Climbing the corporate ladder in today’s capitalistic society is on the top of many of our agendas, but there are certain qualities you need to have both to get a promotion and become someone’s boss, and to maintain and excel at that position. You might not know whether you are made of the right stuff or not, but after reading through this you will have a better idea both of what you have and what you need to work on.
And it doesn’t matter if you work for a small local business or a multinational corporation, because the same values are effective in most (if not all) professional environments. These are the qualities of great leaders who leave lasting impressions on people which is what you want to aim for.
15) Be Communicative
Effective communication is one of the most important skills to have in the workplace, regardless of your position, and will help you get that promotion. Not only will you be able to have an improved relationship with your superior but also with colleagues, improving the work environment.
If you’re higher up the food chain, good communication skills are essential for good leadership, ensuring that employees know what is expected while also having a friendly rapport with them where they can relax and talk to you easily. This quality is also good for maintaining relationships with people who have higher positions than you, possibly leading to the possibility of further promotions.
14) Have Passion
According to findings from The Gallup Organization who offer insights into workplace behavior in the US, 55% of the working population is not engaged at work with a further 16% completely disengaging and just wallowing in boredom or dissatisfaction. This is one of the reasons why being a passionate worker sets you apart from the rest. Having a strong, passionate attitude tells your superior that you are ready to work, and has been shown to improve the productivity of those around you too. As someone’s supervisor, if you lead with passion you will find it becomes infectious and helps to engage workers in the task at hand.
13) Be A Builder Of Relationships
Again, this one works very well for both working with your own superiors and also with effectively leading any subordinate workers who you are responsible for. Working on building positive, reliable relationships with people above and below you is one of the defining characteristics of being a leader.
Good relationship building is known to create trusting, relaxed environments. If you have a good relationship with an employee then they are more likely to work more effectively and dedicate themselves to the work at hand instead of questioning your instructions. Your relationship with your boss would also improve, as a trusting relationship would mean that they can give you more responsibilities and rely on you, making for a good reputation that might come in hand.
Awareness comes in many shapes and forms, but there are two that are worth taking a note of, those being self awareness and cultural awareness.
Self awareness is the first you can practice, so take note of your physical appearance as well as your posture, tone of voice and overall presentation. People tend to trust those who radiate a strong, professional energy. Cultural awareness is just as important, especially when working in multicultural groups where you may need to understand different ways of approaching someone and communicating, as well as having an understanding for someone’s personal and cultural needs. Both of these tips allow you to be easily approachable to the majority of people you will work with.
11) Avoid Emotional Extremes
Nobody likes working for someone whose emotions get the better of them in stressful environments as that almost always makes other people become stressed out too. Emotional intelligence is something some people are just born with but you can also practice it as well to better express what you feel.
In order to avoid emotional extremes, you need to recognize when you are feeling tired, angry, or stressed out so that you can avoid venting those feelings on a hapless employee or colleague and find a way to calm down in order to work better. A boss who constantly practices this will never blow-up at someone over nothing, and if someone higher up the food chain notices this quality then they may give you opportunities that more volatile people would miss.
10) Ditch The Ego
“But I’m the boss! You’re just the employee!”
An ego combined with the slightest bit of authority can turn an enjoyable office experience into a demeaning, divided environment with a divide between the workers and the boss. It is important that when leading people you do your best to avoid putting them down or diminishing their personal value.
You will earn the love and respect of those under you simply for being humble and treating everyone as equals instead of abusing the hierarchy. Employees need to feel valued and that they matter, so instead of working them with an uncaring, iron fist, try to work with them as equals and show them a humble side of yourself.
9) Don’t Be Afraid To Do The Dirty Work
The best thing any employee can ask for is a boss who can not only do their job effectively but also the less glamorous work around the place and is seen regularly doing so. It can diminish morale for a boss to constantly delegate the worst jobs to his least-favorite or to the lowest ranked workers, and if he is seen by others doing those jobs so others don’t have to, then he will also earn respect for his workers, making them happy to work under him.
And again, if you want to show a superior just how dedicated to work you are then a willingness to do what others refuse to do will definitely showcase your character and work ethic to the right people within the business.
8) Pull Your Employees Out From Under The Bus
Part of being a successful boss is looking out for your employees and those you are responsible for, and one problem that you may have to deal with is when someone (either one of your superiors or someone from a different department) has a problem with one of your workers. Since they may not have the influence to stand up for themselves, it can come down to you to speak on their behalf or take responsibility for their actions, just be sure that you are standing up for the right reasons.
Doing this will improve your relationship with the worker where they will know they can trust you, and will also send a message to other people that you are not a push-over which is important in a competitive environment.
7) Have Experience
Now this doesn’t just refer to experience within the company or within the general field of work, but also to life experiences in general. Are you outgoing and sociable? Have you traveled and completely left your usual comfort zone? You wouldn’t think it but these are very important character building experiences which can both show others who you are and also teach you valuable life lessons.
It is also important that you have the experience within the field of work, such as being a supervisor or manager of positions which you have had prior experience working with yourself. You will be able to suggest to your superior ways of improving efficiency based on your experience, and also be able to relate to and identify possible problems a worker may encounter.
6) Be Emotionally Honest
As well as being in control of your emotions during stressful times, it is also important not to bottle things up and stop communicating altogether. The trick here is positive expression and constructive criticism.
Sometimes there won’t be someone to blame for the pickle you’re in but you still feel backed into a corner. Instead of letting the emotions fester and creating a tense atmosphere, let others know (if you can) of the problem on your mind and vent.
If the problem at hand was caused by an employee, remain firm when talking it over with them but also remember that constructive criticism allows for them to learn from their mistakes instead of personally tearing them down to make a point.
5) Invest Time Developing Employee Skills
Personally working side by side with your employees is one of the best signs that you’re on your way to being an amazing boss, as it shows your dedication and personal commitment to your workers. Combine this with your previous experience in the given field or just life experience, and you will be able to tutor and finely tune their skills to increase productivity in your employees, as well as getting to know them and their strengths and weaknesses.
This is a part of being an effective boss both because of your improved employee relationship but also because of your chance to get to know the employees’ weaknesses for you to help them improve on. People will trust you more when they know you’re prepared to help them or answer questions openly.
4) Be Relentless
When being looked at for a promotion and also after receiving one, a stand out characteristic many look at is whether you have a relentless drive to make things happen. There will be moments when you don’t know how you’re going to get the work done, or a problem comes in that you have no experience with, but the most important thing to do is be unrelenting and don’t shy away from the idea of failure.
Even if you don’t know what’s waiting around the corner, be prepared to deal with failure, uncertainty and never quit if you’re not forced to. If a superior sees this in you then they are going to keep you in mind and look to bring you up the ladder.
3) Inspire Others Around You
A survey performed by IBM on the best leadership traits of CEO’s from 64 different countries found that the most preferred quality by far was the ability to inspire other people and it is sought after like you have no idea.
It is one of the most powerful qualities to have in a business environment because it encourages employees to engage and commit more to their work, not only boosting productivity but also morale and has been described as the characteristic that separates excellent bosses from average and sub-average ones.
Secondly, if you are able to inspire your superiors both professionally and personally, then you are going to leave a lasting impression on them. Perhaps you will be the only person in the office whose name they bother to learn.
2) Have A Set Way Of Doing Things Every Time
Schedule, structure and be efficient. This one might seem mundane, however there is an important reason why having a set schedule and a way of accomplishing things can make all of the difference.
Firstly, if you are already supervising other employees then you are going to have to be sure to finish your own work while doing so, and by having certain hours in the day set aside to complete your other responsibilities then the people under you will be able to work with your schedule once they learn when is the best time to approach you instead of everyone wasting time looking for or interrupting you. Also, by doing tasks the same way every time, you get into a certain motion that is not only more efficient but also can make it easier to find where you left off after being interrupted.
1) Be A Hard Worker
Lastly, the best role model that both employees and colleagues need is a hard working individual who works above and beyond the expectations, and if you want to be something special then realize that the best person to do that is you.
The professional world is always becoming busier, faster, and more demanding with the increase in both technology and globalization, and so whether a company can perform comes down to worker efficiency. It’s no longer appropriate for supervisors and managers to demand 100% from the employees while lazing around, and you will be able to lead by example while showing off all of the skills mentioned in this list by working the longer shifts and busting your ass alongside your employees.