May 02, 2017
A few weeks after I showed up to my first unit in the army, an eager first lieutenant stood in front of the platoon and gave a clearly rehearsed speech letting us know that he was the man in charge.
The platoon sergeant, on the other hand, was willing to have a beer with me and help me understand my job responsibilities. To this day, the sergeant remains one of my best friends.
Students graduating from college and going into the job market will soon find themselves in positions that are anywhere between entry-level to upper management, where they will have to step up as leaders in their roles.
When first stepping into a leadership role, students need to remember that if you take care of your followers, they will take care of you.
The best part of being there for your subordinates is that it always works regardless of your leadership style.
A truly exceptional leader will also show that they are not afraid to ask for advice, and as soon-to-be-graduates, this is an important lesson to take into the world.
Regardless of your new work position, you will find yourself in situations that you may be unfamiliar with.
Asking your employees to help you with something you don’t understand is one of the best ways to establish yourself as someone that your workers would want to put in a hard day’s work for.
Just watch how quickly your workers will go out of their way to help you in any endeavor that they can, even if you’re fresh out of college.
If you spent years learning how to be a personal, friendly kind of boss who wants to establish good rapport with your workers, asking for help will go a long way toward establishing your leadership style.
If you would rather be a tough, no-nonsense boss who expects the best from your workers, a genuinely surprising act of kindness and moment of learning from your end would help your workers see that there may be a lot more to you than meets the eye.
Most importantly however, you need to be on the lookout for moments when you can actively help out those who genuinely need it in return.
You can do small acts to show that you are listening, like get to know the birthdays of your workers so you can do something special for them on that day, even if it is something as small as a longer lunch, or letting them go home early.
This is a great way for your workers to see you as something other than just another college graduate.
Is someone having a difficult time in their personal life? Start up a collection plate to go around the office so that they can have a little extra scratch to get through their personal struggle.
Regardless of your leadership style, it is critical that above all else, you establish yourself as someone that your workers can depend on.
Because the day will come when you need to depend on them as well once you enter the work world.