Earning a promotion is never an easy thing to achieve and always requires a combination of factors to work in your favour. Some of these are out of your control like those related to budgets and company restructuring, but there is still plenty you can do to make sure you’re making a good impression on the people who make the decisions. That doesn’t mean volunteering to get them a coffee every five minutes, but actively demonstrating your suitability for bigger things. Here are some of the ways you can start to take on a leadership role at work.
Every company has its unsung heroes, the ones who work hard in the background and never seem to get the recognition they deserve. But that doesn’t win you promotions because if you’re not visible to the bosses, you won’t be at the front of their mind when they’re thinking of who deserves to be given the chance to step up. Sitting at your desk isn’t the way to achieve this, so make sure you’re visibly taking on a leadership role, mentoring new staff and taking the lead in meetings and even proactively promoting the company on your social media. It all helps.
It’s not just about showing that you’re working hard and catching their eye, you also need to demonstrate that you can be a good leader before you actually get promoted to be one. So you need to make sure that you are acting like the kind of person who inspires colleagues to be better, even if you aren’t yet in the position to be leading them and you can do this partly through leading by example, but also by being available to help anyone in difficulty. If your team-mates come to you when they get stuck, you’ll be proving that you have their respect already.
A leader needs to be someone who comes up with ideas to make things better, so while your current position might not give you the direct opportunity to do this, there is nothing stopping you from showing the drive and initiative to make recommendations anyway. So if you see an opportunity or an area where the company could be doing better, write it down as a proposal and ask to present it to your bosses. Even if they don’t act on it, you will have proved to them that you aren’t afraid to stick your neck out to try and help the company get ahead.
Look at the Bigger Picture
It’s very easy in your job to focus only on what your personal goals and KPIs are because those are what your performance is measured on. However, leaders always need to look at the bigger picture for the company and how each part affects the direction it is going in. So take the time to listen when the big picture is discussed and ask questions to help you get to grips with it and then bear it in mind when you are talking in meetings so you can demonstrate that you aren’t someone focused solely on your own goals but can take the step up, already prepared for the new outlook.
Being open and honest is an important habit to get into in all aspects of life, but if you want to assume more of a leadership role at work, you need to prove that colleagues at all levels of your company can trust in you to do the right thing by the company and by them. Stabbing people in the back to climb the ladder might be seen as one way to get more authority, but that does no good for the morale or for the respect anyone has for you. So focus instead on being honest, taking responsibility, accepting blame instead of apportioning it and you’ll get the lasting respect that any good leader needs.
Following these tips will help you start to take on more of a leadership role at work and prove to your colleagues and bosses that you are worthy of that kind of responsibility.
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