Do you want to know five steps you can take to further your career as a business leader?
Getting ahead in any career is challenging and in leadership more so as this discipline requires soft skills that are harder to obtain from your usual tertiary qualification.
If leadership is your thing, you’ll need to take roles and opportunities to improve year upon year, so you’re not stagnating but climbing up the management ranks.
In this article, we look at the fundamental steps you can take to hone your leadership acumen, to give yourself a fighting chance to secure roles that are developing you as a leader.
Understand the business from the inside out
If you’re to find solutions to break down resistance to change as a leader and get more productivity from your people, expanding your thinking and attaining a wider skill-set will never go a miss.
For example, you may be managing a customer support team. Your direct knowledge and accountability are within customer support. However, this current leadership role is not the end game for you.
To be an effective business leader, you’ll need a working knowledge of the business as a whole, including operations, sales, technology, finance and so on.
Thorough knowledge of your business as a whole will make it easier for you to plan your rise up the ranks of leadership and management. How do you get it? This is easier than you think.
Form close alliances with other leaders in the company and suggest working together on projects that allow knowledge transfer. As the saying goes: a problem shared is a problem halved.
Your peers will be experiencing some of the same people management issues so you can learn a lot about their departments with closer associations with them.
Further education can deepen your knowledge
It sounds counter-intuitive, but further education is a powerful way to lead by example and thus become a role model in business. You may feel you left education behind years ago, that the only learning you need is outside the classroom, on the job – this is a grave mistake.
After all, you wouldn’t just be learning about your own business and colleagues, but the bigger picture. A deep understanding of how to manage and motivate those around you and organizational techniques is crucial. So, studying a degree like the BSBA degree will act as a springboard for your business leadership career.
Share what you’ve learned
Now that you’ve gained a deeper understanding of business administration and a grasp of relevant skills outside your area of expertise, it is time to solidify your newfound knowledge so you can implement it when you need it.
A great way to understand what you’ve learned is to teach it. Why not offer your advice to colleagues who need guidance or speak at seminars and events?
By teaching others, you can better understand what you’ve learned yourself.
Building the confidence to teach and learn from others will also sharpen your leadership skills further still.
Widen your network of contacts and your visibility
Attend in-person events and speak to as many attendees as you can. Turn up early and leave late, so you get ample time to circulate and introduce yourself to like-minded peers.
Get your profile set up on business networking sites such as LinkedIn and regularly post interesting, relevant information, so your network grows.
All leaders need to be confident communicators so improve your public speaking skills by joining seminar groups and putting yourself forward as a speaker.
Widening your network isn’t reserved for networking events either. Simple, everyday acts can help, too.
Make time to chat with your colleagues daily. You’ll stay engaged with what’s happening in different areas of your business and the wider industry. It will also keep your name at the front of people’s minds and stop you from slipping out of touch.
Have clear achieveable goals
Understand where you’re going in your career and how the role improves your leadership acumen. Having a clear business goal is a proven method for furthering your business career.
Where do you see yourself in a year? Or five years? If you can picture what you want to be doing in the future, it is easier to organize the ‘now’.
With clear, reachable goals, you’ll be inspired and motivated to work harder, smarter, and smash through any ceiling of resistance.
Strive for more in your leadership career using these five steps to deepen your knowledge and experience. Then use your network of contacts and goals to acquire new leadership roles that challenge you and are rewarding.
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