There is a difference between managing and leading, and it’s a distinction we hope to master in our careers. We recognize that there are many ways we can improve our performances and do our best work, but how do women who work with passion and integrity rise to the top?
If we are lucky, we will have an opportunity to work with this woman who leads; she inspires us, empowers us, and makes our work lives more fulfilling. She may be your supervisor, or perhaps a colleague, and maybe she is what you want to become. She has charisma, intelligence, and an easy way about her; and she makes personal and professional fulfillment possible.She is the woman everyone wants to work with and for.
What is different about this woman that makes her flourish in the modern workplace, and how can you become her? Here are four guidelines to help you become the high-performing, powerful leader you wish to be.
Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Curiosity is the perfect replacement for criticism. This woman approaches every conversation, every situation, and every conflict with an openness and desire to understand. She asks questions where others may only comment, and is eager to learn more about the situation at hand.
She wants to hear what you have to say and reserves judgment or response until she has had time to reflect. Only after gathering all of the information and facts of a situation will she determine how she wants to proceed. Her curiosity extends not only to those she manages up and down, but also to the colleagues on her team and her professional network. She learns from others even more than they can learn from her because of that ever-present curiosity. Her openness becomes an invitation for others to talk freely, and as a result, she is able to build powerful professional relationships.
Acknowledge and Empower Others.
Alfred North Whitehead, a famous philosopher, once said, “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”
This woman knows how true these words really are. She has such strong self confidence that it isn’t necessary for her to be the center of attention. She recognizes that her own success is tied to her ability to inspire, support, and empower others to achieve their best performances.
Her vision is set on leading and, in order to do that, she must constantly set new and higher standards for herself and her colleagues. She takes every opportunity to highlight her staff and colleagues’ best attributes, and makes sure to acknowledge their performances as much as possible. She realizes that when employees are engaged and excited about their work, and feel good and comfortable in their workplace, they will put forth their best performances.
Be Consistently Reliable and Honest.
This woman is reliable in both her professional and personal performance. She can be counted on to be pleasant and engaging, never exhibiting moody behavior or short-tempered interactions. She values honesty in her relationships and is able to give feedback, guidance, and criticism in a way that elevates, not marginalizes. She communicates clearly and directly, and has the perfect balance of humor and formality; people are comfortable in her presence. She does what she says and if she can’t, she will let you know. She recognizes that communicating regularly and with clarity is at the core of successful teamwork and performance.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Appearance.
This woman knows that her colleagues and clients will, at least somewhat, base their perceptions on her professional appearance, but that it is only an extension of how she feels about herself.
She prioritizes taking care of herself physically and emotionally because when she is healthy, inside and out, her performance excels. She also recognizes that to reach her fullest potential and advance to where she wants to be, she will need to create an appearance of likeability, honesty, and competence. She commands the room by using her ability to set the tone with a professional sense of style that reflects the leader she is.
There is nothing and everything special about her. She is committed to leading by example, and takes this leadership seriously. She consistently shows up as a high performer and becomes a role model for those around her.
What can you do, starting today, to take your leadership and performance to the next level?
Laura Campbell is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.