Find a Job
508 available

Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders…

03 Jan 2018

Stacy Keogh

Coming into a brand new year, many ambitious people will be aiming to get a promotion! Brightwater's Stacy Keogh discusses the steps to take in order to further in your career.

Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders…they set out to make a difference.

Why is it that most companies who hire for a lead position expect and require previous leadership or management experience? And how do you gain the experience if a company won’t hire you and give you the chance to lead? Recently, I posted a conversation on LinkedIn titled “Getting Lead without the experience” The post attracted almost 10,000 views and began a major conversation with senior professionals in the IT industry along with leaders who had struggled themselves in the past to find a lead role.  This is why I was encouraged to writing this - it is obviously a significant issue in today’s market and should be of interest to many.

Coming into a brand new year, many ambitious people will be aiming to get a promotion or planning to change job in order to push further in their career.  If this sounds like you, maybe the following will help.

So how do you become a lead in your career of choice? Most experts agree that leadership can be difficult to define. It means something different to every industry and sometimes even depending on the team you are leading or the market you are in. First, you need to be able to define what it means to be a leader in your current organisation. When you figure this out, you need to try to insert yourself into situations where you can be seen to be showing leadership skills and attributes.

Often, we see leadership as the ability to be:

  • Proactive
  • Preventative
  • Focused
  • The ability to keep your eye on the prize

It is also a decision to take a stand, or a step in order to:

  • Encourage
  • inspire  
  • motivate others to work with you

A leader does not rely on their job title but more on their inner strength that inspires results among their colleagues.  What it comes down to is that if you act the part, you will then become the part.

There are additional attributes and qualities to keep in mind and to try and use to your advantage and show management that you will be a successful leader in their organisation:

  1. Staying positive: Even in the worst situations no one wants to see their leader panic and crumble. Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This will show management that you are capable of successfully leading a team.
  2. Great leaders have a vision: They can see into the future. That is one thing that stands out; a clear confident idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish and are excellent at strategic planning. Great Leaders are future orientated.
  3. Take responsibility: Great leaders never make excuses, they never complain. They don’t criticize or blame others when something goes wrong. Instead, they focus on the solution, on what can be done. They take responsibility.
  4. Communicative: They possess the ability to get a message across to others and to clearly guide them in the right direction.
  5. Humility: Great Leaders are strong and decisive but also humble. They are approachable to their team.

So, how do you position yourself where you can show Senior Management in your own organisation that you will be a successful leader?


THE DIY APPROACH

The 5 steps of “How to Show Your Leadership Skills (When You’re Not the Boss)”

  1. Think outside your own job: Look at the bigger picture, if you want to be seen as a leader, make it your business to understand the larger organisation. Then come up with ideas on how the team can more successful and overall how that will help the whole organisation.
  2. Learn from current leaders: Just as good leaders lead by example, you can learn from the leaders around you. Try to understand their attitudes and attributes and you will see how and why they were chosen to be lead.
  3. Be happy to lend an extra hand: Show dedication to the team and how the team’s success as a whole is important to you.
  4. Help to train and mentor the more junior or new additions to the team. Ask your manager if there if there is anything else you can help with or get involved with.
  5. And finally, the biggest point- Make it known to management that a leadership role is a goal of yours. If they know this and also see you showing leadership qualities, you’re most likely on your way to the leadership role you have always wanted.
  6. With the New Year approaching, future leaders will be looking at how they can make 2018 a successful year for them and for their organisations. They are asking how they can make the next year really count in their current organisation. Others might be looking at making a move to a new organisation who can see their leadership attributes more clearly.

With the New Year approaching, future leaders will be looking at how they can make 2018 a successful year for them and for their organisations. They are asking how they can make the next year really count in their current organisation. Others might be looking at making a move to a new organisation who can see their leadership attributes more clearly.

So future Leaders, now is the time to begin making your own plan and create your own step by step guide that fits your personality, your company, and your own goals. Hopefully this will help 2018 be your year.

Take Control!
Brightwater's Stacy Keogh - IT Consultant
For information about current and future opportunities available within IT which may be of interest to you, contact me on 01 662 1000 or email s.keogh@brightwater.ie.