How To Land A Leadership Role

Some people are not interested in leadership roles and happily shy away from them. Others are born to be leaders and rise to the challenge. But just how do you land a leadership role?

Quite often such career roles are tough to get into. However, for those that are keen to lead, there are several routes that you can take. Below are some of the different routes to consider,

Climb the career ladder

One option is to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and work your way up. You can rise to the top in almost any industry by taking this approach, but it does often mean playing the long game.

To prove that you’re worthy of being promoted to a leadership position, you need to get noticed by your superiors for the right reasons. Having a strong work ethic is important but will only get you so far. To get promoted, you often need to go above and beyond – identifying problems with the company and helping to solve them, showing that you are a valuable asset. It’s also important that you show your interest in being promoted and that you ask superiors for feedback. A certain degree of ‘sucking up’ is necessary in some companies, but it’s also important to be honest with your intentions (don’t try to be best buddies with a manager unless there’s a genuine connection there).

Many companies will let employees know in advance when a promotion is coming up. It’s worth considering which other employees have been promoted in the past and why they were promoted so that you can prove you have the same attributes. Don’t be afraid to ask for a promotion – even if there are no positions to give you right now, it’s important to show a keen interest, as it could help you land a promotion in the future.Once you’ve landed a leadership role, it may help you to apply to leadership roles at other companies. This can allow you to work for another employer without having to start from the bottom again, providing that the duties are mostly similar.

Take a leadership course

Some leadership roles can be accessed by taking courses, which can give you the necessary skills to lead, as well as proving to employers that you have these skills. For example, there are unique courses you can take to pursue leadership positions in medical science such as a graduate certificate in science leadership.

College courses can provide the most credible qualifications and may be necessary to obtain some leadership positions. That said, there are other leadership courses out there that can still provide you with many of the necessary skills. This includes short courses, online courses and workshops.

You can also hire a leadership counsellor or coach to help you develop your skills. There may also be individual leadership skills that you can hone such as conflict resolution and public speaking by looking into specialist coaches.

Gain leadership experience outside of work

Another way to land a paid leadership role is to take on non-work leadership roles – such as leading a local sports team or running a club. Many employers will still see this as valuable leadership experience and it could increase your chances of being hired for a management position or being promoted.

You’ll usually need to be heavily involved in a club or team before you can pursue a leadership position – and you may have to be elected to this position by other members. Of course, there is always the option of starting your own club suited around your interests and instantly becoming the leader.

Start your own business

Business owners typically have to be good leaders – particularly if they’re hiring employees. This can be one of the faster ways to become a leader. But of course, starting a business comes with its own separate challenges that may not be for everyone.

Becoming an entrepreneur requires more risk-taking and innovation. You aren’t just directing people, but you’re also in charge of designing the framework. Setting up a business firstly requires funding – which you can obtain through savings, a loan or by seeking help from investors. You then need to come up with a distinctive brand and marketing strategy, as well as working out exactly what your product or service will include. If you’re quite a creative person, you may enjoy this process, but those who prefer to follow guidelines may find it difficult.

It’s worth still considering leadership training or reading guides/books when starting your own business. This can help you to become a good leader who is respected by their employees. Some business owners find that they are not great leaders and hire managers to help handle this aspect while focusing mainly on their business vision. Focusing on the leadership and delegating the business side generally isn’t possible unless you take on a business partner or are willing to give up ownership rights to someone else.

Take over a franchise

Franchises can be a happy medium between starting a business and taking on a corporate leadership position. You get to run your own branch of the business, which means that you don’t have to worry about managing branding or designing the framework. You do still have to manage the finances of your franchise though, order stock and manage a team.

Taking over a franchise can be less expensive than starting a business. A downside of it is that you often need some existing leadership experience to be considered as a franchisee. Some business owners may be willing to take on a franchisee that has the funds and non-leadership experience in the industry providing that they seem organised and confident enough. However, it really depends on what the franchise is – a larger franchise will generally require more staff and more leadership experience to manage.

You can find franchises for sale online. Try to look for franchises within an industry that you already have a good knowledge of so that it’s not a steep learning curve.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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