26. Four Ways To Position Yourself For A Leadership Role

management, leadership, success, goals, accomplish goals

Hi, I’m Dre. I am your mindset coach and mentor of change. Today, we look to tackle 4 ways for you to position yourself for a leadership role. To do this, we are going to discuss four ways for you to set yourself apart from the competition.

  1. Develop a growth mindset
  2. Be a problem solver
  3. Build your network
  4. Lead by example

Sometimes, you feel like you are doing everything right, but you are not getting the results.

Whenever you are taking action, but you feel you are not getting the results, it is always going to come down to beliefs.

You must genuinely believe,

  1. you are qualified to be promoted
  2. that it is possible for you to be promoted
  3. and they are willing to promote you

I know it sounds simple to say that, and I admit it is. However, you must your beliefs create your reality. The actions that you take our based on your beliefs, and whenever someone has a belief that something can or should happen, it does.

Why do you wear clothes outside?

You wear clothes because you have the belief that something negative will happen if you do not. It is not hard to think of a few problems that might occur if you walked around naked for a day.

First and foremost, you would not make it through the day because you would be arrested for indecent exposure. If you were able to make through most of the day, you would be plastered all over social media. There is the high probability you would be considered mentally unstable and admitted into a nearby facility.

Even though you do not think about it on a conscious level, you subconsciously know it is in your best interests to wear clothes.

Your belief that nothing good will happen if you walk around naked will probably never be confirmed. Yet, your actions are in-line with this belief as if it happened yesterday.

This is how powerful your beliefs are and how in-sync they are with your actions.

This is why it is critical you genuinely believe you can and will be promoted into management.

If you are dealing with any fears or self-doubt, then you are probably sabotaging your efforts without even knowing it. If you are struggling internally with something, it is definitely a factor if you are not achieving your goals.

1. Develop a growth mindset

You want to learn as much as possible, as frequently as possible. The mistake a lot of us make is we do not attempt to step into a management role until the job is posted.

Once the management role is posted, then we start to determine how we can set ourselves apart. If you wait until the position is posted, then you are starting behind the 8-ball. If you want to position yourself for a leadership role, you need to be planting the seeds early.

You want the company leaders to be looking at your work through the prism of, “this person is trying to get into management.”

The best way to position yourself for a leadership role is to set yourself apart for management.

Do not take action and believe that your manager will know you are trying to be promoted. Sure working extra hours is great. Volunteering for projects that give you exposure is nice too. However, neither means that they know you are interested in management.

The only sure way to know that they know is to tell them. By telling your managers you are interested in being promoted, you can ask them to help you craft a plan for promotion.

This unsuspecting benefit of having your manager’s buy-in is they are invested in your success. If you do everything they ask of you, they know you expect to be promoted (and they gave you the expectation). Now your manager is working behind the scenes to help others notice your work.

By simply planting the seed in your managers mind that you want to be promoted, they are working to help you make it happen.

Name that song

I remember coming across a pretty funny study where a group of people were split into two groups. One group was asked to tap the melody of a popular song and the other group was asked to name that song.

Of course, the group that was tapping the melody thought everyone would guess the right song. However, that did not happen. A significant portion of the time, the guessers were completely wrong.

All they heard was random sounds. Without knowing what the song was, they could not decipher the melody.
When you believe you are making it clear through your actions what you want, remember that they cannot hear the melody in your mind. All they hear is random sounds. If you want your manager to know that you are trying to be promoted, you need to tell them.

2. Be a problem solver

Problem solving, ladies and gentlemen, is why people get paid the big bucks. If you want to position yourself for a leadership position, then a problem solver is who you want to be.

Problem solvers have an entrepreneurial mindset.

What I mean by that is, the average person is very task-oriented. If you tell them they need to call 100 people in a day, they will judge the day a success if they call 100 people. Even though the reason they were asked to call 1000 people is because on average, it takes 100 conversations to make 10 sells.

The 10 sales per day is how the goal be accounted. When you focus on the 10 sales, you are shifting from a task-oriented goal to a results-oriented goal.

When you have a results-oriented goal, it does not matter how many people with whom you speak. Your sole goal is to make 10 sales. If you are above average and it only takes you 50 calls to make 10 sales, which is great.

Also, if you need to make 200 calls to get 10 sales, you should do that. There is no reason to stop at 100 calls if you only have 5 sales. Granted, you should spend some time trying to understand why you are performing below average. But that is secondary to ensuring you get your 10 sales per day.

We all have fears and self-doubt

Problem solving creates plenty of fears and self-doubt because they usually require you to step out on a limb. When you are offering your solution, you do not know how it is going to be received. You do not even know if it is an accurate assessment of the situation.

The next thing you say may be the best idea anyone has ever heard, but it is also possible it is the dumbest thing anyone has ever heard.

This is a combination of the fear of judgment and the fear of uncertainty. If you knew you were right or your recommendation would be well receded, you would have little problem sharing your insight.

That is why most professionals are comfortable blaming and complaining. There is no accountability in pointing out that there is a problem and recommending it be fixed.

However, finger-pointers are rarely celebrated. It just looks like a selfish, divisive person covering their butt as the expense of others.

If you want to position yourself for a leadership position, then offering solutions is a excellent way to set yourself apart.

Leadership is always looking for someone who is willing and able to contribute to the overall success of the company. By showcasing your problem-solving skills, you show you can get things done with little supervision.

3. Build your network

You have heard the saying; it takes a village to raise a child into a productive adult. Well, it takes a professional village to create a leader.

How much can you do by yourself?

While you can do a lot by yourself, you can obviously do more with more people. That is why it is so important for you to collaborate and work with others.

We all have difficulties trusting people. Especially when you need to trust others to help you accomplish your goals.

Keep in mind that you are grappling with the fear of losing control. You feel uncomfortable when you know that others play a role in your success. You know they are not as interested or passionate about your life as you.

Yet, you need them to help you… so how do you acquire their assistance?

That is where your network comes into play. You are going to build a network of people whom you create value for on a regular basis.

There is nothing you want in return in the early-goings. Your goal is to simply plant the seeds of leadership. Leaders have teams and what do they do with their team? They mentor, coach, and work on developing them into future roles.

You do not need to be their leader on paper to help them accomplish their goals. As you continue to plant seeds of good-will, you never know who is going to be in a conversation about promotions. If enough people mention you as their logical choice, what do you think is going to happen?

They are going to interview you of course. A leader is only as effective as the people willing to follow her. As a result, it seems reasonable that you are able to get people to follow you.

The wrong way to network

I read Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port and it really changed the way I looked at building a network. If you do not have a service mindset when it comes to building your network, I recommend reading this book.

Networking has a negative connotation for some because it is often seen as leveraging your friends for your own gain.

If a stranger emails me asking me to do something for him, it is not the same as if someone emails me wanting to provide value first. You want to provide value to everyone in your network first. Whether you are sharing articles, or introducing them to other people in your network, your goal is to provide value.

4. Lead by example

Too often nowadays, leaders are not on the front-lines with their people. Leaders are in the back, where it safe, telling their professionals to put their life in danger.

If you want to step into a management role, then you want to lead by example.

Professionals appreciate leaders who ask their team to do as they say and not as they do. If you want to be the kind of person who professionals are inspired by, you need to be on the front-lines, experiencing life with them.

For example, if you do not want your team to be late to meetings, then you need to make sure you show up 30 minutes early so you can encourage them when they show up on-time.

You may believe professionals need to be in the office to get work done, then you should not be working from home. My dad had a saying, that everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time. In many ways, leaders are no different than the people who follow them

It is a double-standard, plain and simple

Even though we have created a society where we have rules for some, and exceptions for others (insert your favorite politician here), we all know what is right. It does not make sense that politicians are allowed to engage in insider trading. Nevertheless, they created a law that makes it a crime for the rest of us.

How does that make you feel when you a double-standard?

Understand that is how everyone would feel if you were to do the same thing.

Where do you spend your time?

How you spend your time is the best way for me to know what matters to you. If you believe family  is important, then make sure you are spending a good amount of time with your family.

If being promoted is important to you, then you are going to want to spend some time positioning yourself to be promoted.

Regardless of whether money, health, family, or your career matters to you, spend time working on what matters.

How can you adjust your priorities to allow you to spend the proper amount of time on tasks that will help you get promoted?

If you see that directors are always working an extra 10 hours a week, then go ahead and adjust your schedule now. It is what you are trying to do anyway, so go ahead and adjust it.

As I mentioned earlier, make sure you share with your supervisor why you are doing it. You do not want to assume they will get the message. In my experience, I found that is rarely the case. You are going to need to make sure your intentions are not, “lost in translation”.

Live as though you already have the job

Leading by example is a challenge for some because it requires you to act as if something has happened that has not happened yet. The fear of failure has you wondering, what happens if I do not get promoted’?

Then you think have embarrassed yourself because you have been acting as if you were going to be promoted and nothing happened.

On the other hand, the fear of failure can also look like a fear of success. You could find yourself worried about how your friends and coworkers will treat you once they realize you are in management.

It is important to remember that even though things may not happen as you would hope, it does not make you failure. Failure is when you give up and accept your reality as it is today.

Everything else is nothing more than an opportunity to learn and make adjustments.

Final Thoughts

By you taking an active role in creating your dream life, you can step right into your promotion. Do not be the professional who surprises their supervisor when they tell them they applied for leadership position. Instead, share with your leader your desires and work with them to create a path to your goal. That way, when leadership opportunities open up, they will be coming to you and asking, “have you seen this position? I think you should apply”?

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