What does it take to be considered an emerging leader? What are these people doing that sets them apart, not just in the eyes of their current leaders, but also their peers?
How do emerging leaders become viewed as such by their colleagues and superiors?
It isn’t about being a yes-person or company person or a thankless workhorse. It is about influence. It’s about doing things that make people feel good about the work when you are on the team.
They should choose to follow you, your advice and suggestions when offered. Better yet, become the kind of person from whom people seek suggestions and advice.
Influential employees identify problems, take them to people in power, offer practical, thoughtful solutions, note their own role in whatever mess needs mending, and offer to take part in the repair work they suggest.
Being proactive, with a plan and outlining your own roll in it with honesty. This demonstrates that you see your own success as tied directly to the success of the entire organization, that one isn’t just “making moves” for their own benefit.
Zoom-style meetings and remote work are unlikely to go away the near-future and by many accounts are not going anywhere period. Whether in business or in school or another reason, if you’ve participated in a handful of Zoom-style meetings you know that while we see and hear each other there is still a sense of depersonalization when it comes to communicating this way.
In academia where previously the use of emojis, slang and a conversational tone in written communication were frowned upon many are now calling for the use of the colloquial emotional indicators to help heighten the sense that there is a real person “on the other end of the line.”
We will now have to learn about camera angels and how to interact with our audience in a different way. Public speaking and speaking to a camera are two different things. Those who are used to speaking to crowds have trained themselves to continual cast their gaze over the entire audience, making eye contact with as many people as possible. Now we must train ourselves to look at the camera in a casual and pleasing way as this is how we make eye contact during a streaming meeting.
Adding a personal touch when interacting with people inside or outside of our organizations can send a signal loud enough to be heard over all the digital disruption about who we are, what we do, why we do it and what we care about. The naysayers of digital technology worry that we will lose our humanity—this is a way to keep that as a part of your business model.
It is more important than ever that leaders don’t succumb to compassion fatigue with their organization this holiday season. Very little will be normal for your team members so being extra flexible will be the key to happy and productive holiday season in your organization.
Watch your team members. If an individual losing focus or a normally reliable person is dropping the ball this should be cause for concern. Watch out for absenteeism and people missing scheduled meetings and deadlines. If your team is becoming abrupt with each other or you find yourself mediating more conflicts your team could be getting burnt out. Be careful that project groups don’t become silos and that there is trust and understanding between different groups.
Assure your team that you are there to share their joy and ease their burdens despite the unusual circumstances. Your employees should know that it is important for them to assume everyone has the team’s best intentions in mind. They are all there to take care of each other. Remind them of how they have succeeded and overcome adversity in the past. Be really specific and tell actual success stories.
It is important to remind them that while you will always appreciate strength and willpower you aren’t expecting a single person to be a superhero. If someone needs to step back and care for themselves, they should.
Ask them to look beyond the present and make clear your vision for the future.
Also, take care of yourself! You are not a super hero either.
No benefit, salary or gain will ever offset poor leadership in an organization or a bad work culture. Building good engagement with employees comes from having a clear strategy. This strategy should be setup so that it helps them succeed and generates ongoing successes. This is what will cultivate a culture of engagement between leadership and team members.
One way to engage team members in such a manner is to acknowledge their humanity. That they have lives outside of work. That they have families and obligations that may not directly or at all benefit the organization.
It is important to understand that these things matter to everyone from a gas station attendant to a high-level project manager making six figures. To ignore this is to ignore something very basic about humanity. Also, use caution when using family et. al. as a motivational tool—the line between motivation and manipulation feels different for everyone. What is in your comfort zone may not be in someone else’s.
Benefits and perks regarding giving team members room to live their lives and have time for family aren’t strictly speaking free; however, the benefit typically outweighs the cost in terms of team member wellness.
Being with a Focused Plan
In the beginning stages of building a business it is essential to have a focused approach to avoid wasting time and resources. Know what your plan is upfront and act on. You’ll experience less frustration if you are ready with a plan of action.
Wherever your money is coming from make sure you’ve got it for sure. While there is some truth to the adage you have to spend money to make money, if you don’t have it you can’t spend it.
Keeping up a simple, professional online profile is a start; however you need to be in personal communication with local officials like your city chamber of commerce and others. Social capital is important. While the corona virus has canceled most “shoulder rubbing” events there are still ways to get connected with local officials and other business owners through online events.
Figure Out What Makes Your Business Unique
Knowing what makes you special is important. This should be integrated into many aspects of your business without over doing it. Asking your costumers and employees can help with this.
Be Ready and Willing Accept and Adapt When Change Happens
The corona virus pandemic is a perfect example. Whatever your business is, some kind of large change outside of your control will happen at some point in the lifetime of your business. Be ready for it, accept it and move on to planning to adapt to these new challenges.