How to lead without the authority of being a formal leader

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Professional attributes

Leaders are people that others are inspired to follow. They often exhibit moral or ethical courage, and set an example for others, through their own actions. Leaders can set a clear vision, leading employees to achieve the organisationals goals and engaging employees.

Leadership skills can be taught and are essential to being a leader in an organisation, the ability to delegate and to communicate effectively is paramount. Informally you can lead by motivating and inspiring your colleagues and teams.

The desire to lead is often due to wanting to motivate others and help them succeed. However, leadership roles are given to those good at their roles and not necessarily to those suited to the job. A good leader will lead by example, listen, be fair, be authentic, and take responsibility for their teams.

What does a higher score mean?

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You have a desire to lead others, to guide them, mentor them, and see them add values in their roles. You would like to see your colleagues and teams succeed.

What does a lower score mean?

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You prefer not to lead others, you do not like to take disciplinary responsibility for others and check in and mentor them on a regular basis.

To nurture your leadership:

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Share your vision for a project or for your team with your colleagues and bring them on board with your ideas. Lead by example and never ask them, or encourage them, to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Listen to their concerns, how they like to be motivated, their ideas and take them into account. Guide and mentor others at any opportunity you are given. Exhibit your motivation to lead and add value to others.

Use this checklist for self-evaluation

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  • Do you inspire others?
  • Are you your authentic self at work?
  • Do people trust you?
  • Are you a good communicator?
  • Are you able to make decisions and take ownership of them?
  • Do you hold yourself accountable for your and your team’s success?
  • Are you currently mentoring anyone at work?

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