Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Do I Get Into Leadership?

I have always been intrigued by leadership and being in a position where I can influence action in a company and in people. Leadership is not for everyone, but I always kind of knew it's where I wanted to be. As a young professional, we face challenges in trying to get to leadership sometimes. Some people think we're too young to take on these responsibilities, some don't think we have the "experience" necessary, and some places just don't take the time to help young professionals develop for leadership. So I always had to ask myself and those around me, "How do I get into leadership?"

Some people get into leadership because they're technically good at what they do while others are simply good leaders. In reading articles about leadership and young professionals, I came across some tips on It is an article called Six Steps to Leadership for Young Professionals by Jason Kent. Below are the steps mentioned in the article and my interpretation.

1. Do Good Work. Seems kind of obvious, but some may miss this step. Be the best at what you do!
2. Get a Mentor. I like the idea of a Career Board of Directors. I have "Megan's Board of Directors" that include people in my company as well as outside in order to gain various perspectives.
3. Take on an Initiative or Side Project. This can help develop skills that you may not be as strong in as well as help with your own exposure to other leaders.
4. Speak or Write About Your Work. Communication is key. Whether this is inside your company at team meetings or externally at other organizations. Again, another way to get your name at the top of people's minds and gain credibility.
5. Stay Above the Fray. Who wants their name associated with the water cooler gossip? Stay out of it and help to minimize it.
6. Ask for Advancement. If leaders don't know your goals, why would they consider you for the next leadership position? Ask for the opportunities! The worst they can say is "not this time," then you go back to number 1 here and repeat.

Diligence is key! Make sure people know who you are, what you represent and where you want to go.

What are you doing to get into leadership or keep yourself top of mind for the leaders in your company and community?

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