How to be a leader at your job


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My brother-in-law has recently started work at a factory. His work includes long hours, hard work, and repetitive work.

At a family dinner, he described the working conditions. He arrives at the factory and went to work manufacturing the parts he was assigned. Halfway through manufacturing the parts, he has a co-worker approach him.

This coworker told him he needed to slow down. The factory did not have enough material to make it through the whole shift and if he did not slow down there would be no work left.

An hour before the end of another shift, workers started to clean up the shop floors. When one worker finished sweeping the floor, another worker followed behind and swept the area again.

In another instance, a worker dipped his mop into a bucket of coolant. He proceeded to mop the floor with a mop covered in coolant. Once a mess was made, he went and mopped up the mess.

He related story after story like this. In the end, it revolved around the fact that there was no leader in the factory. Every worker was to manage their own work.

What would you do in a situation like this?

The best example of leadership, is leadership by example.
— Jerry McClain

You may be saying “There is nothing I can do.”

But there is something you can do. When placed in a situation like this, you need to be a leader. You may not have the title of LEADER but you can be one.

Here is how:

  • Do honest work
  • Do the job to the best of your ability
  • Stay on task
  • Do not create work just to have work
  • If your job is complete, find another job to complete

Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint.
— Lewis H. Lapham

While I discussed factory work, this can be transferred to any type of job or position. If you are in an office environment, retail environment, etc.. you can be a positive example to your coworkers.

Set the standard.

By doing so, you will set yourself apart from your coworkers. You will have taken control of your situation, completed an honest days worth of work, and led your coworkers by example.

Question: Have you been in a situation like this? How did you overcome the peer pressure and become a leader?
Please share your answers in the comment section below.

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