Perception of Leadership from the Entry Level

Guest Author: Taylor Leddin

As a 24-year old, I’m the first to acknowledge that I have not been in the workforce for very long. However, I have had the privilege to work for a number of different companies and individuals over the course of my relatively short work life. Thanks to time off school in the form of summer and winter breaks, I was able to test the waters on a few different jobs before finding a career path that I am truly passionate about.

With this exposure to different positions and industries, I also had exposure to different managers – and different managerial styles. While I never had a “nightmare” boss, there were traits that made some environments function better, and some function worse. As time has gone by, I’ve been able to nail down the important traits I notice in a leader.

First, I look at how they enter the room.

Whether they’re coming into the room that holds clients or just employees, their demeanor and attitude are something I take note of. I’ve watched managers come in exuding positivity and motivating their clients and employees to enjoy the cohesiveness, and I’ve watched managers walk in with a bad attitude that creates a ripple effect of tension that is detrimental to the business.

Second, I take into account how they speak about people when they are not in the room.

I once had a manager so positive and such a people person that he spoke about a criminal as if he was his best friend. On the other hand, I had a manager who complained about most of her clients. Whether or not this gets back to the person, it will still have an impact on the work environment and the morale of the employees based on the perception of their leader.

Third, I always watch how the leader goes about his or her own work.

It seems to me that successful leaders look at each problem as an opportunity to present a new solution. If they look at it with crossed arms and negativity, that again creates the aforementioned ripple effect of tension. This also goes with how a manager or leader responds when you come to them with a question or a problem. If they’re willing to help you, everyone can enjoy the success. If they complain or become brash, it diminishes your motivation.

What this all comes down to is the importance of positivity as a leader. Be someone that employees feel comfortable working with, someone that is a pleasure to be around, and someone who can motivate their team, no matter the situation.