Committing to personal development, embracing your unique skills, and connecting on a deeper level with others will help you get where you want to go.
Source: HBR Ascend