by Svetlana Saitsky
To be a great leader is to be inspired and inspiring.
To be an iconic leader is to be fascinating and genuinely fascinated while empowering and gaining empowerment from all the great leaders that surround you.
True leaders see magic in people all around them; they are open to it, realizing that there is always something new to learn.
We all have gifts. Some of us know it, some do not. Sometimes it takes an article to awaken us. Other times, a person, movie, or a simple moment -- perhaps a smile from a stranger on the street.
Whether you are the janitor or the CEO doesn't matter, as long as you take pride in what you do, and do your best. You are a leader if you believe you are. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. And if you'd like to be the CEO, start with the one thing you can control -- your own contribution. Here are some effective ways to contribute:
Be the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Not sure if you're a positive influence on those around you? Here's one way to know. Imagine someone asking a colleague of yours to describe you in one word. Whatever word comes to mind first -- that's how you perceive yourself. Does that word inspire you? If yes, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, think of what you can do today to change.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has polled over 1,000 adults every day since January 2008, shows that Americans now feel worse about their jobs than ever before. But you can choose to be different and stand out from the crowd. Happiness and positivity is a choice, and it’s abundantly clear (look at Zappos!) that positive people do better work, leading to success for everyone involved. From both a personal and professional perspective, being more enthusiastic about what you do is fruitful for both the heart and the wallet.
Do your work when no one is watching.
Taking pride in your work means doing it when you don't have to. Your work is one of the biggest contributions you make to the world, and if you're only doing your work in order to impress your manager, realize that you'll never be successful or satisfied -- the most important person you must impress in order to be fulfilled is yourself. The faster you start embracing the importance of making yourself proud, the faster you'll impress that manager too.
Want to know how you are doing? Want to know what you must improve to get that promotion? Ask! It's that simple. Schedule fifteen minutes with your manager and ask for some constructive feedback. Prepare to hear something negative, and then take that and turn it into something positive. Learning to take feedback well is the fastest way to becoming the best version of yourself both inside and outside the office.
The best way for you to truly express gratitude for your gifts is to use them every day, all the time and as much as humanly possibly. To use your gifts is to express your gratitude in the most sincere and honest way. Not to just talk of things, but to actually do them. That is what separates those who dare to dream from those who are active participants in bringing their dreams to life. Just ask anyone who has accomplished what once seemed impossible. They were probably terrified, but they acted anyway. And through that action, they attained their dreams.
Actions speak louder than words.
When you start acting, the universe tends to support you along the way. But only you can start. So start owning your leadership qualities right now in the life and job you have, or choose to move on to something that you believe will be a better and more sincere expression of your gratitude for all the wonderful gifts you've been granted.
Svetlana Saitsky is a Creative Iconoclast who strives to inspire through her work as a photographer and writer. With her entrepreneurial spirit, business school education, corporate experience and artistic savvy, Svetlana combines left-brain intellect with right-brain creativity and resides in San Francisco, CA while working on her first book on Inspiration. A modern day Renaissance woman, Svetlana believes in exploring a variety of passions daily and when she is not taking photographs or writing, you might find her salsa dancing, singing, eating avocados and hanging out in coffee shops all over town. To explore Svetlana's work, please visit her here!