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Leadership is a critical skill to have in any workplace. Companies value strong leaders for their ability to represent the company in a positive light, to motivate other employees and to achieve company goals. If you have strong leadership qualities, you’re in a great position to advance your career by providing your employer with some important benefits. Here are some key points to consider:
Many companies rely on employees to serve as mentors, bridging the gap between formal training programs and the informal knowledge that long-term employees typically acquire. By serving as a mentor, you are demonstrating to your employer that you not only possess the knowledge required for your position, but you also hold the highly sought-after skill of teaching that knowledge to others.
Leaders are almost always self-motivated and they know how to motivate others to achieve larger or overarching goals. In addition to meeting goals, a motivated workforce also creates an environment of mutual trust between management and workers, leading to overall higher productivity for the company and more autonomy for workers. These are all powerful reasons why employees who can serve as leaders are highly valued in most organizations.
As a leader, even as an informal one, you have an opportunity to impact company performance and drive results towards meeting company goals. Goals often require teamwork to achieve and in order to be successful, teams need a leader. By placing yourself in the leadership role, you can produce results for the company and bring visibility to your talent of inspiring and directing others. Building a motivated team and seeking opportunities for them to perform is a powerful combination that results in a high-performing environment and greater efficiency. It can also influence the work culture itself, creating a more positive workplace.
Good managers universally appreciate employees who are reliable, do quality work and set and achieve suitable goals. They appreciate employees who take on additional tasks without being asked and take the initiative to continuously learn new things and acquire new skills through self-education and professional development opportunities. These characteristics are all hallmarks of leaders.
Motivated employees require little in the way of hands-on management and direction, which frees up management time to do other things. Managers are often overtasked and understaffed and as such, they attach a high value to employees who are easy to manage and who help take items off of their to-do list rather than put new items on it.
Being an easy-to-manage employee makes you an asset to any busy manager who, in turn, may show appreciation by giving you any number of rewards including higher-level opportunities, glowing performance appraisals, promotions or generous pay raises.
Today’s workplace is evolving and employees are no longer content to toil in uninspired anonymity. Employees are looking for a leader—someone who can make them feel inspired, significant and appreciated. They look for a leader to challenge them, to allow them to play off of their strengths and to help make the workplace enjoyable. Companies are looking for leaders too. They are looking for employees who have a high degree of self-motivation, integrity and commitment and can motivate others to follow their example.
By exhibiting strong leadership qualities, you can set yourself apart from other employees and show your employer that you have what it takes to achieve goals and produce results. Chances are, when opportunities arise, your name will be among the first they think of. By taking on a leadership role today, you can position yourself to be rewarded well in the future.
Tyana Daley is a writer for University Alliance. Through University Alliance, she covers career-related topics about human resources development, leadership, and career advancement. Follow her on Twitter.