Whether you are thinking of applying or are already being promoted, taking on a leadership role can be an exciting opportunity to develop your career. Leaders are a vital element of every business, and therefore it can be a big responsibility to take on.
However, the hard work pays off. Before you embark on your leadership journey, you will need to prepare for the role to ensure you are the best leader you can be and that you are happy in your new position! Here are some top tips to prepare you for your new leadership role.
Assess the progress you’ve made in your career
When stepping into a leadership role, it’s important to assess and discuss your progress thus far personally.
Examine how far you’ve come and whether you feel ready for the next step up in your career. Gain insight from your line manager and see if a leadership role is the next step for you or if you need to take on smaller duties or explore other options first. You don’t need to jump into a leadership position just because you feel like you should.
Everyone’s career path is different, and if you consider what you’ve done previously in your career, you can assess what you enjoyed, the challenges you’ve faced, and how well suited you think you would be for a leadership role.
Speak to previous managers and colleagues
Examine what your strengths and weaknesses might be as a leader. How well do you communicate with team members? Are you able to be decisive whilst also taking on the ideas of others?
How well do you get in with those within your team? How do you come across to others? These questions are crucial and affect your leadership skills as well as the experience of others in the company.
You can consider these yourself, but it is a good idea also to discuss this with your manager, as this will allow you to get an outside perspective. You can find out what you might need to improve on and work on the critical skills required in leadership.
Many people make the mistake of skipping this step and rely on how they perceive their own leadership skills. However, when leading a team of other people, it is key to learn how to improve before you begin. This allows you to put in place the practices to make you a great leader.
Look for a mentor
One of the best ways to really learn about something is to talk to someone who is already doing it. If you can find a mentor either in your private life or in the workplace, this will be super helpful for learning the nitty-gritty parts of a leadership role.
You will never fully know what something is like until you experience it for yourself, but having a mentor can help you gain key knowledge about the possible pitfalls, the best aspects of leadership, and how to be a successful leader.
You can discuss leadership styles with them, ask what the workload is like as a leader and the key competencies they think are needed for a good leader. A good mentor will answer any questions you have before you finally decide whether or not to take the step into leadership.
Consider becoming qualified
A qualification in leadership doesn’t just help you land a leadership role but will also prepare you for becoming a great leader. When thinking about how to become a Leadership coach, there are a variety of courses you can take alongside your current job. These include a Leadership and Management Level 5 Diploma or an MBA in Innovation and Leadership, which are fully accredited qualifications. Discover a range of courses you can undertake which will develop your leadership abilities.
These courses can be taken online with virtual seminars, in person, or through blended learning and are delivered by experts in the field. During these courses you will learn effective leadership techniques, how to develop your communication skills and how to implement good business strategies when leading a team.
Gaining a leadership qualification can increase your confidence and ensure you are well equipped with the knowledge and skill-sets to lead your team.
Work on developing these key leadership skills
Becoming an effective leader requires many skills, from the professional to the personal. You can develop these hard and soft skills in many ways, including during your current role, by taking on more duties before fully progressing to a leadership role.
You can also learn how to develop them through online courses and discuss them with your mentor. You don’t have to have these nailed down, and your career should always be about learning and development, so if you are unsure about any of these, then bear that in mind.
Taking on any new role can be exciting, particularly a leadership role, which can include managing projects, guiding your team, offering training, delegating tasks, and team building.
Prepare for your leadership role and prepare to be the best leader you can be.