Moving up the career leader is no easy feat. Often, we must move up the corporate ladder to obtain that next job title and pay raise. The question remains: How do we prove to our employers we can be leaders?
The answer isn’t exactly an easy one. On any resume, you’ll always want to highlight your leaderships skills, but it’s hard to say what an employer is specifically looking for. Your employer might be looking for certain character traits that demonstrate you can lead, but there are probably other prerequisites they are looking for, like a record of proven success or skill certificates.
If you feel you’re not quite qualified to be in a leadership role, there are steps you can take to improve. Take a look at these five ways you can improve your leadership skills.
Take the initiative
Take the initiative and be proactive about your work. While your job description may start off initially small, look for opportunities where you can do more work that goes beyond what is required of you.
This could be anything from learning how to expand your skill set to work on a challenging project or develop new ideas on how to make something operate more efficiently. What matters is to demonstrate to your employers that you can recognize areas you can improve on without being told to do so.
You’re not limited to how you can improve either. In group meetings, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and share your ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do work that goes beyond your current skill level.
Take on more responsibility
If you’re in a position where you can work comfortably in your current job role, strongly consider asking for responsibility.
If there’s a big project or new client that’s in the pipeline, ask your current boss or manager what you could do to help prepare or if you can take a leadership role for the project.
If at any point you feel your responsibilities do become too much, don’t back away. Instead, see if you can work with management to gain more assistance on whatever task you need help with.
Learn to delegate
While sometimes we have no option but to do some tasks on our own, in many cases, you have the ability to delegate work. If you have a team you work with on a regular basis, it helps to recognize what everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are and learn what work you can delegate to them.
By no means should this be an excuse for you to work less. It’s important to realize when you delegate work to someone, it’s because you feel their skill set will help you, and the team as a whole, complete the job.
You should also avoid micromanaging. You should place your trust in your coworker’s abilities and intervene only when necessary. If you can demonstrate good leadership among your coworkers, it will have a positive impact on company morale.
Start your own projects
You’re not limited to improving your leadership skills through your job. There’s plenty of ways you can do things at home. You’ll just have to get a bit creative.
For example, you can start your own side business and learn what it takes to run a business. You can also work on a home improvement project like redoing your carpet or even learning how to repair a broken chair.
By working on your own projects, you’ll be able to improve on some valuable skills like time management and budgeting. These are skills most leadership roles will require.
Become a community leader
Searching for leadership roles within your community is another great way to improve your leadership skills. The positions available vary, but it helps to get involved in something you’re interested in.
If you like sports like basketball, you could coach your local youth team. If you like spending time outdoors, you might consider leading a park cleanup.
These roles tend to be volunteer-based, so there’s the added bonus of doing something good for others without seeking compensation. Plus, you can meet other like-minded individuals with similar interests.
Whether you’re seeking a leadership role at a new job or seeking to climb the ranks in your current, anyone can benefit from improving their leadership skills. You never know when you might be called upon to take on more duties, and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.