I’ve talked a lot about the fun a leader can have. Leadership isn’t all seriousness. But there are reasons for being serious.
One of those is the desire to be taken seriously by those you lead. You want those you lead to look up to you. To respect you. To value your word.
This can be hard if all they see you as is someone who loves to have fun. The ability to have fun can get in the way and you can struggle to be seen as serious.
That’s okay. You can definitely lead this way. Just know it will be harder.
But what does a leader do if he wants to be taken more seriously? What steps does he have to take?
We’re going to look at this and see what you can do. You can be taken seriously. You only have to take the steps to get there.
The Path To Being Taken Seriously
Being taken seriously by your team will do a host of things for your ability to lead them well. When people take you seriously, they:
- See you as an authority
- Understand you mean what you’re saying
- Know you have an agenda that benefits them along with the organization
- Realize the job needs to get done
Yet, how does a person go from an unrespected leader to one that is taken seriously? You have to be intentional about your actions and what you do. To be taken seriously, you will need to:
Know what you’re talking about: It is hard to be taken seriously when the words coming out of your mouth make no sense. Or, worse, they don’t align with what has already been established.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t share what you think is the answer. Rather, let your team members know you’re unsure of the facts and you will find out the facts. Then, report back to them and answer their questions.
Follow through with what you’ve communicated: A wishy-washy leader is a frustrating leader. They’re also one that people won’t take seriously.
Why is this? People want to follow someone who will follow through with what they’ve communicated. They find it difficult to follow someone who’s changing their mind all the time or fails to follow through on their word.
Learn to communicate what you expect to be done. Be willing to follow the course you’ve set, without constantly changing your mind, so they can see your word means something.
Show how your actions benefit more than yourself or the organization: People come to work for more than a paycheck. People are longing to make a difference in their world and to have their world positively affected by their work.
You can help them see how they are changing the world in a positive way. Explain to your team how their work isn’t only going to benefit your organization.
Organizations like Tom Shoes, Warby Parker, or Bold Furniture have created programs to give back to the world. They established programs to give a pair of shoes or glasses or clean water to someone in need when a customer purchases a specific product. This way of doing business helped its employees feel like their work matters.
Your organization can create an environment where your team members know they’re giving back. Give them this joy.
Make sure work is being done: Work doesn’t have to be boring or drab. Work can be fun and enjoyable. You can help with this. But you also need to make sure work is being done.
An organization where work tasks are given out and nothing is done will tank an organization. This is why you need to help ensure the work you’ve given to team members is done.
They need to know someone is there to help them with their tasks. And will hold them accountable when things aren’t done.
These are but a few steps you can take to be seen as a serious leader. By knowing what you’re talking about, ensuring work is done, helping your team to see their work is benefiting more than the organization, and following through on what you’ve communicated, you can be taken more seriously.