What does it take to be a great leader? This broad question gets asked a lot and garners many answers. Sure, Google can tell us all about the characteristics of being a great leader, what leadership means, who the best leaders are, and so on. But when do we stop searching and start proving? I have compiled a list of 10 ways to prove you are ready for a leadership role.
1. Take Initiative: You don’t need to be asked to do something, be proactive and do it.
· Take ownership of projects and tasks
· Take on additional responsibilities outside of your job description
· Make decisions independently
· Anticipate and solve problems
· Go above and beyond – put in extra effort on a project, work longer hours when necessary, go out of your way to help a colleague
2. Show Accountability: Be someone your boss and colleagues can count on. Consistently meet your deadlines. Honor your commitments and deliver on what you promised.
3. Communicate Effectively: Actively listen (this is the key to Carew’s LAER bonding process), be clear, and articulate your ideas. Effective communication is critical, whether it is written or verbal.
4. Lead by Example: I am sure you have heard the saying, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” The same goes for leadership. Lead others as you would want to be led. Model the behaviors and values that you would expect from a team you lead. Be a positive example, be ethical, honest, and transparent.
5. Build Relationships: Build strong relationships with mentors, colleagues, and industry peers. Use them as continued resources, seek advice, ask questions, and collaborate.
6. Develop Yourself & Others: Provide opportunities for growth and encourage others to take on new challenges. Give constructive feedback and coaching and be open to new ideas. Delegate tasks and responsibilities to others, trust they will get the job done, and provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed.
7. Deliver Results: Stop talking; start doing. Track, measure, and prove your successes. Manage projects and resources effectively. Set clear goals and expectations and stay motivated.
8. Continuously Learn: Seek opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge and keep growing. (Hey, Carew can help you here!) There is always more to learn.
9. Foster Teamwork: Encourage collaboration and create an environment where others can express their opinions and feel valued and respected. Be a valued team member and provide guidance and support when improvement is needed.
10. Take Responsibility: No one is perfect. Take responsibility for your actions and decisions, admit your mistakes, and learn from them.
Leadership roles are not for everyone. Before you assume any leadership role, I encourage you to take some time and self-reflect. Ask yourself why you want to be a leader, what is important to you, how you want to lead, where you want to lead, and whom you want to lead. Be honest with yourself. After all, honesty is one of the traits of an exceptional leader.
If leadership is for you, check out Carew’s Excellence in Sales Leadership™ program which is designed to equip emerging leaders with proven best practices to build a strong talent pool, optimize team performance, and increase bottom-line impact.
In this program you learn strategies and tactics to create an environment for success, motivate sales professionals, foster professional development, and deliver results. You will discover how to break through performance barriers using our proprietary problem-solving model and give prescriptive, actionable feedback. Create a common leadership language and structured development process that drives alignment towards business goals and elevates the professionalism of the sales organization.
Now, if you do want to keep searching for leadership, I enjoy these articles:
Inc. | The 9 Traits that Define Great Leadership
LifeHack | What Makes a Good Leader: 15 Critical Leadership Qualities