fbpx

Dr. Bob Wright | November 25, 2021

How to Be a Leader Wherever You Are

Many of us want to be a leader—at work, at home, amongst our social group. But we may assume that we’re not in a position to lead.


Be the boss outside of work too. The Wright Foundation can teach you how to be a leader wherever you are.


Maybe we’re new to the group. Maybe we’re around people whose personalities are more assertive and more dominant. Perhaps we’re just starting a job at the entry level.

The truth is that we can be a leader wherever we are. So what does it take to be a leader? The capabilities are inside all of us. It’s a matter of unlocking our inner-leader and learning how to build rapport with the group.

Today we’ll explore what it takes to be a leader and how to be a leader from any position. If you’re ready to take the reins, here’s what you need to know.

Identifying Leadership Opportunities

When should we step up to lead? Is it appropriate to lead in any situation, or do we need a signal, title, or training to be a leader?


Leadership opportunities present themselves all the time—both in our careers and in our personal lives. We may not realize it, but we can embrace an opportunity to lead in almost any situation.


I’ve talked to people struggling to discover their inner leader—people wrestling with leadership conundrums in their lives, even if they aren’t the highest-paid person on the payroll.

Leadership is within each of us, and there are chances to lead in any situation. Any time we’re in a group, we’re presented with an opportunity to be a leader. Will the group always respond positively to our leadership? Not always, but as we learn how to build transformational leadership skills, we’ll start to lead in a way that inspires at motivates. When we lead with emotional intelligence, we help each group member bring out their vision and their best—including our own.

So the big question is: what is a transformational leader? What does it take to lead with vision, inspiration, and emotional intelligence?

Transformational leaders display certain universal qualities. To be a leader, we don’t need to be the funniest person in the room, the loudest, the smartest, or even the most inventive. Transformational leaders can motivate others because they engage with them. They see each person on the team and help them bring out their best.

A transformational leader:

  1. Walks the talk—they do what they say, keep their commitments, and lead with integrity.
  2. Has a sense of vision, and they share that vision with those around them.
  3. Are interested in the well-being of each individual in the group. They keep everyone engaged.

When we see a transformational leader at work, we might notice they don’t walk in the room and demand attention. Instead, they command attention. There’s a subtle but significant difference. Commanding attention means listening and engaging with others. It doesn’t mean getting their ideas out first or with the most confidence and bravado. The best leaders are good at getting things done because they are open to all possibilities. They allow everyone in the group to bring their very best to the table.

Leaders Understand Culture on Multiple Levels

We hear a lot about culture these days—whether it’s a discussion on a person’s background and culture of origin, the company culture, or the zeitgeist of the moment. If we want to discover what it takes to be a leader, we need to understand culture from all aspects. There’s a lot of reward for those who understand culture—not only in terms of their teams. Many consultants are highly paid to help business leaders understand company culture and shore up gaps for their employees.


Transformational leaders understand the culture of the country where they’re working. They know the city’s culture, the company culture, and the culture of every individual in their purview.


Successful businesses get that way because their leadership understands the importance of culture to their organization. Culture is an unspoken society, rules, and atmosphere of an organization. It’s the personality.

In any group where we want to lead, we need to connect with the culture of each member. Culture is different than understanding their race or religion. It’s about engaging in a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. When we connect with someone on that level, we can truly bring out their best. We start to understand their motivations, their fears, their concerns, and their needs. We prioritize their well-being and see them for who they are.

The company’s rules, roles, and expectations must be clearly outlined for all of those operating within those parameters. As the organization’s culture builds and grows, employees should start to identify and understand the culture. When I hear complaints about employee behavior, it’s often because the employees are operating with no idea what the rules and expectations of management really are. The parameters haven’t been defined, and the culture is nebulous and unclear. If the expectations aren’t clearly outlined, we aren’t setting up our group for success.

How to Be a Leader and Motivate a Team

We’ve all been part of a team where everyone is pissing and moaning about the way things are done. They complain about the expectations of management. Nothing productive happens. It’s incredibly frustrating.

When a transformational leader is stationed with a group of whiners, they don’t fuel the fire. They acknowledge the feelings of the group and listen, but they don’t contribute to the frustration. Instead, they focus on the future. When we’re faced with a situation where everyone is feeling demotivated, we can say something like, “I know no one is happy about the situation. We can either figure out a way to get it done professionally and productively, or we can piss and moan and spin our wheels. So what are our next steps?”

Whether we’re faced with a room of two-year-olds or forty-two-year-olds, offering a choice is always motivating. No one (at any age) likes to be told what they must do. People don’t respond well to orders and barked directions. Instead, we can articulate the dilemma, understand and acknowledge the feelings of the group, and then help them choose to move forward and stay productive.

If we opt to relate by joining in on the whining and collusion, we keep it going. We continue to perpetuate the cycle of unproductive behavior. It’s far better (and more efficient) to acknowledge and validate feelings and move forward with the plan. The project may indeed be daunting and even unpleasant. Team members may validly be upset at the situation. All feelings are valid (there are no bad or wrong feelings), but when we must move forward, it doesn’t help to dwell in the negative space.

Instead, we can appeal to the group’s hearts and minds. Alfred Adler theorized that by giving people a choice, we help create motivation. A choice invites people to feel self-respect and gives them a chance to jump in and offer new solutions to the problem.

Be a Leader by Understanding & Connecting

When people feel unmotivated, it can indicate that they’re out of touch with their emotional intelligence. In many cases, they may be holding back out of fear. Either they fear failure or fear that they aren’t being heard and their needs aren’t being met.


Every person yearns for certain things. They may yearn to be seen and heard, yearn for respect, love, security. Transformational leaders understand those yearnings and acknowledge them. They understand people’s fears and concerns and reassure them that they’re being heard.


We can still take a leadership role when we’re part of a group where we aren’t the designated leader. For example, when our manager or boss is faced with a naysayer or an adversary, we can support them in what they’re saying. We can show that we’re behind them and rooting for the success of the entire team. I’ve been in many situations where a whole room will start to hear someone out simply because they see me supporting the speaker and siding with them.

There will always be people who will balk at leadership and management. In any given situation, there will likely be pushback. Sometimes it’s for a good reason—for example, someone isn’t leading with values or integrity. Other times it’s because the team member is negative and difficult. Rather than allowing those negative people to dominate the conversation, we can co-lead by helping the group support and align with the leader’s vision.

When management sees how we support them and share their vision, they’ll listen with respect and hold us in the same regard. When we use our leadership skills to bring out our best and the best of those around us, we can succeed in any situation.

If you’re ready to discover more about yourself and unlock your leadership skills, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have many different resources and online classes to help you discover more about your career, relationships, and yourself. Start getting more out of life today!

 

SHARE THE LOVE!

RELATED POSTS