We’ve been writing a lot about what it takes to be a good leader. If you missed it, check out our blog post on 7 Qualities Of A Good Leader For Your Safety Culture. But leadership isn’t about becoming a leader and keeping things the same afterward; it’s about change and growth.
The most successful leaders are constantly growing. So, what does that mean exactly, and how can you do it? Growth means something different for everyone, but there are a few key ideas that can put you on the right track. Let’s take a look at how to grow in your leadership role, whether you’re a safety professional, management, or an hourly employee.
Take on a New Responsibility
As a leader, you’re probably already quite busy with both official duties and personal goals. Try taking on a new task or responsibility, even if it’s only temporary. This shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and it might get you some new experience that you would’ve missed otherwise.
If taking on a completely new responsibility seems like too much for you to handle right now, try reaching out and lending a hand to someone who’s working on their own assignment. Developing closer relationships with other employees can strengthen your leadership role, and you still might get that new experience from it.
Safety leaders have plenty of opportunities to do this, especially when your company is working on starting or improving their safety culture. This is a great time to volunteer for a new role and set a clear example for other employees.
Learn a New Skill
Great leaders—and all great employees—are constantly learning. Take every opportunity that you can to learn a new skill or technique. Taking the time to invest in yourself and add value as an employee shows everyone around you that you have what it takes to handle responsibility and that you’re serious about your work.
Be the first to try out new safety equipment in your company or to research a new safety topic. Safety leaders are in the best position to pave the way for new workplace practices that could end up saving lives. Safety practices are always changing and improving, so why shouldn’t you?
Leading doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. You may usually take the bulk of the work and the responsibility, so you might need help. Sometimes it takes a great leader to decide who is the best fit for the job and to ensure that it’s done well.
Safety leaders are more concerned with keeping everyone safe than receiving recognition for what they do. Often, delegating the tasks means that someone else will get the credit, and that’s okay. A great leader knows that teamwork and safety are far more important. It’s better to watch fellow employees learn and grow alongside you anyway.
Seek Advice and Guidance
This just means that leaders don’t have to—and shouldn’t—work alone. It’s not about being the person who figures out all the answers; it’s about stepping up and guiding those who look up to you. And sometimes that means you’ll need some help from someone with more experience than you. You can find help from management, senior employees, the internet, and pretty much anywhere you look for answers.
You haven’t failed as a leader if you don’t have all the answers. You don’t appear weak if you ask for help. You’re not expected to be more than human, so your focus should be on seeking the best advice and recruiting the best help in your leadership endeavors.
As you can see, a big part of leadership involves growth and learning. One of the most important things to remember is that leaders are always on display as examples for everyone else around. If you know how to grow in your leadership role and you show it, someone else is bound to follow your lead.