Leadership is the skill or ability of a person to direct the workforce in an efficient and well organised manner in order to achieve the goals of an organisation. Leadership is the culmination of various disciplines like management, engineering, operational research etc into one. Great leaders have the ability to look beyond the present and predict the future needs of their departments and organisation based on historical records of the organisation.
Since leadership is a multidisciplinary role it is equally important to showcase your abilities to your seniors as well as subordinates so that people know how good you are in a crisis and how well you can deal with the most intractable problems. This may sound simple but this is as much an art as it is science. Too little exposure and you may not get the chance to participate in solving the most complex problems and too much exposure and you risk being labeled a showoff. Thus it is extremely important to pick your battles carefully. One way of going about this is stealth personal branding showcases. This way you are showing off your skills while actually solving a genuine problem. This might not provide you any short term benefits but in the long term people will actually remember to call you when the same problem reoccurs or when presented with an equally challenging problem. Some surefire ways to achieve career advancement in leadership roles are as follows:
Become the Office Troubleshooter
Do you have any insight into solving problems that are currently plaguing the company? The problem you are approaching can be simple or complex in nature. It can be as simple as fixing the office printer or as complex as spearheading the installation of some new advanced technology. The main objective here is to get noticed in the eyes of management as well as juniors.
Push your workforce to Learn how to solve a problem.
Do not solve a problem yourself whose solution you already know rather push your workforce towards achieving it. At a cursory glance this approach may seem inefficient and even contradicting our first approach. But in reality once people realise that you are not spoon feeding them solutions rather helping them become better professionals by pushing them towards learning to solve a problem you will be revered as a great leader. Your workforce will start looking at you with a different perspective where you will be treated with a different kind of respect reserved only for their peers.
Learn from your associates and subordinates
Ask questions and learn what you don’t know. This will not only increase your knowledge base but also provide you with sufficient understanding of what’s happening under the hood. Learning from your associates and subordinates makes you their conduits who may not disclose problems directly to management due to fear of backlash. This will help you clearly convey any major problems or limitations in your product to your seniors. It greatly enhances your profile not only among your juniors but also in senior management who will now surely approach you to solve any future problems as now they know that you have a deep understanding about the inner workings of the company.
Become a thought leader
Write blog posts, publish videos or other pieces of digital publication showcasing how your team solves its most complex problems and share it on the company network on LinkedIn, slack etc. Share bleeding edge research happening in your domain and moderate talks among your colleagues and coworkers on how they can leverage new tech to improve your existing products or make new ones. Throw in your own opinions in talks and gauge the reception of any new technology among your colleagues and coworkers. This will help establish you as an authority figure in the management’s eyes whose opinion is vital in making key decisions in the company.
Embrace tactical thinking and be aggressively self aware
Expand your thinking horizon beyond the accepted norm and attack the problem’s root cause rather than dealing with it’s symptoms. This greatly appreciates your Gravitas and executive presence among your colleagues.
Being self aware affords you the ability to know your strengths and helps you channel it to achieve great impact across your organisation. For instance you might know a specific programming language or have certain skills that can help solve some of your organisation’s problems. Take charge on such occasions and don’t hesitate to show off your skills. This will help you be regarded as rare leaders who lead by example.
In conclusion there are still a ton of approaches that you can use to showcase your personal brand in your organization. You can hire personal brand consultants who can guide you every step of the way or you can join countless free and paid courses on career advancement available on the Internet. Whatever you decide, make sure to give your 110 percent.