Want to be a leader? Start acting like one.

Many employees aspire to one-day take on a leadership role. However, just because an employee wants to become a leader, it doesn’t mean that employee will automatically get promoted.

Sure, you’ve held your role at the company for quite some time and are itching to make a jump to a higher position. But before you try to make that jump, take a step back to evaluate if you are currently performing to the best of your ability. To be considered for a leadership role, you have to be extremely proficient in your current position.

Think about your problem solving skills in a team environment. Do you help your team resolve problems, or do you find yourself holding back? And if you do hold back, is it because you are afraid that if you help others, they might get ahead of you in the company?

Well, if you operate with that kind of attitude toward your team, you most likely will not become a leader.
Remember, leading others is primarily about the relationships with followers.

Aspiring leaders must demonstrate job-skill competency and establish positive relationships with other workers. In addition, they need to show they are a resourceful worker who adopts a ‘can do’ type of attitude, and works with the team toward a common goal.

Instead of viewing your co-workers as competition, focus on collaborating with your co-workers and pay attention to what they need. Learn to be open to their new ideas and promote the ideas if you feel it is worthwhile. When you lend a hand to solve problems and make valuable contributions to the team, these actions will actually help to identify you as a potential leader.

Here are some other ways to become more resourceful:

· Take a course, or attend a professional conference, to expand your technical skills. Make sure you learn and understand the basics of your trade and industry.

· Let yourself be known as an expert in certain areas and continually communicate your availability as a resource.

· Examine how you give advice when others come to you for help. Take care not to act “superior” because you know the answer.

· Identify the people in your organization who are notably creative and innovative. Spend time with them and observe how they approach problem solving by “turning problems upside down,” and “thinking out of the box.”

· Develop your communication skills to gain trust from those around you. Efficient leaders communicate well both in writing and verbally, along with demonstrating excellent listening skills.

As we mentioned earlier, if you want to be a leader, you better start acting like one.

What advice do you have for aspiring leaders and managers?

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