How to be a leader

How do you become a leader?

You act like one. Exhibit the qualities of leadership, and over time, you will be a leader.

Most Sr. designers and design managers got to be where they are by demonstrating the qualities of leadership.

That’s how they moved forward in their career.

Here’s my quick list of key qualities that set high performance leaders apart…

1. Leaders steer clear of the drama

The only time they’re talking about others is when they’re solving problems and finding ways to most effectively get a project done.

Leaders stay off the gossip train.

They understand that gossip and office drama is counter-productive 100% of the time.

2. Leaders Lead themselves

Leadership isn’t just about leading others, but also about how we lead ourselves.

Leading yourself is about making promises to yourself and keeping them. Being able to give yourself a command and follow it.

Keeping yourself accountable to yourself.

3. Leaders hold themselves to a high standard

Leaders don’t demand high standards of others without matching those standards themselves. They hold themselves to just as high a standard as they hold others to.

4. Leaders solve problems

High performance leaders don’t sit around complaining about problems. They bring solutions to the table.

They actively solve problems and find ways to move forward.

5. Leaders have self-control

Leaders stay calm in the face of adversity. Even under pressure with tight deadlines and changing requirements, leaders stay calm and in control of themselves.

They may step out of the office or take a quick walk to navigate a surprise challenge that arrises, but they don’t resort to disrespectful language or desperate rants.

6. Leaders get the work done

Leaders consistently get the work done. They know how to get down to business and get their work turned in on-time or early.

7. Leaders take initiative

They don’t wait around for somebody to tell them what to do next. They don’t run into project blockers and give up. They’re proactive.

They don’t take ambiguity as an excuse to not take the next step. They actively solve problems and take the initiative to move forward.

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