Leadership and Management
What Is The Best Way To Pursue A Leadership Position
People say leaders are born, not made. However, if you do proper research, you’ll see leaders always win over the mountain peak through sheer hard work and determination. Everyone can be a leader; you must be steadfast and smart while pursuing your goals.
It’s needless to explain steadfastness, but how do you tackle the idea of being ‘smart’? That’s what this blog is about: What is the best way to pursue a leadership position?
Table of Content
- Ways in Which you can Pursue a Leadership Position
Ways in Which you can Pursue a Leadership Position
While most leadership skills come naturally to you or through life experiences, you still need to work on some skills. For example, we’re sure in many articles you have read about the dos and don’ts.
Below is a discussion of what things you need to focus on to pursue a leadership position.
Set Goals and Plan Accordingly
Always set goals before and plan accordingly; you can only go ahead with a fixed purpose or plan.
Take a deep breath and think for a while. What is your main goal? Do you want to lead your company? Or would you like to pursue the role of a Project manager? Or the captain of the football team?
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Now that you have set your goal, make it successful.
- The first thing you need to do is RESEARCH! Before setting out to do anything, you should always gather as much information as possible through the internet or books. Detailed information about the thing you want would help you plan further and prepare you for challenges that may come your way.
- Always plan ahead and keep backup plans in case your initial arrangement does not work out.
Now that you have set your goals and your planning is done, your next task should be to know yourself properly.
Understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but only some are aware of them. In order to pursue your desired leadership position, you should know what you are good at. Your strengths will definitely help you achieve your goal.
But what really helps you is to know what your flaws are. So instead of taking them negatively, learn to understand your shortcomings.
When you finally learn to accept the flaws, prompt yourself to improve them. This will help you to face any future problems that may come. Ultimately, it will also help in working on making yourself better.
You may also make a pros and cons list or jot down what skills you have, then decide how your strengths and weaknesses might help you achieve your goals. Using this list, focus on improving your existing skills.
Learn to Think Strategically
Just understanding and building your skills is not enough. It would be best if you think strategically to excel.
It is totally okay if you need to improve at thinking strategically, but you could obviously practise it. But, as the old saying goes, practice makes a man perfect.
Thinking and reflecting about many things at once will help you work on making yourself better, paving your way to being a leader.
Suppose your seniors can see that you have the ability to think strategically. In that case, they are already impressed with you and see a potential for a leadership position in your future.
These people might be in your favour in the future, helping you achieve your goals or will be a perfect candidate for recommendations.
Now that you have also learned to think strategically or at least have known that you should be doing it, you should also learn to seek any opportunities that may come your way.
Say you are handed certain tasks which are not usually your thing; learn to accept these and show enthusiasm to work for more responsibilities instead of dodging them.
Although, do not end up being a pushover! Working on things you think might help you exhibit your skills and work ethic would be best.
Moreover, accepting new responsibilities might be a way to showcase those skills. For example, when your team leaders see that you can handle pressure yet have a good work balance, they will eventually offer you better opportunities.
Practice Leading and Gather Followers
It would be best if you learned to lead by seeking new opportunities, which will eventually help you grow followers. For example, gathering followers would show your ability to motivate people, which is one of the key traits of a leader.
While practising leading, you should keep some things in mind. For instance, keep yourself constantly motivated. Your followers will see you as a role model or someone they can look up to.
Moreover, you will need to be more confident in leading your team.
Make sure to be enthusiastic as well.
Also, try to help your fellow teammates if they seek advice from you. Try to be ambitious and inspire your followers. This is what paves your way to a leadership position.
One last thing to definitely work on is asking for feedback.
Asking for Feedback
You can seek mentorship opportunities within your organisation and learn from the best leaders or leaders you look up to.
For example, you can ask them how you are doing at your workplace and if there is anything you should be working on to improve. Or should you be working on building more skills?
Not only seniors, say you have someone close to you who might help you give feedback or advice, try to talk to them too. Or, if you are still in college, you could go to your professors or research assistants and ask them which areas they think you have a scope of being better.
Asking for feedback will help you enhance your existing leadership skills and show your seniors that you are willing to learn, improve yourself, and become a potential leader.
However, pursuing a leadership position comes with a few challenges also.
As you know, pursuing a leadership position takes a lot of work. You will face many problems in this journey; however, you should learn to overcome those challenges. Otherwise, these challenges might even break your motivation to continue.
Some of the common challenges you may face are mentioned below:
- Different perspectives – Not every employee you lead will have the same mindset. Hence, you need to know how to deal with it. You should be able to understand how to make them work together.
- Multitasking and Planning – Leaders in upper management often work between multiple departments, leading teams with people from different backgrounds. This can often lead to challenges in time management and prioritisation.
- Adaptability – Reaching upper leadership levels requires an individual to have a clear understanding of the end-to-end processes of an organisation and to be well-rounded in the organisational processes to provide guidance & leadership effectively. Thus, you must be comfortable and adaptable to new challenges and tasks.
Keeping Yourself on Track
The first thing to do is get yourself a planner; you could buy one from any stationary store. You could also use any mobile application available. Having a planner would help you to be organised. For example, you could make a daily or weekly to-do list and check those off after completing the work.
On the other hand, if you think documenting on a planner is just a hassle and time-consuming, the best thing would be to set reminders in your phone’s calendar. However, you must check your calendar periodically to keep you on track.
Lastly, it would help if you had something to motivate you. Something that drives you to work hard for your goal could be a quote from the person you idolise.
Print it and paste it somewhere in your room; in front of your desk would be the best place. You could also make it your wallpaper on your desktop/laptop, whatever works best for you.
No one knows what the best way to pursue a leadership position is. However, you should still not lose hope and keep yourself on track. You may face many ups and downs on your way.
Always remember to keep yourself motivated and make sure not to make any hasty decisions that might hamper your future.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Q: What makes a great leader in the workplace?
Someone who would be able to communicate appropriately and motivate the teammates. Moreover, an individual who would actively take feedback and is willing to work on their shortcomings.
Q: What are the 3 most important roles of a leader?
According to salesworks.asia, a leader’s three most crucial roles are – The Visionary, The Strategist and The Talent Advocator.
Q: What makes a good strategic leader?
- The essential skills required to be an excellent strategic leader are:
- Active listener
- Strong communicator
And many more.
Q: How do you introduce yourself in a leadership interview?
It would be best if you started by introducing your professional story outlining your essential experiences from the start till now. However, your primary focus should be on the recent position.
Q: What are the 4 P’s of leadership?
According to cid.harvard.edu, the four core domains for strategic leadership are Perception, Process, People and Projection.