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Show Personal Leadership to Advance Your Career

A 2011 ExecuNet study asked a wide range of hiring managers what they consider to be the top ten characteristics that they look for in hiring senior management talent.

At the top of the list was leadership.

The study explained that leadership – whether it is personal or as a leader – is so important because this is the characteristic that is most exemplified in successful employees.

A recent article by Wallace Immen on the six ways to improve your career in 2012, he says, “Take the lead, even without the title”.

The article continues:
“Organizations are relying less on hierarchy, so employees at every level need to think of themselves as leaders.”

“More people need to learn how to lead and influence others even when they don’t report to you, and even if you don’t have any [staff who report to you],” said Katie Bennett, Principal of Double Black Diamond Coaching in Vancouver.

Sit down and assess how good you are at influencing decisions and building collaboration. Make it your responsibility to hold others accountable, rather than relying on the boss or the team leader to call the shots.

Whether you lead others or not, people will develop a greater appreciation for your ability to get things accomplished.

Another way to expand your brand is to highlight skills or knowledge you possess beyond what your position requires, according to Toronto-based corporate trainer Colleen Clarke. Volunteer for committees that are outside your area, for example, to demonstrate your range and potential. Or offer to teach an informal class on a topic you know well or are certified in. “To be known as someone with more than one dimension will be increasingly important in the coming year,” Ms. Clarke said. The article does a great job in highlighting the importance of taking personal leadership within your organization as a way to stand out amongst your peers.

We advise all of our clients to build their list of accomplishments with a strong emphasis on the personal leadership they have shown in their career. This enables them to develop a very compelling story to future employers about the value that they will bring to their organization.