5 skills to focus on to build into a leadership role.
Have you thought about pursuing leadership within your team or organization but are unsure where to begin? Anyone can pursue leadership. In this article, we will talk about some of the core skill sets to focus on to build from individual contributors to a leader.
1.) Build a solid foundation by mastering your role: Build a solid foundation for yourself by doing work that is high quality and that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your role. This builds trust with your manager and with peers in your skills and abilities and will serve as a great foundation as you start practicing informal leadership skills.
2.) Look for organic opportunities to help and advise others on your team: Once you have a solid foundation look for opportunities to start helping colleagues within your team. If someone needs help learning a skillset that you've mastered take time to reach out to them and teach them. If you notice a trend or something of value you think the full team would benefit from, start a conversation to make sure others are aware. Leadership is about building trust and respect with your colleagues first and about considering the needs of others and caring about the success of the whole group, not just individual success. Be humble and offer your help often with no judgment; you will build that trust and respect over time.
3.) Be a positive influence on others: As you grow in your skills team members will start to look to you as a role model. Make sure you are leading by example by staying positive in the face of conflict and uncertainty and by listening to and advising your team members. This also may be a good time to have a conversation with your manager and let them know you're working to build leadership skills. Be sure to tell them the things you've been trying to focus on and get on the same page with them around topics concerning the team.
4.) Be a voice for your team: As you build upon these skillets look for the pain points your team has are there processes or blindspots that could be improved upon? Ask team members about topics of concern and get buy-in and feedback before bringing it to leadership to advocate for the necessary changes to help everyone.
5.) Be confident, consistent, and persistent in your efforts: Believe in yourself and the skills you have built as you pursue a leadership role. Know that there will always be challenges and plenty of things to learn along the way. You will make mistakes approach them with humility and focus on the lesson it will make you better. Believe in your ability to figure out and navigate uncertainty and difficult issue and be committed to the individuals on your team and the needs of the organization. Let the team's morale and needs be your north star remember that you serve as an advocate for them. Last, never give up these skills take time to build and won't happen overnight be patient and keep pursuing this path.
To conclude this post I wanted to share an inspiring quote from author John Heider, who wrote the book "The tao of leadership". That I believe in and that I think sums up leadership at its core well.
"The leader works in any setting without complaint, with any person or issue that comes on the floor; the leader acts so that all will benefit. Speaks simply and honestly and intervenes to shed light and create harmony."- John Heider