How do you lead when you don’t have a title? You don’t have to be a C-suite executive or top brass to be a great leader. Leadership begins when you believe you can make a difference, you gather the courage to step up, and then take action.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen over and over again how effective leadership skills can become stunted by our fears and perceived limitations about ourselves.
I’m not good enough.
I’m not ready.
I haven’t learned enough yet.
But the truth is, leadership isn’t about rank or titles. It’s not about accolades or personal glory. It’s not even about innate ability or skill.
Leadership is about influence, inspiration and courage. But most of all, it’s about good, old-fashioned, tried-and-true integrity that inspires trust in others. Because your position doesn’t give you the authority to lead — only the trust of your team does.
Your organization’s success and ultimate survival depends on your ability to put your team first, form trusting relationships and then generate results.
Here are three ways to lead with integrity so you can earn the trust of your team, no matter where you are on your leadership journey.
1. Hold yourself accountable
Whether you’re an executive, a business owner, a manager or an individual contributor, you must always hold yourself accountable, no matter what — not only for your own actions, but also for your team’s performance. If they fall short of a goal, you are ultimately responsible for the outcome. When it comes to Fearless Leadership, the buck stops here.
2. Stay visible and engaged
During times of uncertainty and adversity such as we’re experiencing right now, the most effective way to remain relevant, exert influence and help your team overcome challenges is to stay engaged and present as a leader. Don’t hide out in your office or behind your screen.
- Coach your teammates.
- Connect with them one-on-one, on a real, human level.
- Provide hope to fuel confidence.
- Stay engaged to conquer the chaos!
3. Lead by example
Set the example of integrity on your team by always (always!) keeping your word and living up to the promises you make. Treat your team members with respect and put their needs ahead of your own. As a leader, you build trust each time you choose integrity over title, honor over personal comfort and truth over expediency. This is the kind of leadership that inspires high-performance teams, even if you may not have a leadership title yet.
Your credibility is your leadership currency. If you consistently lead with integrity, you will build trust, loyalty and a reputation as a strong, principled leader that others want to follow. Fail to live up to this philosophy, and you will eventually drive your team away.
I firmly believe that, regardless of title, absolutely anyone can build their skills to become a Fearless Leader. This kind of leadership doesn’t take a title — it takes integrity and it takes courage. Do you have the courage to step up and claim your leadership role?