Seven Effective Ways To Get Promoted Into a Leadership Role
How to get promoted into a leadership role? Are you one step away from a leadership role? The secret to getting over the line and being promoted to that new leadership level can be one simple thing: giving yourself permission to lead.
If you feel stuck in the lane of middle management, struggling to merge into the fast lane of executive leadership, it’s time for a tune-up.
You might be the hardest-working member of your team, supervising dozens of employees who sacrifice their weekends whenever you ask them to, but that doesn’t make you a leader.
A job well done isn’t like a standardized test — your past performance doesn’t necessarily predict a successful future in leadership.
WarningAnd if your last official leadership role was coaching your intramural softball team, it might be time to start thinking a little more seriously about your plan to move up.
Working in a professional environment requires you to put in hard work and deliver quantity or quality, or preferably both.
However, your work is not the sole criteria that you will be judged on when it comes to climbing the professional ladder. This post discusses what it takes to make an impression at work and how to get that much-deserved promotion into a leadership role.
Here’s how you can be a top performer who your company chooses to promote to the next level.
Human ambition is all about growing, developing and discovering how we can be our best so that we can help others become their best too, don’t you agree? So why don’t you change your thinking and give it a go?
Embrace The Big Picture
To be an effective manager, you’ll need a 360-degree view of the company. With the right information, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and develop the right strategies to push your department forward.
So, spend some time learning as much as you can about your business as a whole.
Consider your personal knowledge of the internal workings of your company. If there’s an area you don’t know too much about, introduce yourself to people in that department and ask if you can shadow them for an afternoon to learn a little about what they do on a daily basis.
A true leader must be able to devise strategies that maximize revenue and beat the competition.
WarningTo show your boss that you can think strategically, get together with senior leaders and executives and have a discussion about the industry, where it’s going and the competitive landscape for you and your customers. Talk about how your actions fit in with the company’s future and not just about the next quarter.
Additionally, networking can be vital for those who are looking for a promotion. Building up strong connections with your managers and colleagues is essential to help you to become an excellent potential candidate.
One of the best ways to get promoted is to stay informed about the latest developments in your sector and leadership practices.
Not only will this allow you to understand new and innovative leadership techniques and methods, but researching your industry and the effect that this has on your business can help you to show your interest and allow you to make the right decisions if you do get promoted.
Top performers know their job and do it well. However, appraisal is not the time to just do the usual.
WarningYou must find new ways to prove yourself, think outside the box and take initiatives. But, before you start going out of your way to be nice to your seniors and doing the extra work, make sure your regular work is taken care of.
Trust Your Gut
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.
Speaking your goals out loud opens up opportunity. If you don’t say anything, you have no chance.
WarningWhen you tell people about your aspirations, you open yourself up to opportunity. Once people know about your goals, there is a chance they’ll give you a shot.
One of the best ways to show that you’re ready for a leadership role is to find small ways to manage people or projects. You’ll build your management skills, of course—but more importantly, you’ll start being viewed as a team leader.
You can’t lead anyone if you can’t lead yourself. Getting to know yourself and learning how to understand others is paramount to successful leadership.
WarningDeveloping your EQ and emotional self-control takes time and effort. Make sure you focus on developing the four competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management to be a competent, wise and switched-on leader in all situations.
It can be useful to carve out and prioritize your own regular Thought Leadership Window.
Take around two hours a month dedicated to thinking about how to drive long term growth. This creates momentum and you quickly find that what begins as a conscious decision to give yourself permission to lead soon becomes a habit of thinking beyond your immediate borders.
Cast Your Elevator Pitch
We all know about the elevator pitch, but other than when networking externally, do we really give it any thought? The goal with the elevator pitch is to be ready for any brief encounter internally where you discover a window to quickly articulate what you’re working on in this period.
People who make breakthroughs in their field, who initiate game-changing strategies, are the ones who keep on top of what’s happening.
WarningIt sounds obvious but in practice it can be hard to find time to read our industry news when there is always so much else that requires our immediate attention. But professionals who are serious about moving into more leadership stay on top of industry developments beyond just what they need to know.
Great leaders understand the importance of building relationships.
It may feel productive to spend hours at your desk, churning out good results, but to maximize the rewards, you have to get out of your chair. Instead of solving everything through a quick email, take the time to stop by a co-worker’s office and discuss an issue face-to-face.
CNN reports that only 16% of workers want to put in the extra effort to gain a promotion. However, the most vital step that you can take towards promotion is the ability to show your value to your manager and convince them that you are irreplaceable and an asset to your company.
Leadership is a 24/7 responsibility. The hard part of leadership is that you have to do it everyday.
You need to make sure that you have a very positive and can-do attitude and that you are flexible and willing to take on any assignment with a positive attitude.
You want to demonstrate a good work ethic by being on time and courteous to other co-workers.
WarningAvoid office gossip, aim to have the reputation of someone who everyone can trust, and approach your everyday tasks with a positive attitude. You need to be a motivated and engaged employee with a passion for the job that you perform.
When you ask a technologist what they want in a teammate, the top answer is a good problem solver. As you move up the leadership ranks, the problems change and intensify, but you still need to be a problem solver.
Leaders don’t just wait to be told what to do—they think strategically about what needs to be done, and then they do it.
WarningSo, next time you’re faced with a challenge, don’t just tell your boss about the problem and wait for a solution. Instead, tell him or her how you’re going to fix it.
Effective leaders make major decisions during a positive swing in their leadership and not during dark times. Never give up while you are going through the sand.
Tackle your problems one at a time, don’t get overwhelmed by the volume of your problems and then go half-cocked into problem-solving. If you are facing a lot of problems, fully solve the one you are working on before moving to the next.
Don’t rock the boat.
A leader is constantly on the lookout for not only new ways of doing things but, more importantly, new ways of seeing the infinite possibilities for the way we live, even if it means taking calculated risks.
Don’t forget to look at internal issues, too: If you think there are ways to do your job more efficiently, test those solutions and present them. You won’t only make your life easier—you’ll prove to your boss that you’re ready to improve the entire department’s operations.
Effective team leaders anticipate problems, knowing that problems are inevitable.
WarningIf you expect the road ahead to always be smooth, you will not be able to effectively solve the problems that come your way. Although it is important to keep a positive attitude, planning for the worst will place you in a position to solve the problems that you encounter.
Problem solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do.
As leaders, the goal is to minimize the occurrence of problems — which means we must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances force our hand. We must be resilient in our quest to create and sustain momentum for the organization and people we serve.
Work Hard, Work Smart
People who have succeeded and risen to the top have 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.
Consistency is the key. Without a doubt, top performers are characterized by hard work.
Consistent workers add value to the company as they are more reliable. Come what may, they complete their job without fail and senior managers can depend upon them when they need to get the work done, which is why they are given more responsibility.
You need to be great in your performance. You need to stand out above the rest by committing strongly and efficiently to your mission.
WarningYou just have to be better than everyone else to stand out and to get what you want in life. The best way to be a stand out is to have a “Can Do” attitude and to be 100% reliable, trustworthy, ethical and honest.
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.
Working smart means it’s key to manage time wisely to not get burnt out or lose your work/life balance. Work really hard on being organized and disciplined.
WarningIf you can’t get things done and on time, it really does not matter how much you know. Credibility is everything and sadly most people are very disorganized. Are you one of them?
You should have the courage to say NO when it is necessary. Star performers must be good at prioritizing work and events.
Time management is crucial, you must be able to determine what’s urgent and what’s not. This way you can do more in less time. Only then will you be effective and worthy of promotion.
Mature leaders consider intended and unintended consequences, but not to the point of being paralyzed. Being fearless means taking some risks — not foolish ones, but ones which stretch you, and bend your mind under different challenges.
Often doing what you fear the most makes your fear disappear, and you look back and marvel that you feared it at all.
People want to be led by those who have courage, but being fearless without the other traits such as commitment, intelligence and integrity is like being a Lion without a heart.
A fearless leader feels the same anxiety as others but keeps breathing.
He or she knows that everything happens for a reason, and that mistakes teach us more than our successes do. Strong leaders take responsibility for everything that happens in their departments — the good and the bad they don’t blame their employees for mishaps.
Fearless leadership means being unafraid of naming the elephant in the room or facing hard issues head on. Everything the fearless leader does is in the service of those under his care and his own ego comes in second; everything he does comes from a deeper meaning and a bigger calling.
Obviously, fearlessness and courage go hand in hand. However, acting with courage is not always easy, it requires perseverance and stamina.
WarningIt requires making decisions and showing conviction to stand by your decisions no matter what the outcome. Most importantly, courage mandates that you are able to admit when you are wrong and not get distracted by your ego…if you are human, you make mistakes.
Fearless means you must be empathetic. You need to put yourself in the shoes of others to understand where they are coming from.
This requires more listening, more patience, more compassion and sometimes, even slowing down today to go faster tomorrow. Fearless leaders are not afraid to look people in the eye and provide feedback and receive feedback — through the lens of empathy, they instinctively know that feedback is at the core of improving self.
When it comes to your expertise and your network, be a mentor, not a miser. Don’t treat your skills and your contacts as a proprietary trade secret just because you’re afraid a colleague will steal your thunder.
Be generous with your resources. True leaders are always willing to share their wisdom and lend a hand to a coworker who is flailing in choppy waters.
By becoming the in-house consultant everyone can count on, you’re doing much more than sharing information; you’re building trust and loyalty.
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.
An ability to acquire skills and knowledge is key to surviving in a modern workplace. There are many shortcuts to learning that you can find, including learning how to study and how to select the right topics.
If you’re willing to be considered for promotion, you need to make sure your bosses see you as a strong individual with endurance.
WarningYou should have the ability to adapt to all sorts of situations. In order to grow, you will have to learn new things and challenge yourself. Improvisation and social skills will help you boost your own value.
Even outside of your job, you can build valuable leadership experience by joining committees, clubs or volunteering.
During your day job, volunteer to take part in projects or take responsibility for something in your team. Identify improvements that could be made and offer to implement them. Suddenly, you’re leading a mini project.
If you are not satisfied with your progress you need to change your approach. Be honest with yourself. What is holding you back?
Lack of self awareness is the main reason people end up not achieving their dreams. Many wanna be leaders at every level are living in self denial.
WarningFor 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.
Don’t give up when you’re trying for your next leadership role.
Think of the future and build experience now that will help you get that position. It can be tough to get the first foot in the door, but it’s certainly not impossible and it gets easier from there!
Once you perfect the intangible qualities of a leader, you’ll prove that you can add value to your company in a management position.
It might take time, but that’s OK: It’ll put you in the perfect light when the opportunity for a promotion comes up.
At the end of the day, if you’re the go-to person your boss and co-workers can always count on, you’ll be on the right track to move up.
Are you trying to get your first leadership position? What have been your biggest challenges? Looking forward to hearing all about your amazing leadership journey. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!