10 Ways to Lead Without a Title

It’s so much easier to complain about our leaders, supervisors, and anyone else that is in charge of our world than it is to step up to the plate and lead.

We hear it everyday when we saunter into our places of employment.

Right now, someone is busy spending precious energy grumbling about the inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and incompetencies of our supervisors.

Yet, very few bring tangible solutions to the table.

It’s the easy thing to do when encountering problems—shift responsibility, pass blame, and shout accusations.

We will fuss about the politics of the place.

We will harshly condemn those supervisors that clearly are feeling their own insecurities and are hiding behind a desk under a mound of paper they shuffle to appear “busy”.

We will chip away at the perceived inadequacies of our boss because our team didn’t get this or that, or we’ve been treated this way or that way.

…all behind the boss’s back, of course.

Yet, we can do better.

We don’t have to wait to be promoted to create the change we desire, or the change desperately needed to accomplish the mission statement of our organization.

Reinvention takes courage, no matter where you are in life.

And that includes the place of work we trudge into every morning, or night.

You see, there will always be problems we encounter. It might be a situation, a person, a customer, co-worker, or evil-incarnate-boss. Doesn’t matter. Problems exist. Sorry, that’s the way it is.

To lead, however, means to take initiative in an action. It means to be an example for others to follow. It means to take a piece of information that may help in the resolution of a problem.

Notice what the definition does NOT mean; there is nothing about becoming a certain rank or title or whatever.

We can lead ourselves. And we can lead those around us without all those fancy titles.

Here’s how…

A) Bring a solution to the table. Teach your supervisor why your solution will work and how YOU can fix the problem.

B) Be open to feedback. Never expect the first idea to be the best solution. The original idea is the seed we plant. Others will add to it, or subtract from the original, but that’s the point. It’s like any garden that’s tilled, weeded, and fertilized; in the end it’s the fruit of a wonderful idea…and the fruit will always be larger than the seed.

Then?

C) Run with the idea. Take the lead to implement whatever it is you want to solve at work.

Yes…more than likely this solution you bring does not fit your job description, but who says you can’t make that change too?

D) BAM! Now, not only did you solve a problem, you also created a new job title.

And guess what?

E) You’ve just positioned yourself as a leader in your sphere of influence to the point that even your supervisor will come to you for pointers. You wind up guiding and leading them as well.

F) This makes you a valuable piece of the puzzle at your work. When it comes to downsizing, or a layoff, you’ll be too valuable to get rid of.

G) Teach others around you about how to implement The Fix, but don’t take all the credit! This is important. You want to be the expert in this, not a pompous a%*.

H) Give the boss credit for helping with the solution. Give credit for everyone who helped in the fix. See the pattern? Give! Many have a hard time with this. Many don’t make it this far. But this is an important step that cannot be overlooked.

I) Do a little extra here and document. Document the changes needed, what the solution was, and how to implement this. Again, don’t overlook this step. This step leads to lasting change in the culture of your work called Policy.

J) Repeat. Yes, find another problem to solve. By this time, you’ve proved to management that you can come up with ideas, then lead with a positive attitude to make lasting change.

None of this translates into more money (not immediately)but what it does do is add value to you.

You’ve made an investment in yourself and you’ve found a way to lead not only those around you, but you yourself.

This by far is worth more than an extra 3 or 5 % raise. This investment translates into experience and wisdom and your value skyrockets.

This means that you are now a marketable commodity in the work force. There’s nothing wrong with getting out there and seeing if there’s a better opportunity waiting for you.

And who knows, all of this could even translate into running your own business.

But whatever you do, please, don’t waste your precious time and energy complaining…

…just simply lead.


Photo by Anastasia Petrova on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr.

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