When we think of leadership, we often think of upper management – the “big dogs.” However, have you ever stopped to think about the people you admire? Have you thought about the people who made a difference in your own life? You may immediately consider your parents, a teacher, a coach, or even a co-worker. It’s the regular, everyday people who make a positive and lasting influence on your life who are considered everyday leaders.
Examples of everyday leaders are all around us. They may include the customer service representative who answers the phone with a pleasant tone and the desire to help the person on the other end, even if it means extending their average call time. They include the employee who takes the initiative to help another co-worker who is struggling or has fallen behind at work. An everyday leader may recognize a friend or coworker that is having a bad day and take a moment to make them laugh. Everyday leaders recognize a need and fulfill it. While great leadership skills are very important to upper management, recognizing everyday leaders and building on their skills is also important to the culture of every successful team.
Many supervisors and managers admit that strong leadership skills are important traits in their employees. Ask yourself if you have the ability to be an everyday leader.
- Do you have the desire to inspire others?
- Do you enjoy celebrating the success of others?
- Are you brave enough to voice a minority or not-so-popular opinion?
- Do you take the initiative to complete extra tasks without being asked?
- Do you try to surround yourself with confident and positive people?
- Do you focus on the best interest of the group or the company?
- Are you willing to bear the extra burden and take a risk?
- Do you listen more than you speak?
- Are you real and authentic?
- Do you try to see the positive in every situation?
If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you are likely an everyday leader. Whether it involves volunteering your time at school, participating in community service, coaching a youth team, or taking the lead in a new project at work, there are many opportunities to showcase your leadership skills. Embrace your skills and see what a wonderful difference you can make in the lives of everyone around you. What are some common traits you recognize in everyday leaders?
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