You’re a successful leader because you are goal and action oriented. You know exactly what you are expected to do and where you are going; you’ve been rewarded for doing what’s in your job description, which includes all of the things that must be done. However, there are some things that will make your team better and your leadership more effective that aren’t in that document.
The bar is being set higher for you and leaders everywhere. It is no longer enough to do what you’re “supposed” to do. To be successful, you must go beyond what’s expected of you to enhance your leadership by doing the unexpected. You’ll learn more by doing those things that nobody tells you to do. These things will make you a better leader, guaranteed.
Here are some thoughts on some things you may not have considered that are “above and beyond” the call of duty to give you the edge you need; none of them cost a dime. They all can assist you to become a better leader:
Develop your workforce: I see plenty of job descriptions that don’t mention anything about having a focus on developing others into better leaders. It’s important for you to focus on this arena in order to lift your own leadership to a higher level and have others ready to step into your job (when you get that next promotion!). When you teach, coach, give feedback, support, and provide new opportunities, the best and brightest will rise the occasion and give a boost to the bottom line. It’s not all touchy-feely stuff. Everyone gets better, and your organization reaps the benefits in profits.
Mentor someone: Don’t wait for someone to ask you to mentor them. Seek them out! They don’t need to be someone in your direct line; mentoring someone outside your organization can bring great learning and satisfaction. Or, how about mentoring a high school student who is challenged or a recent college graduate who needs to figure out what to do in that next step of their life? Mentoring not only helps you to learn a lot about someone else, but a lot about yourself too.
Start or join a peer group or community of practice: A group that can get together regularly and discuss their challenges and their successes is a great way to learn from others. This group can come from within or outside of your company; there are advantages and disadvantages to each. In any event, you’ll need to decide the format for the conversations and assure that you gather the right people to be a part of the effort. The topic can be as simple as an ongoing discussion on “Leadership” or you can shift topics or even have each person bring in their separate ideas and challenges each time you meet.
Volunteer in your community: There are plenty of things to be done in the community where you live. Check in with your local government (many of whom would welcome your assistance at a time when funds to run the community are short). Your local library, hospital, or other nonprofit organizations can also use board members, special skills, and workers to do a variety of things. You’ll learn, meet great people, and feel like you’re making a difference.
Getting involved in things that go beyond the confines of your job description will make you a better leader on the job. What have you done “beyond your job description” that’s helped you to be a better leader?