So what is a leadership role? No, it's not always being the director of XYZ, and it's definitely not being the CEO of ABC company. A leadership role can be very informal because, at the end of the day, all of us have a leadership role in some way, we just don't realize it. When we take ownership of things that happen around us and realize that we have more control over the environment in which we operate, we become leaders once we do something about it. So let's map out the framework for what a leader is.
A leader sets conditions for what they consider to be acceptable metrics of success in the project they undertake. It could be something as simple as stocking shelves. They will make sure that they do it to the best of their ability and seek to do it in a better way when possible. Another way they can set conditions is when they create an environment that encourages collaboration between their peers. A good follower and a good leader both provide feedback because feedback is essential to thoroughly understand the situation at hand and the progress that is being made or not being made. That is why communication is so essential in any organization.
In a leadership role, a manager will enhance learning opportunities meaning if there is a chance to create time for a team-building exercise, they will do so if they have the opportunity to have an employee train someone else on a new job and a new task will do so. When there are no opportunities for learning, they will create them. It is not difficult to sit one-on-one with an employee and identify one of their goals, even a small one and help them achieve it. If you have a disgruntled employee and no matter what you do seems to make them care, at least you can say that you cared, and you try your very best.
When you are in a leadership role, you are actively influencing people and inspiring them to provide purpose and direction to improve an organization and accomplish the mission statement. You can influence by passing along information or leading by personal example and persuasion. At the end of the day, a leadership role means inspiring peers and employees with a higher purpose that rises above mere self-interest. This means explaining why things are done the way they are and why they need to be done. If someone understands why they're doing something, they are more likely to do the right thing when you are not present. What good is calling yourself a leader if you have to be there for others to do the right thing? If you had influenced them, they would be doing it themselves without you micromanaging them.
Motivation comes from within, although at first, it comes from the outside. Sometimes motivation is just understanding other people's needs and desires and then get them to align with the team goals. Sometimes you don't have time to explain everything, and then you get them to do something and then explain why it happened later. If you are an aspiring leader and are getting ready to take upon a leadership role, remember this advice; using the threat of punishment to motivate others is sometimes necessary but do so sparingly because you will. I will breed resentment and create low morale in the workplace. Lead with your heart, not with a stick, and you will create a more high-performing team.