Sector News

4 Ways To Earn A Leadership Position

November 4, 2014
Borderless Leadership

Ready to step into a bigger role? Here’s how to make that happen.

Much has been written on what makes a great leader. From morning routines to management styles, plus tips and tricks on the best ways to lead—when it comes to leadership, many theories have already been examined.

While that advice can make for a good read or a timely reminder, it’s equally important to look at how those who have attained leadership positions came by them. Were there specific characteristics they possessed or career paths they followed?

After co-founding and running a company for more than 20 years, there are four tried and true ways I’ve seen people earn their leadership positions.

1. They Worked Themselves Out Of A Job

This isn’t about people getting themselves fired insomuch as it’s about becoming so good at their position that they are no longer needed in that role.

People who have succeeded and risen to the top have done so because they’ve proven they can do more. They have taken the time to perfect their skills and complete the tasks assigned; at the same time they have proven themselves to be dependable, people whom the team turned to because the job would be done well and right.

2. They Focused On What Interested Them

I’ve found that the people who have been the most successful at a position long term were the ones who were most excited about it, not those who had the most experience. Nowadays, if an employee is good at something they stick with it, perhaps for their entire career. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but what excites people today won’t necessarily excite them tomorrow.

Those who really grow and become leaders pursue interests that are fuelled by their passions. In some companies that may be easier said than done, but it’s important for people to speak up and make it known what they are interested in.

It’s also important to encourage people to take risks, and that can mean taking on a role or a project in an area that is perhaps not their specialty but that interests them—this has the uncanny ability to open doors and offer growth experiences.

3. They Figured It Out For Themselves

Those that excel and grow their role within a company master bringing all the information to the table before asking for input or recommending a decision. This hands-on approach to experiencing the issue before making a call is a sure-fire way to get their mind thinking about how best to fix the issue. Bringing solutions and recommending a decision to their manager shows they are committed to finding the best solution, rather than hoping someone else will solve it for them.

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield once offered a tip that applies in this case: Practice making decisions and sticking with them—this will help you get better at making them because you will have to live with the consequences.

4. They Trusted Their Guts

Trusting one’s gut can be hard to do because it is often described as having a “feeling” as to why they should or shouldn’t do something. There may not be physical evidence to back this unconscious reasoning.

For people to trust their guts really means having confidence in themselves and their abilities. Trusting in the belief that they have their role for a reason helps them make decisions based on incomplete information.

It also helps them realize that having their decisions questioned is not only okay but also required to lead and create an environment that encourages others to learn and grow.

By Tommy Petrogiannis

Source: Fast Company

comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

To slow down attrition, pay closer attention to what workers really need

Borderless Leadership

It can be a real challenge to try to fabricate fun, especially in a group workplace setting. I’m not going to claim to have the perfect answer to that, because I do think fun is much like romance: if you try to force it too much, it’s not going to happen. What you can do, though, is set the stage for it.

September 17, 2022

Lessons on leadership and community from 25 leaders of color

Borderless Leadership

The specific attributes that leaders of color bring can be the key to unlocking great leadership — for everyone. To better understand the relationship between leadership and identity, the authors talked to 25 leaders of color across the social sector and drew on their client work. Their research identified several noteworthy assets that leaders of color bring to their organizations.

September 11, 2022

The CEO’s role is changing. What it takes to get the top job now

Borderless Leadership

The mission of a CEO used to be fairly straightforward. Set the vision and strategy of your company and make sure the right people are in the right roles. Above all else, grow as fast and as big as you can. But as the world has changed, so have the demands of the CEO job— and the skills needed to succeed in it.