Shakespeare wrote in his play Twelfth Night that when it comes to “greatness” some are born with it, some achieve it, and others have it thrust upon them. This concept can apply to the leadership roles within companies. Maybe you have a supervisor who is a natural born leader, someone who is a quick problem solver, and is respected by their employees and peers. Some people become leaders because they found themselves in the right place at the right time, were promoted and rose to meet the challenge. Either way, a leader is someone who needs to be flexible, personable, and decisive.
The question is, do you have what it takes to become the next company leader at your job?
There are plenty of freshly scrubbed, business management grads that would be a huge asset to a business. However, these untested supervisors really wouldn’t be able to “hit the ground running.” There would still be a learning curve required as they acclimate themselves to their new work environment.
On the other hand, pulling a team member up from the ranks makes a lot of sense for a company. This is usually someone who has already stepped up and gotten themselves noticed. You’re not going to find yourself being eyed for a promotion if your bosses don’t even know your capabilities.
How can you get noticed on the job? Increased productivity in your sector is always helpful. However, you can also step up for roles outside of your current position, such as participating in the company’s charity drive or joining the steering committee. Yes, this will mean putting in extra hours, but you’ll be noticed by the bosses for your efforts and that’s what counts.
Acquiring additional skill sets is also something you’ll want to focus on if you hope to impress upper management and become a company leader. If you’re moving from the assembly line to the corner office, then you’re going to be deploying an entirely different range of equipment. You’ll have to become familiar with all the scheduling, accounting, and communication software used by your company. Get yourself ready by finding out what systems are currently being used and take courses to familiarize yourself with their operation.
Being a team player is another vital component of becoming noticed as a leader. Not only should you be getting along with your coworkers, you should also strive to become the “go-to” problem solver in your work area. Experience also matters. To that end, it will be helpful if you can familiarize yourself with all aspects of the company. A true leader isn’t going to stay in their comfort zone. Instead, they will branch out and take on new challenges.
At some point, you’ll have to declare your intentions for a promotion. When you understand the management structure of your company, you’ll know where you can fit in. You could even consider taking one of your supervisors out for a coffee to discuss the possibility of your advancement. The moment you put them on notice about your intentions, they’ll be watching your progress.
It’s time to step up.