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Entries in leader (2)

Tuesday
Mar102015

BE A LEADER IN ANY ROLE

You don’t need a big corner office or a fancy title to be a leader. You just need the qualities that all leaders possess. Whether you’re a young intern or a top manager, you can hone your leadership skills now and make an impact on your company and your career.

Good leadership is not only vital to a company’s success, but to every individual employee as well. Explaining and understanding what leadership is can be easier said than done, but the good news is that everyone–from the youngest intern to the veteran manager–can learn the essential skills.

How to Develop Your Inner Leader
You don’t have to wait until you’re in the modern workforce to become an effective leader. In fact, the best time to start learning those modern management techniques is before you even go to your first job interview.

Don Betz is president of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), and its Leadership Central initiative is designed to provide, deliver, and support leadership enterprises on UCO’s campus. The leadership initiative enhances education through communication training, ethics, collaboration, and more. According to Don, there are some major factors that play into a new hire’s ability to sink or swim when it comes to leadership.

“The most important reason that new hires fail is that they do not listen, they don’t communicate, they aren’t ‘coachable,’ they can’t critically analyze, and they don’t ask the important questions,” said Betz. “Those are basic leadership qualities, and that’s what employers look for.”

Start Early
To learn how to lead even if you don’t hold an executive position at work, volunteer for a nonprofit organization or join a club. These groups, like churches and school organizations, are full of opportunities to lead on committees, projects, or events. They are great starting places for future leaders.

“There are hundreds of organizations on school campuses that can help hone those skills,” said Betz. “In an organization, especially if that organization has a large event, you have to learn to communicate, collaborate, and take on leadership roles. You will be absolutely astounded at what you can learn to do.”

Look for Opportunities
Train your brain to identify every opportunity to demonstrate your potential as a leader in both your professional and personal life.

“Lead by example. Be the first person in and last person out, and hustle harder than everyone else,” said Kyle Golding, CEO and chief strategic idealist for The Golding Group, a strategic planning and business development firm.

Remember not to get ahead of yourself. Don’t give up on big ambitions, but also focus on excelling in your current position, giving as much effort to the present as to the future.

Study Other Leaders
Find people in your office that you admire and study them. Ask them how they developed their leadership style, how they reached their current position, and any tips they can share.

If you are too shy to approach your co-workers or leaders, study the way they interact with others. Or, pick up one of the many books about leadership and give it a read.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re employed or not, you can find examples of great leaders,” Golding said. “Study the way they act, the way they think, and start implementing their ideas. It doesn’t matter if they are in your field or not. All leaders have a style that makes others want to follow them.”

Know Your Stuff
As an intern or a new hire, you can make an immediate impact as a leader by supporting your bosses and the company in reaching goals. The simplest way an intern or a new hire can flex the leadership muscle is by knowing as much about the company as possible.

“Never go in unprepared,” Betz said. “Know your skills, but also study the company and their ideals, values, and goals. Be approachable, be warm, ask the good questions, and demonstrate a good work ethic.”

Keep Learning
Leaders also take the initiative to grow and learn. A good leader has a curious and open mind, and so should you. Leaders think outside of the box, are open to new and exciting ideas, and listen to what others suggest.

You can share those qualities no matter what position you are in. If you want to move up, volunteer to learn something out of your current job description.

“Ask questions, but ask solid questions,” Golding said. “This shows you have an understanding of your role – no matter how small – in the big picture of the company.”

Offer to Help
Needless to say, offering your help is the quickest way to be noticed and appreciated. If your company is facing a challenge, ask how you can help. No matter your role in the company, you can make a real difference.

“Companies look for that special enthusiasm and spark that goes well beyond the resume,” Betz said.

Practicing important qualities of a leader like taking initiative, offering to help, or learning from your superiors will add value to your career and your company. So, take the time to learn these skills and you’ll shine when opportunities for advancement arise.

How do you display leadership skills in your life? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Thursday
Jun262014

Are you ready to be an Entrepreneur?

In a recent poll, we asked our readers if they have ever considered starting their own business. According to the results, more than half of respondents said they would like to start their own business, but didn’t where to start. Check out this recent article from Entrepreneur.com for some insight into questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’re ready to take the business ownership leap.

Entrepreneur.com recently published five questions to ask yourself to determine if you're ready to be an entrepreneur. 

1. How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable?
Entrepreneurship will mean a lot of uncertainty. If you’re the kind of person who needs a lot of control and a strictly scheduled life, you may not be able to handle the ambiguity that surrounds entrepreneurism. That being said, don’t think just because uncertainty makes you nervous you can’t be an entrepreneur. If you find you have a need for a controlled schedule, that trait could actually work in your favor.
Entrepreneurship requires long hours, hard work and dedication when you start out. Being able to manage your schedule and control your environment could help you with the organization of your business. However, you might want to plan before you leap in. A few great ways to do this are to stockpile savings, already have a business plan you’re prepared to work and seek out a community of support to talk you through the tough times.

2. Are you disciplined? 
You are totally responsible for yourself. Right now, wherever you’re at, whatever you’re doing -- it’s your choices that got you here. How do those statements feel to you? If you feel yourself bristling and ready to argue, then you might not be in the right mindset for entrepreneurship yet. When you start, you must take full accountability for everything -- there’s no back-up plan on why you got passed over for a promotion or why you didn’t get your report done on time. Clients won’t want excuses and they’ll drop you.
Even when it’s their fault you have to be prepared to deal with the possibility that you’ll have to handle it. You need discipline to survive and stay ahead of your work, ahead of your bills and to grow your business. If you struggle with accountability and discipline, don’t rule out entrepreneurship forever. Take stock of ways your current situation could be improved by better decisions and try holding yourself accountable.

3. How’s your health? 
Taking care of your body is important for everyone, but can have particularly far-reaching implications for the entrepreneur. There are no sick days in entrepreneurship when you’re getting started. There’s a chance there won’t be for years. That’s going to mean you have to be productive, even when you don’t feel good, or risk missing business opportunities. You have to keep yourself in good health with diet and exercise that keeps your body strong and your mind keen.
If you aren’t a healthy person, you may want to figure out a plan for improving your lifestyle before you transition into entrepreneurship. Also important, think of how you’ll cover health insurance and medical needs when you start your journey. Get a plan for your health and work it.

4. Do you love what you do and are you good at it? 
There are going to be long hours in entrepreneurship. If you enjoy what you’re doing and are passionate about your project, that intense amount of work is enjoyable. Don’t fool yourself into thinking money alone will be enough to motivate you.
Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re intending to pursue as an entrepreneur and that you have the skill set to get to work. If you don’t, consider how you can improve your skills before making the leap and how you might get involved in something you’re passionate about doing.

5. Do you play well with others? 
You might think entrepreneurship is a solo activity, but the truth is that having great relationships is crucial to long-term success. It's not only for the value that comes from referrals and the camaraderie of close relationships, but also for the support you will need. If you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, you’re going to have periods where you need to rely on the strength, wisdom and friendship of others.
Look for opportunities to build your network: mentors, mastermind groups and other programs will help you find the right people. Just be sure that you invest in them, too. Relationships are based on give and take. Build strong relationships and open yourself up to the great support and learning that comes from others.

If you are ready to start your own business, but still need a little guidance, consider looking into franchise options. Express Employment Professionals is a fully franchised staffing company. You can learn more about our franchise opportunity at ExpressFranchising.com.