Whether embarking on your first leadership role or simply advancing to the next level within an organization, you definitely want to make a positive impression. Leadership roles carry new and varied responsibilities, as well as the headaches that are often inherited with the position. What sets you apart from your predecessor? Here are some proven tips and techniques to help you stand out in your next leadership role.

Leadership vs Management

The first step to establishing yourself as an expert in leadership is to understand what the role entails. Principles of leadership generally apply across multiple industries, with specific benchmarks in place for a specific company or organization. Know that leadership requires high-level thinking and a broad perspective. By design, leaders instill confidence and encourage followers to take action.

By contrast, management requires attention to detail and a great deal more oversight. Process managers may be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of transactions or keeping labor costs under budget. People managers are generally responsible for a small team of associates and report to a higher level of management. While managers may effectively lead a team, they are not overseeing organization-wide change or developing ways to forge into a growth period. Management, especially middle management, is responsible for operational excellence. Leadership is responsible for the future of the organization as a whole.

Recognize Learning Opportunities

As a leader, you must remain humble and open to new ideas. Leaders who stand out are trustworthy and approachable. Every organization benefits from leaders who are good listeners and willing to consider new approaches and suggestions from the group. You should plan a path of continual learning. Leadership can quickly become stagnant and even counterproductive if you are not in a mode of constant learning.

The most effective leaders know that self-development is equally important as developing a team. Look for cutting edge educational opportunities and progressive schools of thought that have been successfully implemented in similar organizations. Consider advancing your education, either by earning a higher degree or earning an agile coaching certification. Continuing education programs or credits are required by many organizations, and they are among the most beneficial tools for new leaders.

Leaders Empower and Inspire

Employee development is a major task for managers and is equally important in a leadership role. While leaders do not usually have the hands-on responsibility to oversee daily activities of employees, they are responsible for the overall success of their team members. Make sure that you are leading by example. Consider your work ethic, body language, and written communication tone. Are they praiseworthy? Engage your staff with uplifting messages and rewards for excellence. Make sure that everyone on your team is confident that they have the power and competence to take action and make quality decisions on their own. No one wants to be micromanaged or second-guessed, so give your employees the power to create their own path to advancement.

Evolution of a True Leader

Your leadership role will evolve over time, and more will be expected of you as you navigate through change and development. Set simple and achievable goals for yourself to keep you grounded and connected with the team.

  • Compliment three employees each day
  • Publicly recognize outstanding achievement
  • Smile and greet staff by name

These are small but effective ways to bond with employees. Your genuineness helps you connect with staff on every level and gains their support when new ideas are introduced to the organization. Organizational change and development are only as effective as the leader who implements them. Once you have made a decision to move in a particular direction, you will undoubtedly meet with some opposition. Remember that you will not always please everyone, but decisions are based on majority votes and your role is to lead the organization forward. Leadership roles are no place for those concerned with popularity contests.

In your review of these key points, you probably recognized that you already to many of these things. That is likely how you were promoted to a leadership role in the first place. Push yourself to remain close enough to know the pulse of the organization and distant enough to always see the big picture. Keep up the great work.

Author's Bio: 

Regina Thomas is a Southern California native who spends her time as a freelance writer and loves cooking at home when she can find the time. Regina loves reading, music, hanging with her friends and family along with her Golden Retriever, Sadie. She loves adventure and living every day to the fullest.