Graduation ceremonies are back, with pomp and celebration. This can also bring uncertainty about the next steps after college and entering into your career. The good news is we all have the potential to be a leader, no matter our title or experience. Leadership is a mindset, and skills can be learned. Here are tips about where to start.
Think back to a time you participated in sports or clubs while you were growing up. Picture yourself on your first day of practice and how it felt to dive into the new activity. The good news is when you are new, no one expects you to have it all figured out. When you are new in your career, “fake it ‘til you make it” may not be the best advice. Instead speak up when you’re not sure of something. The beginning of your career is when you can absorb the most knowledge if you embrace a coachable mindset.
If we learned anything over the past year, it’s that we bring our whole selves to work with our full box of experiences. You or your colleagues may be going through something painful and difficult at home, whether or not they let on to others they work with. Successful people understand that being kind is a leadership trait. It is one of the least time consuming and simplest ways to make a positive impact.
It may be tempting to show false bravado when you’re just starting out, which may compensate for a lack of confidence or knowledge. But true humility shows that none of us are experts in every domain, and we are not the smartest or most talented people in the room. We all have both strengths and weaknesses. Humility also means putting others in the limelight rather than yourself, which is far more appealing than arrogance.
Engage with your team
It bears repeating that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own –– even problems that may at first seem obvious to you. It’s smart to take a step back, learn more about what’s going on, and brainstorm and explore new options. Plus, when problem solving involves others, it helps you forge a bond for the future. The next problem to tackle may need everyone’s heads together to solve.
Finally, be patient with yourself. Becoming a leader takes time, but with intention you will find yourself in the position where you can lead others –– including those where you find yourself now as a new grad.
At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and achieve crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.
For more information, contact Steph Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org