Leadership has played a significant part in my career success and is one of the main reasons I have found enjoyment and fulfillment in every stage of my career.
Here are my thoughts on leadership and how being a leader can benefit you and your career.
This is a quick summary of what I’ve learnt about leadership while building my corporate career.
- You don’t have to be the smartest, oldest, highest ranking or most experienced person in the room to be a leader. If you want to be a leader, contribute your ideas and opinions to the conversation.
- You can be a leader at any stage of your career, regardless of your title and expertise. You can be employed in a part-time capacity and still be a leader.
- You can choose to be a leader in any given situation. True leaders consistently show up. If you want to be recognised as a leader then you need to consistently demonstrate your leadership qualities to other people.
- You don’t need anyone’s permission to be a leader. Don’t wait to be given a certain role or title. Put your hand up for and create opportunities for yourself to be seen as a leader when it matters most to you. Don’t say yes to everything or you’ll soon be overwhelmed. Say yes strategically to opportunities that interest you and demonstrate your skills and strengths. If there’s a skill or strength you genuinely want to build then put your hand up for that experience.
- You don’t have to be the boss to be a leader.
- You can be a leader even if you don’t aspire to be a manager. Of course if you do have aspirations of becoming a manager, being seen as a leader within your organisation is one of the best ways to fast track your success.
I’ve put my hand up for many leadership roles throughout my career, within corporate organisations and for professional institutions in State and National representative capacities.
Taking on a leadership role is one thing. When you’re in that role you need to consistently demonstrate your leadership qualities. The best ways to demonstrate your leadership qualities are to speak up in meetings, offer solutions to problems, take initiave and have an opinion and share it.
You don’t have to be an extrovert to be a leader. You do need confidence and self belief. Both are qualities that can be learnt and practiced if you’re willing.
Confidence and self belief are qualities that I have developed throughout my corporate career. I now enjoy helping others develop these qualities, particularly working mums and new mums returning to work, through coaching and mentoring.
What has your experience of leadership been like? What do you love about leadership?