As an Executive Assistant, I learned early on from the executives I’ve worked with, that they set themselves apart from other executives, in that they demonstrated leadership through service to others. Often referred to as “Servant Leadership”, they create company and team cultures reflecting sincere respect and service to others. Don’t assume that leadership qualities must have a natural charisma or a college degree. Far from anything like that, administrative professionals who really want to shine, look on their role as serving peers and community with an ability to support their efforts and objectives successfully and doing so without wanting the spotlight or necessarily recognition. Like anything, changing your perspective and attitude in becoming this type of leader requires work. By refining your skills, you’ll garner your team’s respect and cement your authority in the company. To assist, we’ve compiled a list of five steps to enhance yours.
1) Actively Listen: Active listening is more than passively hearing. It’s taking the time to validate your co-workers’ thoughts and opinions. This tool serves as a crucial skill in a collaborative work environment. By utilizing it, you’ll build bonds with your peers and gain valuable insight.
2) Respond Decisively: Servant Leaders maintain their composure, never showing any signs of doubt. When you speak, do so with conviction, confidence, and compassion. Your delivery will provide your team the sense that everything is under control.
3) Remain Fearless: Servant Leaders fear just as much, if not more, than the average employee. What sets the two apart is who is noticeably listening and not talking. Whether you’re working your way up or already at the top, remain fearless. It’s impossible to throw someone off who’s prepared for everything.
4) Learn from Your Manager: Along the way, you’ll encounter different types of managers—take advantage, you can learn a great deal from each one. For those who you admire, mimic their skills and styles. For those you deem ineffective, learn what not to do.
Sometimes, it’s easy to know right off the bat a type of leadership style. Ask yourself if your manager inspires or deflates? How does their interaction with employees motivate? Do they provide guidance, or practice a more hands-off approach? Do employees feel comfortable bringing concerns to their attention? How did they make it to the top? What is their creative inspiration?
5) Lead by Example: With time, you’ll have a greater responsibility serving a team of managers or key company executive. They’ll likely look to you for guidance, and that’s a part of what being a Servant Leader is. A big part of your responsibility is to lead by example. Keeping in mind strategy four, you’ve probably realized leaders who say one thing but do another, erode trust—a paramount element of effective leadership. So, acknowledge failure, create solutions, and realize you’re not perfect. When you preach what you practice, others will be inspired to follow, and your higher-ups will take notice.
Every Servant Leader has their own style and strategy. It’s okay to mimic your favorite leader keeping in mind respect and trust for others, will eventually turn your Servant Leadership into your own style and success.
Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: email@example.com. http://adminuniverse.com