Getting Seen as Leadership Potential








Getting that first job right out of university is usually an exciting and uplifting time. For most of us, it is the moment when we begin to truly visualize the rest of our career path. Not only where this job will take us today, but where it might lead us five, ten and fifteen years from now.

Sure, there are those who find a job they love and stick to it. But far more often, people have aspirations that go above and beyond that first real job. For many, those aspirations are paving the way into leadership. They see themselves one day running a department, division or company; not just being one of the worker bees keeping that business afloat.

If that’s you, currently one of those worker bees with your sights set a little higher, know that even if achieving those dreams is years down the line – how you conduct yourself today can open those doors for you in the future.


Providing the Assist

Do you know what impresses supervisors? Team players. They know that the leaders of tomorrow are the employees who are invested in working with their co-workers, not just in forever competing with them. If you want to make your mark as a future leader, you need to prove that you are committed to the mission of your company and to helping those you work with achieve their goals as well. Because you understand that working as a team will always provide better results than being a solo-contributor. So if you see a co-worker struggling with their aspect of an upcoming project, or you know a member of your team is dealing with some family issues and isn’t as focused as they might normally be, offer to lend a helping hand. It’s what a leader would do.


Ever the Volunteer

Occasionally projects will come up that no one really wants to work on, or travel opportunities to less than desirable locations. This happens at every job, no matter what you do – there are those tasks that everyone kind of wishes they could avoid. Instead of being one more person cowering in the corner and hoping your boss doesn’t look at you when those tasks come up, though, be the one who volunteers. At least every once in a while. You don’t have to become the punching bag who forever takes on the tasks no one else wants, but voluntarily taking one for the team here and there proves that you are committed to getting the job done – even if that sometimes means a bit of sacrifice.


Making Friends

Future leaders know how to make friends with the right people, but they also know how to endear themselves to everyone else around them. Being a good leader often means being capable of making friends and investing yourself in others. If you’re the kind of person others don’t really like to work with, for whatever reason, upper management will notice – and it will play into what they think of your capabilities for the future. So exercise your charm and be the kind of co-worker who is friendly and pleasant to be around.


Expressing Interest

Sometimes the right answer is also the most obvious. If you have dreams of working your way up the ladder, you have to be willing to express that interest now and again. Let your supervisors know you are interested in opportunities for growth, and seek out a mentor when appropriate. Show your commitment by pursuing chances for continued education and attending leadership seminars and events. Always keep an eye out for chances to expand upon your resume, and maintain an open line of communication with your supervisors when it comes to your goals and what you can be doing to achieve them.

Most importantly, understand those goals yourself. After all, you can’t ever get anywhere unless you know where it is you want to go!


About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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