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Understanding Leadership in the Workplace

October 26, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

Proper leadership creates a strong, cohesive work environment. However, not everyone assigned to lead is someone with leadership skills.

New York, NY – There is no time for panic. In fact, there is no time for anything except a strategy to repair our economy and the workplace. Given the recent status of a countrywide uptick of Covid infections, now is not the time to point fingers or look for blame. 

Instead, now is the time when leadership qualities are the most valuable skill in the workplace. However, since work environments will differ and job responsibilities can vary, leadership goals and the need for leadership qualities will differ as well.
Nevertheless, regardless of tasks and developments in the workplace or if the collar is white or blue, the core values of leadership are an undeniable and valuable asset to the team as a whole.

Leadership is not a task in itself but moreover, leadership is a behavior and a quality. A good leader encourages others to perform at the best of their ability. This is not a binary system but instead, leadership qualities adapt accordingly to the environment for a more fluid-like system to build a team-wide sense of production. The dictionary defines leadership as the position or function of a leader. A leader is someone with the ability to lead. Yet there is more to a leader than a simple definition. 

There are supervisors and foreman, administrators, and managers that come with a title of authority. However, a title alone does not make a person a great leader. Instead, leadership is based upon personal energy.

Understanding Energy:

Proper leadership creates a strong, cohesive work environment. However, not everyone assigned to lead is someone with leadership skills. Some lead by example. Some lead from the front and encourage their team. Some lead by intimidation and some lead through job titles alone.Therefore, in order to utilize the best possible resources of a team, it becomes equally important to understand the energies between both coworkers and supervisors. Establishing relationships and forming an understanding between people in the workplace will form a better team.

It is important to understand that leadership is not about being the boss. Instead, a leader can comfortably work from any position in their environment. A true leader can do this without forcing a sense of hierarchy because, and put simply, true leaders do not need to remind the team that they are in charge. More importantly, a leader encourages by example and empowers their team by means of attraction and not self-promotion. 

For instance, whereas bosses tell their workers what to do; leaders direct their team. The difference between the two ideas are categorized by two separate energies:

Anabolic energy is constructive and building. This is both growth-minded and supportive with a maintained focus on goals, strategies, and plans toward both personal and team achievements. This energy provides a positive and reassuring role in any position, allowing a coworker to not only become a benefit but also become a reliable force to enable stronger possibilities for future advancement.

Catabolic energy provides the opposite effect. This is leading by rule instead of by example. In the case of quotes such as “Performance reflects leadership,” it is important to mutually qualify and understand this energy. Leading through intimidation is a draining force and destructive to the morale of the team. And tragically, this can create a vacuum that can cause the group to fail or implode.

No one argues that times are tough. Recent news posted a record number of 80,000 Covid infections across the country in just one day. Above all things, the need to focus on a plan is equally imperative and lifesaving. This is not the time to look for blame or fault. Yet frequently, this becomes the topic for conversation.

In the case of leadership however, true leaders do not look to find blame or fault. Instead, rather than build a plan through the means of catabolic energy; true leaders will approach this from an anabolic sense. 

True leaders will create a sense of comfort and support amongst their team to promote from within and encourage a healthy work environment across the board. Ever reminding us that again, now is not the time to panic. Instead, now is the time for goals, a good plan, and a great strategy to achieve it.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at


October 26, 2020

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