Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you want a promotion at your current company, simply having the skills is not enough. Instead, you must consistently show your superiors and critics your leadership attributes.
Specifically, you must prove that you know how to employ your skills for the good of the company.
You may have many talents, but some are more employable toward influencing others. To be seen as a real leader, regardless of your age or experience, develop and display these personal leadership attributes.
Guiding a group of people toward a goal is important, but you must do so with command and authority. Saying “We need to finish this task by 4 p.m.” is much more powerful than stating, “I think we should try to finish this task by 4 p.m.” The former statement expresses urgency and decisive action.
Do not confuse authority with a negative, authoritative attitude, however. Positively motivating your followers will gain their trust.
At times, you will make mistakes. However, that doesn’t mean you should second guess your decisions. When you make a decision, follow through confidently and make adjustments as necessary. Always be willing to listen to others, including those people you lead. Often, they have the best answers to the most challenging questions.
Do not allow confidence to turn into conceit, however. Your confidence should empower your followers, not dominate them.
If you want to further develop your leadership attributes and techniques, one solid option is to go back to school. If you already have your undergraduate degree, return for a master’s or Ph.D. In addition to the knowledge gained, an advanced degree shows you have a higher level of maturity and motivation.
Be smart, however, as pursuing an advanced degree can lead to higher student loan debt and lost earnings. If you are considering going back to school, visit here for more information.
Getting “organized” is a common foible because people often feel as though no one knows how disorganized they are except themselves. All a potential boss or client needs to do is look at your task or examine your train of thoughts to realize your thoughts are scattered.
When you manage people, one of your main tasks is keeping them organized. And if you aren’t organized yourself, this becomes a very difficult task. The key to staying organized: stay focused on what is most important, right now.
No matter how many possible problems and solutions you prognosticate early in a new job or with a new project, something will come up. An obstacle will appear that does not follow perfectly with your predictions.
Especially as a younger leader, you must show you are creative and can adapt. You must demonstrate an ability to move away from “the way we’ve always done it” or “the way I want it.” Remember, the mission comes first.
These are the leadership attributes I’ve found help me stand out. What would you add?
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.