Leadership is a very trendy topic which constantly appears in not only business related discussion. However, more often than not, people confuse a leader with a manager role. While you would hope that your workplace manager could be an excellent leader for your team, it might not be always the case. So, it’s crucial not to confuse the two as being the same.

A leader is someone who doesn’t necessarily have to have a leadership role. Instead, they can be in any position in any workplace, as long as they possess leadership skills. But, what are leadership skills, and how do you get them?

Corporate Stays Chief Sales Officer, Frederic Aouad, who prides himself on building a team working towards an objective, described it the best in his article about leadership:

“Leadership is the process of social influence, which maximize the efforts of others towards the achievement of a specific goal” – Frederic Aouad, Corporate Stays CSO.

To be a leader, you:

You Are Self-Aware

To be self-aware, you have to be aware of your daily actions, especially when those around you are watching. Even if you’re not in a role of authority, you must always be setting a clear example, aware of how your demeanor, actions, and words can affect others and how they react. Corporate Stays CSO said you never know when someone is going to emulate your actions. Therefore, “a constant and strong self-awareness is key to effective leadership.”

It doesn’t matter what your position is, you can set the mood and the scene for your place of business, all by fostering certain behaviour and characteristics.

You Have a Vision

If you go to work every day without a vision or an idea of your destination, then you can never truly go forward or be the best version of yourself. Clear, defining leadership is about having a vision, allowing others to see it through your actions, and communicating it clearly every day.

You don’t have to be a supervisor, manager or owner to show good leadership. Instead, if you have a vision, that can be enough to encourage others to put in the same effort and share that same vision.

You Can Motivate Yourself and Others

While it’s always beneficial if your manager, in a leadership role, can actually show the way forward with leadership qualities, that’s not always the case. What’s more, if your manager isn’t a good leader, then your business will never be the best it can be.

Leadership means that you can motivate yourself as well as those around you. Frederic put it the best when he said that you could judge a leader’s effectiveness on their ability to bring out the most of those around them.

Think about what happens when someone cheers on a runner who is struggling to make it to the finish line. The motivation, kind words, and encouragement all spur that runner on, helping them make it to the finish line with that final burst of energy. That’s what a leadership quality is: triggering an individual to keep going – both in times of uncertainty and in times of prosperity.

You Are Socially Aware

One of the most crucial leadership traits is being socially aware – understanding how people fit together and work together, and how they don’t. Someone who is socially conscious will always understand and be on the ball when it comes to conflicts and synergy, and how it can affect performance. They can use these dynamics to their advantage for the best business result.

You Have Courage

Finally, someone who possesses leadership qualities is courageous. They dare to make difficult decisions, be accountable even when those failures are not entirely their own, and set a precedent at the same time. Frederic said it’s also about being the one who stands up and makes a decision, even if it’s not met with positivity from all avenues.

“Few difficult decisions or bold actions will be approved unanimously, but the need for clear direction and moving forward will trump the need for consensus.” – Frederic Aouad, Corporate Stays CSO

If you are a manager it does not necessarily make you a leader by default. While you would hope that a manager would have leadership skills, sometimes it’s the most unlikely of people that can spur your team on, showing that they are the true leader in the workplace. Work out your leadership muscle, and opportunities to formalize it will appear, don’t wait for a management title to exercise it!

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