Every employer is looking for candidates with strong leadership potential. Even if the opportunities are not management or supervisor positions, leadership skills are strong qualities for all levels of a team’s hierarchy. If you are not sure what you can do to promote or develop your leadership potential, here are a few tips to get you started in the new year.
Leadership skills are often an acquired talent. Most people are not born with the abilities and communication skills necessary to motivate and lead within a team context. Some people find themselves either looking to move into such positions or even placed in such a situation without developing the necessary skill set to support their duties. These skills include thoughtful delegation, communicating well, and evaluating the best and most efficient use of your team’s time and efforts. Luckily, there are a wide variety of learning opportunities within a leadership context. There are plenty of sources of high-quality IT and general leadership material in literature format (such as books by Ries, Maxwell, Covey, Goldsmith, and Patterson, just to name a few).
Leadership training seminars are also widely available. They generally come at a pretty solid investment, but if you have the cash to put into it, many candidates find that certain trainings can help motivate and inspire in a way that written material simply can’t.
Volunteering, or offering up your time and expertise in a not-for-profit manner (such as open source projects, pro bono work, etc.) can be both personally rewarding and a great example of your leadership skills at work. You are equally able to meet and connect with other industry leaders in such situations so the value of your donated time really does create a solid return on your investment. Listing such projects on your resume provides an opportunity to display your leadership skills, your IT abilities, and your personal passions in a way that can really stand out for hiring managers. Furthermore, if you don’t yet have solid leadership experience highlighted within your existing CV, volunteer opportunities provide the real-world challenges and situations that are perfect to test and further develop your commitment, communication, and team leading skills.
Become a Topic Expert
Starting a tech blog or online forum related to your particular area of expertise can set you up as a leader within the online community with limited investment on your part. The trick is to find a niche, an area where there is considerable need for the support and expertise on a topic that you are in a special place to provide. Start conversations, build a following, and engage readers in a way that creates a position of leadership for yourself. This is high-quality leadership experience that, again, can help your resume really stand out in a crowd.