As small business owners and wedding pros, a huge part of our job is setting an example for others in the industry and/or our own employees. Society often positions being a leader as a star quality that you’re either born with or not—but we happen to think being a leader is less about possessing some abstract genetic quality and more about the way you choose to conduct yourself and the actions you take on a daily basis. Today, then, we’re breaking down our top tips for becoming a leader right now. Get out that “world’s best boss” mug, and get ready to grow a beehive as buzzing as Queen Beyoncé’s herself—we’ve rounded up some seriously helpful tips for you today.
By far and away, doing what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it is the number-one key to positioning yourself as a leader. A low-level intern who regularly follows through on her word will gain more respect than a CEO who doesn’t any day of the week. Flaking out on promises or missing major deadlines is the quickest way to ensure those around you don’t take you seriously. Even if it’s the smallest action item (dropping off a piece of mail at FedEx), do it well and do it on deadline.
Get Your Hands Dirty
The best bosses are those who are not above anything. Showing your team that, no matter the task, you’re ready and willing to jump in is absolutely key when it comes to your ability to lead. Oftentimes, executives or those higher-up in a company make the common mistake of avoiding the dirty work or tedious tasks because such tasks are below their paygrade. While this may be true, it doesn’t do you any favors to be “above” something that you expect others to do. The best leaders are those who are willing to tackle even the most unappealing of tasks. Grinding it out with the masses will earn you more respect and admiration than sitting back in your ivory tower any day of the week.
Stand Firm, But Be Open-Minded
Leaders should have strong opinions and should always stand up for what they believe in….but steamrolling or stonewalling someone and refusing to budge is not a characteristic of a true leader. It’s important to find that middle ground behind having strong, well-informed opinions and still being open-minded and willing to hear out those around you. “Because I said so” only works with children—treat those around you with respect by showing them that you value and are open to their opinion, even when it conflicts with your own. Being able to hear out opinions that are different from your own shows a sense of confidence—whereas a firm “I’m right and you’re wrong” stance reeks of weakness and doubt.
Be Supportive…Even When You’re Jealous
We all have it—that green-eyed monster that comes knocking at our door on a daily basis. But, for those who want to position themselves as a leader, jealousy is never a good look. Being supportive when opportunities arise for your team outside of your own organization or business is key (even if, inside, we’re a little bit jealous or envious). Remember, what’s good for the geese is good for the gander—always be supportive, kind, and gracious when awesome opportunities arise for others, even if those opportunities don’t immediately or directly benefit your own business. (This one can be hard—we’re only human, after all—so we’ve broken down our entire guide to being supportive when you’re really feeling jealous here.)
Overall, being a leader is so much less sexy than we often make it out to be. It isn’t about being born with some abstract quality that draws others in like a magnetic—being a leader comes from simple (and often unsexy) actions we take, as well as the way we interact with and treat those around us on a daily basis.
Cheers, Aisle Planners, to a 2018 full of unstoppable leadership!