Embracing leadership roles and the challenges they bring is a lot like grabbing a bull by the horns. All the education in the world may not be what it takes to prepare you to grab them though; without a balance of knowledge and and sense of how to connect with people, our opportunities to lead can quickly head into a tailspin.

Finding an environment that fits 

I’ve had experiences working in large corporations where I felt like a number – even when I served in official leadership roles. Being in big busy offices can easily leave us with that feeling, especially when we have no real interactions with others on our teams. But over the years here working at Harmony, I’ve found numerous opportunities to take the bull by the horns.

office meeting

Opportunities to work across departments have helped me to feel more like part of a team and to hone my connection skills. In my role as Payroll Administrator, intricacy and accuracy are crucial. Following and enforcing procedures mean I can ensure we maintain seamless payroll operations, but it’s the sense of partnership I have with my team that allows me to successfully tackle challenges that inevitably come the way of payroll.

Sure, I have to be knowledgeable of any IRS compliance concerns. Yes, I have to work within the different level of compliances within different states. And of course, it’s pivotal that I know each state’s tax rules and regulations and that I stay abreast of any new legislation and guidance that affect payroll. But knowing the important things on paper isn’t what gives professionals a sense of leadership.

Updating the vision to reality

As a payroll professional, that sense is developed when we get to work closely with departments such as human resources and when we adapt our approach to new trends and best practices discussed by organizations such as the American Payroll Association. My education in finance and accounting provided me with a strong foundation, but having a seat at the table here with the rest of the team has prompted me to grow, to innovate, and to commit. Having that seat has allowed me to transform the important things on paper into connections, and those connections keep my goals and the goals of my team in focus.

office meeting

When we can support each other, those horns aren’t so hard to grab and wrangle. That’s what true leadership is all about – and it doesn’t require a specific title.

We can all leads in a myriad of ways, including:

  • helping our team stay accountable
  • keeping project momentum going
  • sharing the work and the success
  • being timely with requests and feedback
  • listening to everyone on the team – not just those who are comfortable speaking first
  • collecting diverse feedback
  • sharing in decision-making
  • recognizing expertise
  • fostering an environment that respects ideas and questions
  • investing in each other as much as the work

How do you lead from a team approach? Tell us in the comments!


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