Leadership is a quality where an individual has the ability to lead others through influence and has authoritativeness or sway in guiding a group of people. This characteristic is not a tangible one, but rather something that people can basically perceive or “see in action.” If you want to succeed in your professional career, improving your leadership skills is a great place to start. Management seeks employees who have an experienced skillset. Those who combine such skills with effective leadership qualities generally tend to rise to the top with promotions and anticipated new work projects. This article will address how career-minded individuals can prove their leadership ability in the workplace and the professional arena.
Qualities of a Leader
Proving your leadership ability first begins with ascertaining whether or not you truly are a leader. Do you have what it takes to lead others? Can you effectively rise up to the challenges that you face each day? The following is a list of some qualities that effective leaders have:
- Creative thinker
- Intuitive personality
- Honest and Ethical
- Ability to delegate
- Ability to inspire others
- Positive life perspective
- Commitment to excellence
- Good communication skills
- Flexibility and sense of humor
Ways to Prove Your Leadership Ability
Ascertain Your Leadership Style
Proving your leadership ability first begins with identifying your method of leadership. If you have never given your leadership style a second thought, now is the time to do some internal evaluation. Understanding your methods will increase your chances of succeeding as a leader and allowing your actions to speak volumes about your leadership capabilities. Take some time to evaluate the following factors.
- Personality – Leaders lead people. If you don’t know yourself and don’t understand the personalities of others, you will have a more difficult time being a leader. Find out more about your dominant personality and how you can better read other people with the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. You will better understand your strengths and weaknesses and what your core values are and how they affect your personal interactions. When you understand the basic personality types you will gain a new appreciation of how people can begin to interact better with each other. A good leader will learn how to read people and understand personality types.
- Motivation – Do you know how to motivate others? In reviewing this factor, you need to take an internal review to first understand what motivates you to succeed. Why do you want to be a leader in the first place? Effective leaders know who they are, where they’re going and why they are headed in that direction.
- Conflicts – How well do you handle conflict resolution? If you would rather flee to the hills than deal with two argumentative coworkers, than you might not be cut out for a leadership position. Remember, that leaders know how to lead and inspire others to work together, not against each other.
Review Your Current Experience
If you are on a journey to prove your leadership ability, chances are you have already been in a leadership role—even if it has only been a small one. Take another internal review and ascertain your current experience. Have you had any leadership roles?
- Resume – Begin at the beginning. Review your resume and ascertain what types of leadership roles you’ve had. Even if you haven’t been a supervisor or an official manager, maybe you have taken on the role of team leader amongst a group of your coworkers. Make a listing of the leadership roles you’ve played in the educational, workplace, networking and volunteering experiences you’ve had.
- Reflection – Once you’ve listed all the leadership roles, review how well or how badly you did your job. Were there ways that you could adjust your methods? What were the end results of the projects you directed?
As you review and reflect the previous leadership roles you’ve taken on in the past, you will begin to see your accomplishments. As you gain more confidence in your abilities, your leadership acumen will become more visible to those in management. As the theory goes in writing—it’s best to show and not tell. Let your actions speak for themselves.
Continue to Lead
Whether you have succeeded with flying colors or failed miserably, if you have a drive to become a leader, continue to seek out opportunities to lead. Don’t wait for the masses to move. Begin to move the masses. However, it is vital to remember, that a leader is so self-confident and charismatic that people want to follow this person. You cannot make others follow you by force; unless of course, you are a dictator. An effective leader almost effortlessly sways others to follow him or her. The following suggestions apply to how you can continue to lead.
- Development – Continue to cultivate the leadership qualities listed in this article and maintain your desire to grow as a person, both personally and professionally.
- Continuity – Don’t be a “one hit wonder” and expect that if you led in the past you will always have the opportunity to lead. Effective leaders need to continually earn the respect of others.
- Criticism – Learn how to accept constructive criticism and grow from the mistakes that you will make. Don’t dwell on the negative criticism, but seek to always develop as a person.
- Resources –Study the wide variety of resources both online and in self-help books. An effective leader knows that he or she needs to be continually learning in order to help others grow and develop as well.
Proving your leadership ability begins with first understanding the qualities of an effective leader. In order to prove your leadership skills, you need to understand your style or methods of directing others. An effective leader knows how to work well with all types of personalities. It is also important to reflect on your current leadership experience and be willing to continually learn how to lead even more effectively.