The best way to get an opportunity to lead is to act like you already are…
Simply Ending Your Week:
Historically the way to get a promotion to a leadership position was to make it known you were interested and then stand patiently by, waiting your turn.
Over the years, some companies even established elaborate and formal evaluation, selection and development programs to identify, groom and prepare their future leaders.
As time went by some firms added other features to the mix such as specific hiring and manager rotations to their leadership development practices. Again, these were designed to identify and prepare potential future leaders.
In the final analysis, what I’ve seen and personally experienced over the last 45 years is very mixed results.
Formal selection and development programs aside, the absolute best way to get an opportunity to lead is to show you can.
Look for, or better yet, create your own opportunity leading a small team of people on a specific initiative. Ask for a chance.
Preferably in an area where you have subject matter expertise. And where there is a clearly defined set of objectives over a relatively short time horizon. Long enough to be meaningful. Short enough to demonstrate quick results.
This small opportunity also gives you a safer and more controlled environment to see how you do and how you like it.
Grab it and run. Show your stuff. That could be your jumping off point for other opportunities with ever increasing scope and responsibilities.
Before you do though, make sure this is what you want.
Leadership isn’t for everyone…
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