Leadership Beyond Your Job Title
A Guest Post by Corina Manea, Chief Community Officer, Spin Sucks & Founder of NutsPR
We expect leadership from the ones on the high end of our organizations. We expect them to lead the way and tell us what to do, the next steps and where to stop.
Today I want to challenge that belief that leaders can be only the ones in the corner office.
I am going to show you how you too can develop leadership skills and behavior, even if you don’t have a corner office just yet.
In this over-connected world we live in, we have access to so much information that choosing not to learn new skills is just that, a choice.
Where to Start
Becoming a leader in your particular field, is not a matter of the number of years, though they are important as well. It also has nothing to do with your job title.
With access to information and to the brightest minds on the globe, you can shortcut the learning process.
If 20 years ago, you had to learn by doing or have someone more experienced teach you, now you can Google everything. Moreover, you can connect with experts directly on social media.
This is true for every field and industry, but especially for PR pros.
We now have a fantastic opportunity to connect with the best of the best and learn from them. Why wouldn’t you?
The first step in learning leadership skills is a very basic one: Be on those social media channels where the experts are. Create your profiles and make a habit of posting regularly.
Read everything you can from them and comment on their blogs and social media posts. You need to be proactive here. Just one tweet or Facebook post won’t get you in front of them.
Yes, it takes work. I didn’t say it was going to be easy.
Next, listen to their interviews, understand how they think and learn to think like them.
It takes practice, but you can do it.
Leadership is More Than a Job Title
It doesn’t matter the job title you have in the communications firm you work for.
What is important is what you are willing to do to become the best at your craft, to become someone, others look up to.
This is not about working 70 hour weeks. It’s about being strategic, understanding how the business works, and how you, in your current role can help move it forward.
Even if you are just starting out in your career, don’t underestimate how important your work is.
Leadership is more than your job title.
It’s about you understanding the business, it’s about you finding new ways to increase your firm’s revenue, improve processes and workflows inside the company. It’s about you showing better, efficient ways to do your job.
It’s about you putting yourself in your clients’ shoes and understanding their worries and problems, and then helping and guiding them through the process.
It’s about you going the extra mile to help a colleague or a boss succeed.
It’s about constantly challenging yourself to do better and be better.
And it’s definitely not easy.
Leadership in Six Steps
- Commit to learn something new that helps you become better in your job, every single day, no exception.
- Connect with influencers in the PR industry, such as Deirdre Breakenridge, Gini Dietrich or Shonali Burke, weekly, if not more often. Read and comment on their blogs. Listen to their podcasts. Ask them questions when you want to know more about a particular topic. They are wonderful human beings and professionals. They are more than happy to help.
- Apply what you learn in your job.
- Find ways to improve your daily work and become more efficient.
- Think of ways to increase your communications firm’s revenue.
- Read…a lot.
This is only the beginning. But when you switch from an employee mindset to a leader mindset, the possibilities are endless.
It’s only up to you to become a leader beyond your job title. Are you up for the challenge?
Corina Manea is the Chief Community Officer for Spin Sucks and founder of NutsPR. Connect with her on Twitter.
December 12, 2016 @ 2:34 pm
Very good post, @Corina. I would encourage those interested in leadership to 1) Understand the distinctions between doing, managing and leading. They’re quite substantial; 2) Know the difference between merely having a great title, the money, the corner office, etc. and truly leading: It’s about motivating and inspiring others to follow you for the good of the organization; 3) Study Servant Leadership, which I believe is the most effective form of leadership; 4) Accept that you can start to actually lead quite early in your career. Back in my agency days, I knew senior account executives who were leaders, and executive vice presidents who weren’t; and 5) Learn from the best. In”Taking The Lead,” my monthly column in PRSA’s Public Relations Tactics, I share leadership counsel from some of the most respected leaders in the PR/Communications industry. I love how these leaders share openly about their leadership challenges and worst leadership mistakes. I hope it’s OK to share a link to the December column: http://bit.ly/2h1ZClE
December 14, 2016 @ 11:11 am
Thank you for the shoutout, Corina! And what kind words – I hope we are half as nice as you say we are. 🙂 This is a super post, and I love Ken’s comment about the difference between doing, managing, and leading. Also – great headline, btw.
February 14, 2017 @ 8:35 am
Thank you so much for your comment, Ken!
I love the Servant Leadership concept. After all it’s about helping others succeed.
I agree with you, leadership is about inspiring people to become their best.
February 14, 2017 @ 8:37 am
My pleasure, Shonali. And yes you are! xoxo