The probability of progressing to the top of one’s profession is what makes it possible for several people to keep plugging away at their jobs, taking on new projects and honing their skills. But after some time, career development depends on more than the willingness to work hard and technical skills.One also needs few soft skills, not the least of which is the capability to carry on a leadership role.
Some people are born leaders, but anyone can develop leadership skills set required with little practice. If one wants to take his/her career forward, then that person must be willing to put in the work. Following are nine strategies to help develop one’s leadership skills to keep improving his/her career.
A good leader practices discipline. Developing discipline in ones professional and personal life is a must to be an effective and efficient leader, and also to inspire others. People will assess your capacity to lead by the volume of discipline one displays at work.
One can demonstrate discipline at work by always meeting deadlines, ending meetings on time and keeping appointments. If someone is naturally disorganized, then that person may have your work cut out for you. However, you can always begin with something small: such as by implementing good habits at home, like waking up early and getting daily of exercise and working your way up from there.
Taking up more projects
A great way to develop one’s leadership skills is by taking on more responsibility. One does not have to take on more than one can handle, but he/she must do more than merely what is covered in his/her job description if one wants to grow. Moving out of the comfort zone is the only way one will learn something new, and doing so will get the person noticed by officials as someone who takes the initiative.
Be ready to follow
A real leader will be ready to yield control to another person when relevant. He/she should not be insecure when someone disagrees, questions the thinking, or puts forward ideas of their own.One must keep an open mind and give merit where it is due. It will not be easy always, but if it is learned to value and respect others in the team, they will be more inclined to step up to the plate for you.
Improve situational perception
A good leader is known as someone who can see the bigger picture, and anticipate problems even before they occur. To be farsighted is a precious skill to have while managing complex projects with choking deadlines. The ability to predict, plan and provide recommendations for avoiding potential problems is invaluable for a leader. Such a capability also benefits one to recognize opportunities that others often overlook, which will undoubtedly earn a person recognition.
Be an Inspiration
Being a leader means that one is an integral part of a team, and as a leader, he/she must be able to motivate and inspire that one works with to collaborate as best they can. Therefore when a team member needs guidance and encouragement, as a leader, one must offer it. Seldom, all a person wants is someone who would listen and is sympathetic.
The best way to become a good leader is to keep learning new things whenever possible continually. It retains the sharpness of mind along with the freshness of the skill. It prepares the person for new challenges that may come on the way.
No one is perfect at everything, and the sooner one realizes that the sooner he/she can become a better leader. Delegating tasks to others is very important as it not only frees you up for things you do well but also empowers others in the team.
One must never be a manager from hell because not everyone will get along well all the time. Rather than avoiding interpersonal conflicts one should address it as soon as possible by talking to those involved privately. Also, one should be open to reassigning team members if the dispute can not be resolved.
Be a keen listener
Becoming a leader does not mean one will always have to be in the spotlight. An essential trait of a good leader is that one must listen to suggestions, feedback, and ideas, from others, and then build on them. Good listeners understand that communication is not only about words, but also about picking up on non-verbal signs, such as body language and eye contact.
Excellent leadership skills are essential to advancing one’s career, but leadership is much more than merely being in charge. As per an American statesman John Quincy Adams, if one’s actions inspire others to learn more, dream more, do more, & become more, then that person is a leader.