Lead Star, September 23, 2015
Rank and title don’t make someone a leader; behavior and attitude do.
Leading from the front is about striving to be your best every day, holding yourself to the same standards to which you hold others, and being a role model to those around you, even those whom you don’t know. Leaders aren’t necessarily showy, but they do stand out.
Even if you haven’t yet earned the official title of leader – manager, director, or partner, for example – you have the opportunity right now to start positioning yourself for that role. Don’t wait for someone else to decide you’re ready for the challenge – show those around you that you’re already capable of it. You can do that in little ways. Taking the initiative to ask for new assignments, offering your assistance when you see that it might be needed, anticipating the needs of your boss (leaders don’t wait to be told what to do because they’re already doing it), and volunteering to train and mentor new employees are all ways you can demonstrate that you’ve earned the title. Until you’ve shown you’re able to lead, you may not be given the title.
The old adage “Dress the part” or “Dress for the position you want to hold,” is good advice. But don’t just dress the part; live the part. Striving to be a role model, a leader, will catch the eye of those around you. Set a positive example for your team members by being on time for meetings, for instance. Meet your deadlines as promised, rather than asking for an extension, and stay above the fray of office gossip.
Leading isn’t necessarily hard work, but it does require effort to be a role model.
The above is an excerpt from the best-selling business book, Leading from the Front, by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch. Check out two free book clubs based on it, which are designed to promote leadership, networking, and the sharing of best practices.