It may seem paradoxical, but leadership is something that everyone should practice in the workplace. That’s right—leadership isn’t just for the designated “leaders” of an organization. It’s for everyone, from the recent college graduate starting his or her first job, to the experienced professional who’s been working in the field for thirty years. Leadership also isn’t just for large crowds and big meetings; in fact, it’s useful in work situations we experience every day.
American financier and presidential advisor Warren G. Bennis explains that “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” At QIP, almost all of our staff are in the business of converting clients’ ideas into the products we develop for them—and, given Warren G. Bennis’s definition of leadership, that makes everyone at QIP a leader.
How might leadership play out in an individual’s day-to-day work? Here are a few best practices we use at QIP:
- We schedule meetings with clients regularly and make a point of listening to their needs—which is an important, but often overlooked, leadership tool.
- We share draft products with clients as a standard practice to make sure that our work reflects their needs. Being responsible for meeting clients’ needs is leadership, too.
- Finally, it’s important to feel empowered to share assessments of client needs with senior management, project directors, and colleagues throughout the organization, so everyone can stay aware of how the team is helping clients achieve their objectives and goals. Collaboration helps to ensure high-quality outputs; this is leadership.
When you listen to client needs, incorporate their direction into your working drafts, and share ideas and project progress with your colleagues, clients will find your support critical to their success. If you do this on a regular basis, you are surely acting like a leader on your team, throughout your organization, and for your clients.
Teams benefit when everyone is actively leading: working to translate clients’ visions into the products and services they need. We’ve found this to be true at QIP, and it will also be true for you.
[Source of quotation: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warren_Bennis]