As your career progresses and you prepare yourself for bigger responsibilities and the rewards that go with it, you must elevate your leadership and management skills significantly. After you master the basics as outlined in the article “Essential Career Success Strategies”, consider the following thoughts to take your career and compensation to the next level.
1) Build Strong and Diverse Teams: There reaches a critical point where you must demonstrate that you can build teams that have a mix of skill sets and experience that collectively can accomplish far more than you as an individual micro managing them. Hire the best people possible, give them a clear vision of the goals and support them as needed with weekly staff meetings, but let them be empowered and accountable.
2) Be Seen As A Strategic Thinker: Yes, you will continue to get involved as needed in day-to-day issues, but as you grow in responsibility, more and more of your time needs to shift to strategic thinking. Your team has been built to handle the annual goals, you need to be spending time thinking about threats and opportunities that are present today and evolving in the near future. Be a student of both your industry and others.
3) Use Several Leadership Styles: In order to lead high-functioning teams and engage all levels of management within the organization you must grasp the basics of using a portfolio of leadership styles. The basic concept is that we all have a dominant leadership style that we use most often, but we need to have a range of styles that are flexed depending on the situation. Many books and articles have been written on this topic, you must do some reading and grasp the basics to be effective as a senior leader.
4) Be Comfortable With Confrontation and Conflict: In any highly effective organization, there will be no shortage of opinions, conflict and confrontation. The key is to respectfully argue your position with an informed point of view, but to also have an open mind to alter your thoughts if needed. Tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Don’t try and please everyone, all you will get is mediocrity.
5) Become A Change Agent: All of us naturally resist change to some degree, but very often organizations need to undergo significant levels of change in order to survive and stay relevant. Change Agents who have the courage and leadership skills to lead major initiatives become invaluable to any business. Take some calculated risks and evolve the status quo within the organization.
6) Strengthen Your Speaking Skills: You must be able to influence people and command respect, both around a table as well as in front of an audience to be an effective senior leader and grow in any company. Please reference to theses articles (part 1 and part 2) on how to enhance your speaking skills.
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