The goal in achieving a dream career is to go from follower to leader. So how do you achieve this goal? As a new worker at any company you will start at the bottom, perhaps as an intern. But there are strategies and ways to climb to the top as fast as possible. They include; don't be afraid to fail (step outside your comfort zone), speak up, take responsibility and make big decisions and listen.
These guiding principles will help you to launch your career as a leader if you follow them exactly.
- The first and most difficult step is stepping outside your comfort zone and not being a afraid of failure. When a boss asks a room full of employees who will try to lead a new project, silence that voice in your head saying you are too scared and volunteer. No one else will. This is the first step to being a leader.
- Speaking up even when everyone seems to disagree with you is an important way to follow your own values and teach others that you are a role model. If the whole room is nodding agreement after one employee suggests using paper straws in the cafeteria from now on, this does not mean you should as well. You know what you believe! If you believe that paper straws are going to fall apart and get soggy as soon as you start drinking juice, then speak up! This is a step to becoming a leader.
- Now it is time for you to take responsibility for what you have done in the field. If your project failed, the mature, leader thing to do is take responsibility and apologize. The followers will respect you for it and expect no less. If the project went well, thank the followers for helping to make your idea come to life.
- Now make some decisions. The biggest mistake is when an employee is too scared to make a decision. Even if the decision you make turns out to be wrong, at least you took action and did not sit around blank-faced and worrying like everyone else. Once you make a few decisions for the group, people will begin to look up to you and treat you like the leader that you are.
- Lastly, remember, your followers are also the people to look to for advice and input. If you are not sure what to do, do not show it but ask for lots of brainstorming suggestions and listen to as many people as possible. Listening is the secret skill of a great leader.
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