Becoming an FM Leader

The facility profession needs more great leaders. There are several concrete steps that will point you in the right direction for leadership positions, which includes

Be a good follower

When you are part of a facility work group, team or large organization, stand out as a good follower. Follow directions and guidelines established by the leaders and hit the milestones that have been established for your team and you as an individual. Make certain that you surround yourself with strong people and never act threatened by those on your team or in your immediate work group who are smarter or better technically.

If you question a direction or guideline, do so in a collaborative manner and always provide an alternative idea for others to consider. Anticipate problems and bring them to the attention of the group, and involve the others in the problem-solving process. If assignments are handed out, volunteer for the more difficult ones to demonstrate your willingness to take on challenges.

Establish a reputation for integrity

Leading a group to greatness requires an individual to have impeccable integrity. Make sure in your dealings with outsource service providers and vendors, internal clients and facility staff that you establish a reputation for honesty, fairness, open-mindedness and the utmost integrity.

Be clear to yourself that you want to be known as an individual who is respected by others, rather than someone who is necessarily liked by all. If you are more interested in being well-liked, it may cloud your judgment and affect your ability to maintain your integrity. Stay focused on the future and the end result you are seeking.

Be known for the analytic process as well as results

To separate yourself from others in the FM organization, make certain you know how to brainstorm with others, create a strategy map or plan of action, gather and process information, and formulate a reasoned and fact-based business case for your conclusion. You want to be results-oriented, but not to the point where others involved in the effort aren’t building analytic and decision-making skills. If you serve as the process moderator and help your team reach the right conclusion, you will come to the attention of those who are looking for leadership characteristics.

Learn from every situation

Even when things don’t turn out as planned, you should be able to learn from experience. You can be the individual who makes sure that lessons learned are included in every project or work assignment, and that the successes and failures help to mature the staff involved. Every successful leader has the capacity to learn more, and you want to demonstrate this trait. Remember, as a leader, you never have all the right answers. The common denominator for all leaders is that they stand out in a crowd by their ability to inspire others to greatness.

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