WANT TO LEAD? - nurture your ability and potential to win a leadership role
Does your work feel frustrating or strangely unrewarding? Yet once you felt more positive about it? Perhaps you don't need a fresh employer, just that it's time to go for a leadership role.
Even if you’re not yet offered a formal leadership job, you can still show that you’re ready for it. Start doing this immediately by showcasing the good qualities and abilities associated with leadership.
Here are some of the ways to help make you stand out as having important leadership potential:
Actively support colleagues.
Offer to mentor new joiners.
Stay calm in challenging situations
Think clearly when facing group issues
Plan deliberate and named steps towards goals
Organise your own time and tasks and help others do the same
Push to make decisions or justify no action
Recognise who is best to do a task and say so
Use active listening skills to hear what others are saying
Recognise good advice when it comes your way and acknowledge it
Set out to be known as a problem solver
Gain a reputation for speaking out when it's most needed
Influence others to take the best course of action
Regularly talk about ways to change that will benefit the organisation. Pose the Golden Key question and offer answers to: “Why do we do it this way? Isn’t there a better, cheaper, faster, more effective approach?”
Next, focus your self-development efforts on what an increasing number of organisations urgently want, namely soft skills. These include being a good communicator and having high emotional intelligence. Senior managers increasingly spend more time building resilience in their organisations.
Naming out loud this issue of “resilience” and what it means for your area of work can help your leaders prioritise agility. It will also raise your profile. See my blog on VUCA - coping with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
You may imagine that leadership means spending loads of time on formal programs teaching you to lead. Yet only about 10% of leadership development happens through this form of learning. More time goes into experimenting (70%) and self-discovery (20%).
Here are three actions to focus on to make progress in self-discovery.
1) Competence: Choose no more than two competencies or skills that you need to improve. Talk with your team leader or senior colleague to ensure you select the correct ones. Also, consider information from feedback about your performance reviews.
2) Learning limit:
Most people hoping to move into a leadership role make the critical mistake of trying to do too much too fast.
3) Long-term view: Treat your search for a leadership opportunity as a long-term game. For example, commit to watching only one or two short videos daily. This way, you may only need to invest three to five minutes daily on your self-development learning.
Don’t just passively watch. Make physical or mental notes of key takeaways and ideas for implementation.
You can't simply demand to be appointed as a leader, you must earn it.
The above suggests practical ways
of doing that. You can't do them all at once. Choose ones that fit your situation and ability and persist with them.