Professional Development

Developing leadership skills for the position you want

Written by Guest Contributor

Leaders are needed across all walks of life. They tend to be visionaries who have the ability to execute plans, bring out the best in people, and bring success to environments they’re placed in. That being said, leadership qualities aren’t something a person is naturally born with or without, and can be developed by anyone with time and work. Even if you don’t feel as though you’re a born leader, you can become one if you develop the right skills. 

While not everyone sees themselves as thriving in a leadership position, some hope to get there one day. If you’re ambitious and see yourself taking on greater challenges, it may be time to work on becoming the leader you want to be, no matter where or who exactly you’re hoping to lead. That being said, here are some suggestions for how you can develop leadership skills for the position you want.

Research your ideal leaders

The first step to take when developing your leadership skills is to visualize what type of leader you want to be. To help you do this, write down a list of leaders that you respect and admire, especially those well-known in the field you’re hoping to break into.

Once you have a list of leaders and leadership qualities, see how you can mirror these qualities in the workplace. If, for instance, you liked the fact that one of your ideal leaders manages their time effectively, you could practice coming to work earlier than expected or handing in deliverables before they’re due. However, it is important that you remember to retain a sense of individuality. You’re a unique individual and as a result, can create your own leadership style.

Get familiar with leadership models

Every company organizes leadership in a different way, so get familiar with how it’s done at yours. This knowledge will become useful when you’re trying to develop skills for the position that you want; it will make it easier for you to stand out and look like a natural candidate for the role.

Take time to study the core leadership models used in your organization. For example, there are three core models your organization could fall into, including: situational, transformational, and functional leadership.

  • Situational leadership is where managers align their leadership methods with the competencies, skills, and maturity levels of employees.
  • Transformational leadership encourages employees to lead innovation and change in the workplace.
  • Functional leadership focuses most on ensuring teams have what they need to complete tasks and deliver results.

By understanding the nuances between leadership models and which your company uses (or which it could benefit most from if a change is necessary), you can adapt your leadership style and develop the right skills for the position.

Work strategically

When developing leadership skills for a position at work, be strategic about it. Rising to the top usually takes time, but having a plan in place can help you achieve your goal more quickly.

Make sure your strategy consists of networking with people who can show you the ropes and help you advance in your career. You should also work at acquiring vital industry-related skills by taking on new challenges and showing ambition when it comes to the opportunity to learn new things. With the right network and preparation, you could get the position you want in a shorter period of time after gaining the skills and experience you need.

As the saying goes, work smart instead of hard. Focus on developing the skills needed for the role and use your time wisely.

Prioritize personal development

Although this was touched on above, personal development is a significant part of skill development. They are more or less one and the same as you can’t develop your skills without developing yourself. That being said, see if there are any courses or certifications you can get to help aid the process. Not only could this help you secure the desired position, but it’s a good way to reflect leadership skills on your resume, too.

You should also look into getting a mentor that can provide honest feedback and help you identify areas that need improvement. Seeing as they have vast experience, they’re in a good position to tell you whether or not you’re a good leader.

Aside from the mentioned, you can use everyday activities in the workplace for growth opportunities. For example, being proactive and volunteering yourself to manage projects or assignments is a way to develop yourself and show leadership skills. Sharing your opinions in a polite way is also an avenue for personal development — this is something good leaders know how to do as a way of providing feedback that could facilitate change.

It isn’t likely that you’re going to be able to develop leadership skills in one day. They’re something you will develop over time, so be patient. However, by engaging in a process of self-assessment, embracing learning curves, and using the right resources, you could become a born leader before you know it. Good luck!

About the Author:
Maggie Potter is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing on a variety of topics from technology to lifestyle. When she isn’t writing you can find her traveling far and wide or reading a good book.

About the author

Guest Contributor