How to get on the leadership track

Find yourself daydreaming about being the boss? Well, there are certain things you can start doing in your current job to get on the path to calling the shots.

In order to get recognised for your leadership abilities, you need to start demonstrating them. This doesn’t mean acting like the boss when you aren’t in charge, but rather making your co-workers realise your potential by letting them see it for themselves. Christian Bonadio, Regional Director of Michael Page in Melbourne, shares his five tips for how to get on the leadership track.

This doesn't mean acting like the boss when you aren't in charge, but rather making your co-workers realise your potential by letting them see it for themselves.
  1. Make a positive impact. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. The same applies to your work. If you want to move up, look for “an opportunity to make an impact in your everyday operations that can affect change in a performance or a process or improve service,” Bonadio says. “Focus on where your input can and will make a positive impact.”
  2. Support those around you. Once you have your daily responsibilities under control, help your co-workers achieve their objectives by providing them with support (where appropriate, of course). This won’t simply show your boss that you understand the value of teamwork, Bonadio says. “You will naturally progress towards being seen as someone who’s there to help and assist others meet and exceed their own objectives.” In other words, you’ll be seen as a leader.
  3. Have a high standard, and don’t compromise on it. This isn’t just about having and showing pride in your work. It’s about the accountability and discipline that comes with meeting that standard on a consistent basis, Bonadio says. This way of thinking and behaving will prepare you for a leadership position. “Any leader will need to hold themselves accountable so that the people around them hold themselves accountable as well.”
  4. Be approachable, but also authentic. “Any good leader needs to have a level of approachability that’s relevant and genuine to them,” Bonadio says. “Whether you’re in a formal leadership role or not, you need to be genuine and people need to look at you and feel that that is the real person on the other side of the desk or the other side of the conversation that’s engaging with them.”
  5. Have a good level of self-awareness. Think about what it is about the leadership position that appeals to you. Then think about which areas you need to develop in order to get to that level, and talk to your manager about it. “It’s important to try and gain an overall perspective, not just from your direct line manager, but also from your peer group and leaders in different departments as well, so that you get a holistic view,” Bonadio says. “That awareness will help you adjust or adapt your style or approach to suit a wide range of individuals that you might be responsible for leading at some point further on in your career.”

With these points in mind, you could find yourself on the leadership track in no time!