top of page

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.

For more ways to succeed at work, listen to my next
Podcast! Every Monday.


Take your next steps towards success at work with these
five interactive, mobile learning courses.

bottom of page