Positioning yourself as a leader will make your work more meaningful and advance your career. It will help you gain influence based on the knowledge and skills you possess. While it could take years to climb the ladder up into senior management, tapping into your personal strengths is something you can start doing right now and this will accelerate your climb up the ladder. Learn how to use your current assets to build up your confidence and clout in the workplace.
Position Yourself as a Leader using your KNOWLEDGE
- Read daily. Good leaders are good learners. Pick up books about business advice or any topic that not only interests you, but best serves you. The more you read, the better prepared you’ll be to contribute to any discussion. You’ll sound like a leader whether you’re engaging in small talk or critiquing a new concept.
- Sign up for training. Invest in seminars and training sessions that will sharpen your skills and take you outside of your comfort zone. Take advantage of programs your employer offers when available.
- Consult an expert. Contact others in your network who would be willing to share their wisdom. Many leaders started out with a coach or mentor to help them navigate their career path and avoid pitfalls and setbacks that affected the careers of their colleagues that were trying to make a go of it on their own. You’ll both benefit from their knowledge and experience.
- Shadow a star employee. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a high performer may be pleased to show you the ropes. Let them know that you admire their style. Offer to assist them with specific tasks so you can learn from their example. High performers are highly visible and your association with them will improve your visibility and increase your chances to be noticed for job opportunities that you are striving for.
Using Your Skills to Position Yourself as a Leader
- Take responsibility. Prove that you can be trusted to live up to your obligations. Develop a reputation for quality work, completing assignments, and meeting deadlines. Demonstrate a strong desire to deliver quality outcomes and show you that you are driven for results.
- Document your accomplishments. Make it a habit to write down your ideas and achievements. Looking over your victories will boost your confidence. Even the missteps will suggest adjustments you can make to do better next time.
- Express enthusiasm. Attitude is an important part of leadership. Speak kindly to your coworkers and show that you care about their welfare. They don’t have to be your best friends, but there should be mutual respect. Find gratification in your work and how it serves the community.
- Take initiative. Be willing to go the extra mile. Volunteer for tasks that fall outside of your job description even if they’re less than glamorous.
- Share feedback. Thank people for commenting on your performance and recommending steps you can take to further your professional growth. Offer constructive and tactful criticism that enables others to do the same.
- Give generously. Above all, let your colleagues know that they can count on you when they need your time and expertise. Strive to be a valuable team member. Keep an eye out for anyone who’s struggling so you can create mutually beneficial relationships.
Transform yourself into the kind of leader other employees will want to follow. Your knowledge and skills are valuable resources that can help you to develop your talents and inspire others.