Yesterday, your lesson focused on improving your ability to set and achieve career goals. Today, we will pull all of your previous lessons together to focus on leadership. Leadership is required for supervisory, management, and executive positions; however, you don’t need a title to demonstrate your leadership skills.
Everything covered in this course and everything listed as a Core Competency are necessary for successful leadership. When you cultivate and showcase these skills in your current job, you are preparing yourself to step into a leadership position, and you are proving that you have the ability to succeed in it. In fact, the more you show that you are capable of leading, the more likely you are to be recognized as a leader. When supervisory and managerial opportunities arise, you will be in a good position to take advantage of them.
There are multiple management and leadership styles, but the main ones are Directive, Collaborative, Laissez-faire, and Transformational. In order to demonstrate your leadership abilities, you need to understand how each style works, so you can look for opportunities to showcase your skills in this area.
Directive: This is a military-style of leadership that uses authority, task orientation, and control to achieve results. It is appropriate in emergency or critical situations or when a deadline is short and can only be met with firm leadership.
Collaborative: This style is based on creating connections with people, showing empathy, and sharing information. It creates an environment that emphasizes strong teamwork.
Laissez-faire: This is a hands-off style that lets people do their work without interference. Generally, this type of leader expects results without taking an active role in how they are achieved. It works well when leading senior people.
Transformational: This leader believes in transforming others and their organizations through the use of persuasion and influence. Their goal is to help others develop their potential for the benefit of their careers and the company.
How to Showcase Your Leadership Skills
Forget about being humble or modest. You have to let people know how good you are without coming across like a braggart. Bragging is extolling yourself in an exaggerated way, often with little real-world evidence. It can come across as arrogant and boastful, and usually is much ado about nothing. Showcasing your abilities is being honest about what you are capable of and have accomplished. It’s not bragging if you’ve done it and can prove it.
• Take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate your skills through actions.
• Compliment and recognize others who are involved in the effort.
• Focus on facts, specifics, behavior, and results without exaggeration or grandstanding to prove your capability.
• Own your success and achievements with pride and honesty.
• Avoid diminishing your efforts by making comments like, “It was nothing,” or “It was easy.”
Action Steps to Improve and Showcase Your Leadership Skills
SWOT your leadership strengths. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a strategic management tool taught at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and used by large multinational organizations. It can also be used to further your professional development as a leader. Review the list of Core Competencies from Lesson 1.
1. Strengths: List your strengths and accomplishments that support each core competency.
2. Weaknesses: List your weaknesses that need to be improved.
3. Opportunities: List all the opportunities you see for using and showcasing your strengths.
4. Threats: List all the threats or obstacles that are currently blocking you or that you think you will encounter along the way to developing leadership, including your doubts, anxieties, fears, and worries.
After completing your SWOT analysis, set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.
Congratulations on completing your course. You now understand the importance of managing people’s perceptions of your career, have created a plan to reach your goals, and have started on the path to long-term career success and satisfaction.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I wish you the best in your career and all your endeavors.
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