If you’ve got big ambitions and career goals, you’ll need to master a number of skills to get where you want to be. Taking the time to develop and build on these skills, regardless of your current position, is essential for setting yourself up for future success.
Progressing your career can be challenging, and not every workplace is going to take the time to develop its employees. Because of this, you may find it necessary to advance your education, attend executive coaching workshops and get involved in networking events to better your prospects professionally.
But to help you get started, we’re going to have a look at some of the top skills that companies are looking for in their leaders.
Senior employees need to be able to effectively communicate with staff at every level of an organisation, as well as clients and business partners. This includes being able to successfully present information, build rapports, take non-verbal cues and remain consistently engaging and charismatic.
It’s easy for companies to grow stagnant in their ways, and it’s up to their leaders to be wary of this. Being able to spot room for growth and opportunities to learn is an essential skill for an executive. This will enable the organisation to adapt to the times and remain forward-thinking and innovative.
As a leader, you need to be able to plan for the future. While certain strategies may provide short-term success, a truly great approach will set an organisation up for future success and continued growth. When making these plans, you must be able to consider the organisation as a whole and not just the areas you specialise in.
Leader’s need to be confident enough in themselves to make important, large-scale decisions at any moment. The nature of the job means that you may not have all the information at your fingertips, and you may have to draw on your previous experience to make the decision you believe is right. It’s a big responsibility to have, and you need to be prepared to handle it appropriately.
Not every employee is going to arrive at an organisation as a fully realised superstar. Giving staff plenty of opportunities for growth and development will help create a high-achieving, aspirational team that work well together and are confident in their abilities. An executive who only cares about their own career progression can lead to low office morale, high turnover and middling results from their staff.
Continuing from the previous point, delegation is a key part of developing your staff and giving them the chance to both learn new skills and further develop their existing ones. Rather than just offloading work, delegation is the ability to both manage your own workload and give staff just the right amount of responsibility.
Emotional intelligence is key in forming a workplace that is harmonious and supportive of its employees. Those in senior management must lead by example and demonstrate compassion, awareness, and empathy. It’s important to consider people’s circumstances and to create an environment in which staff feel comfortable speaking up and know that they will be listened to.
When you’re a leader, it can be easy to get lost in your power and form an inflated view of yourself. A true leader is self-aware and can step outside of themselves to reassess their action plan and genuinely consider other points of view and ideas. This will enable you to realise any flaws in your approach and stop yourself from making ill-informed decisions.
Working your way up the professional ladder won’t be easy, and you are sure to face your fair share of challenges along the way. But by developing these skills early on, you’ll be well equipped to handle whatever is thrown your way and turn your dreams into a reality.