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September 4, 2017

Position Yourself for Leadership

Now is the time to develop your leadership skills, especially if you are a Millennial since 75% of the workforce will be dominated by this generation in the coming decade. This upsurge will be led by the retirement of millions of Baby Boomers and too few Generation X employees to take their places. More and more, business will tap into the Millennial population to fill leadership roles. Here’s how you can prepare for the future starting now.shutterstock_117843934

  • Become a star performer. Leaders consistently go above and beyond what’s expected. Show initiative by volunteering to serve on or lead teams, demonstrate your expertise by asking smart questions and giving savvy answers in meetings, and learn everything you can about the organization’s mission, values, and objectives.
  • Become known. Networking inside and outside your organization is a key factor in being recognized as promotional material. You want to be top-of-mind when an opportunity comes along. Reach out to your counterparts and colleagues and get to know them as people. Join industry groups, both live and online; LinkedIn has thousands of special interest groups. Participate in discussions, attend meetings, and be visible.
  • Cultivate empathy. There are many aspects of emotional intelligence, including empathy. Experts on leadership believe that the ability to have and show empathy is a key leadership attribute. Empathy is not sympathy; it is the ability to step into another’s shoes and feel what they are feeling. You accept where they are coming from and who they are without judgement.

Your leadership opportunities may be a few years away, but it’s not too early to start preparing yourself and honing your skills to take advantage of them when they come. For more information, see my blog post Workplace Relationships and Leadership.

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