When shifting into a new job people often wait to establish their position before displaying their leadership skills. Instead, I say grab the bull by the horns and jump into the deep end of the leadership pool because an Exponential Leader is created through people’s perceptions. You may intrinsically have leadership qualities but they don’t mean much if people don’t perceive you as an exponential leader. Also, let’s face it – actions speak louder than any trait an exponential leader may have. So today, I’ve put together a few ways to kickstart being perceived as an exponential leader. They’re especially relevant if you’re starting a new job or are at the beginning of your professional career.
1. Voice Your Ideas Immediately – Don’t Stay Quiet
One of the most common mistakes newbies make is staying quiet rather than speaking their mind. People often do this because they’re afraid of being perceived as a know-it-all. It’s especially common when the workforce of an organization is primarily Generation X and earlier.
Instead of staying quiet, speaking up when you have something to contribute may show your boss and peers that you’re a smart cookie – someone who has ideas that can improve the way things are done. Any exponential leader knows that they have to be the problem solver, to discover solutions outside the box. And that can only be achieved by talking about your ideas.
2. Be Confident That Success Will Pave The Way – Don’t Worry About Intimidating Others
I’ve mentioned before that the Asian culture can be tricky, primarily because there are so many different nuances at play. One of the characteristics of many Asian workplaces is that people are quickly intimidated by the success of others and because of this, new hires often keep a low profile until they’re better known.
However by being confident in your success you not only break down barriers created by others, you just may end up being the fresh perspective that the organization needs. And even though it may cause difficulties for you in the beginning, the rewards will be worth the effort.
3. Network Outside Your Comfort Zone – Don’t Spend All Your Time with the Inner Circle
Most people naturally levitate towards spending time with people in their inner circle, ultimately staying away from those who are outside their comfort zone. It’s only natural. However, it’s the latter group that needs to have their perceptions changed about you. Obviously to be seen as a strong exponential leader you need to spend time with them to show your leadership capabilities.
Networking with people, especially those who need to be convinced that you’re a good leader is not an easy task. Also, there are many out there who would argue that a good leader shouldn’t have to convince anyone. However, I think as great leader you absolutely need to be able to attract people to your side.
Three actionable steps. That’s all it takes to be perceived as an exponential leader. It’s far easier said than done but that’s what a successful leader is all about!
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Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.
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