Build Your Leadership Skills (and be noticed for it!)

By Mel SIm

Good leadership skills will get you far in the pack – and that promotion in the bag.

After you’ve learnt the technical know-hows for your job, the time will come for you to develop important soft skills like leadership. Some people are born leaders; others have to cultivate it. Whichever the case, the earlier you hone your leadership skills, the faster you will impress your boss and make it to the top. Here’s how.

#1 Be organised
A leader needs to know how to prioritise and keep things in order. If your boss comes over and sees your table scattered with paper, needless to say he or she won’t be impressed. Or that time when you completely forgot about an internal meeting because you didn’t put it up on your calendar.

To be taken seriously as a leader, you need to show that you have it completely under control by being organised and on top of things. Start small – keep your desk tidy. Then practise good organisational habits like always making you sure jot down all important notes and deadlines. Work your way up from there and before you know it, you’ll be at the top.

#2 Show discipline
Good leaders have great discipline – that’s how they stay motivated to get themselves up the ladder. You can start cultivating this by meeting deadlines, keeping appointments, showing up to events and meetings on time. This shows to your boss that you have your work in order and the right attitude to one day be an effective leader with purpose.

#3 Take on more responsibility
A great way to develop your leadership skill is to take on more responsibilities. This helps you cultivate new skills and knowledge to help you grow professionally. Just make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle or it will be counter-productive.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to step out of your comfort zone (like taking on a project doing something completely different from your usual) so that you get to know the company as well as the work involved from all different angles. When you do this, you can be sure that your boss is paying attention to your initiative and will reward you in the future with a promotion.

#4 See the bigger picture
A good leader is someone who sees the overall picture and not just focuses on the minor details. This is especially handy to spot problems before they appear and to handle the more complex projects. This ability to foresee will make you an invaluable leader. Try it with your next project and if you have good ideas, lay them out on the table with your boss and team mates. Soon, everyone will recognise you for the potential leader you can be.

#5 Keep learning
Even a great leader needs to keep on learning. After all, the path to leadership is about always learning new things. This way, you can always update your skills and keep your focus so that you are ready for whatever challenge that comes your way. So whatever opportunity you have to upgrade your skills and improve, take it!

#6 Listen well
Being a leader doesn’t just mean you talk and people listen; in fact, many times it is the exact opposite. A good leader is someone who listens to suggestions, ideas and feedback positively. Show your potential by doing all of the above with your boss. Take criticism constructively and aim to do better after. Your boss will see and appreciate your effort in doing so, tagging you for someone with leadership potential.

Photo by Ethan Weil on Unsplash

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