When did I turn into a leader – six tips to getting your colleagues to want to work with you

I have never thought of myself as a leader. I am just me. I do my job. I am pretty enthusiastic because I love my job and the people. But, I think it is starting to sink in that I might actually be considered a leader.

I am not sure if I was always one, or if it is that my confidence has grown through the years. But, something feels different.

It is not just that colleagues come to me for help, or even that one of my colleagues teased me that he didn’t want to get in trouble with me. GASP! Trouble? No, he said, we just respect your authority.

Ever since he said that, I have been thinking about what might be putting me in this light, and what might help you be seen as a leader.

  1. Be fun to work with. People should enjoy working with you; see your passion and enthusiasm. You want them to hear they got assigned to a project with you and think – that is fantastic!
  2. Be cooperative. Work with your colleagues. And, when I say with, that means be sure to ask them what they think. Accept and compliment their ideas. Give them credit and be sure they know you gave them credit.
  3. Be confident, but don’t be afraid to show gaps in your knowledge. Isn’t it great when you are working with someone you respect, and you ask them a question and they admit they don’t know the answer? Never be afraid to say I don’t know. But, do work to get that answer.
  4. Be flexible. No one likes a stubborn ass. You can have strong convictions, as people will respect that. Fight some battles and give on the others. Make sure that if you are fighting a battle, you have good reasons. I can assure you, no one likes the person that is shoving their agenda down their throats.
  5. Be authentic. Honesty goes a long way. If people know that you tell it like it is, they will always know where they stand with you.
  6. Be approachable and available. Make sure that people can reach you and get answers from you. If they are afraid to contact you or you never respond to them, they are going to give up and move onto someone else. Be there for others. Make the time. It is worth it.

So, there you have it – my six thoughts about how to be a good leader. I am sure I duplicated a billion articles on this topic. But, hey – I decided I had something to say and here I am saying it.

What characteristics do you look for in a leader?

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