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Employers often want their employees to have leadership skills regardless of the industry or profession. However, some individuals are still confused about what a good leader is or mistake leadership for being a manager. Then there are those who don’t even realize they are leaders in the making.
Leadership is demonstrated when a person guides others to obtain specific performance objectives or goals. This person will have the skills and personality traits to get people on the right track. Just because someone has the role of a leader doesn’t mean that they have the qualities required to get the results they are seeking. The “qualities of an effective leader include determination, vision, problem-solving ability, genuineness, independence, and flexibility” according to Career Options Magazine.
One of the most important factors in leading a successful team is communication skills. This includes listening to others and verifying that you completely understand what was said. Great leaders take all opportunities to talk to their team members including discussions in meetings and quick chats during coffee break. A good indicator of the level of communication among the group can be determined if people are voicing their concerns and opinions to the leader.
Anyone can become a leader if they focus on developing their skills and gaining experience. The only way to do this is to get involved in projects, either professionally or within the community. There are many different projects, events, and social groups you can join including student, volunteer or extracurricular groups; which can be great for creating professional connections and providing you with leadership opportunities. Eventually an assignment or event you are interested in will pop up and you can offer to take the lead.
As you gain more experience and take on more leadership roles, you can start to reflect and evaluate yourself. This will allow you to discover areas of your skill set or personality that you can improve on to become a better leader. Another option is to try asking others for feedback, you never know if you are unconsciously doing something that can be hindering your potential as a leader. These leadership experiences will make you more employable and a better candidate for promotion within your industry; which can potentially assist you in getting the job you want and advancing in your career.
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