There are many different ways to demonstrate leadership abilities. This is not just in the final results of the company, team, or department, but it is also in the attitudes, behaviors, and skills that the leader brings to the table to benefit the organization.
More and more, businesses of all sizes and across all industries are turning to emerging or upcoming leaders in succession planning that demonstrate an early development and focus on the basic leadership skills. By focusing on this area in your professional growth and development plans and actions, it is possible to develop and refine the specific skills, attitudes, and behaviors to position yourself for promotion.
Focus on Professionalism and Ethical Behaviors
Leading by example and demonstrating a strong commitment to professionalism and ethical decision making and behaviors are always an essential combination of skill, attitude, and behavior in a leader. Leaders who see the end justifying the means are a liability for many organizations, and they are also seen as problematic to work with for colleagues and direct reports.
Ability to Create a Team and Bring Others Along
Developing the ability to create trust with others and to bring people along in success and growth is critical. This is the only way to continue to grow as a leader with a strong, supportive team that feels valued, respected, and engaged in the company.
Accept Responsibility and Accountability
Learning to accept responsibility as a leader is not easy, particularly for those who are highly competitive or driven to achieving stretch goals. Failing to recognize the team in times of success or blaming the team in times of failure leads to distrust and disconnection.
Learn Conflict Management and Communication Skills
Effective communication, questioning, and conflict management skills are essential in today’s workplace. Top leaders may not be natural mediators or negotiators, but they take courses and practice these skills to become more effective at addressing problems and creating a positive working environment.
Reward Success, Innovation and Thinking Outside the Box
The best leaders are comfortable and confident in trusting the team in their ability to come up with creative or innovative ways to make change. This doesn’t mean a lack of oversight, but it means to have the ability to build a strong team and encourage them to utilize their full potential.
This is both an attitude as well as a behavior. Breaking free from the need to micromanage and oversee teams or people and moving into more of a coaching and mentoring role is a key focus in leadership skill development.
Of course, leaders also have to be flexible and able to respond to changes in business models, markets, and even a constantly changing workplace. Having professional goals and striving towards those goals is also a central behavior any emerging leader should develop throughout her or his professional career.