It won’t be long before millennial workers take the helm. In fact, over 3.6 million baby boomers are set to retire this year, and more than one-fourth of management positions will be filled by millennials (forbes.com). No matter what generation you fall in, is it time for you to step up? Here are five actions you can take to grow your leadership skills.
1. Create goals.
Knowing where you’re going is half the battle. Start by taking some time to think about the type of leader you want to be. What does the role look like and how do you become that person? Write down a few simple, measurable goals that will lead you in the right direction and begin working on them one at a time.
2. Grow vision.
Leadership is a weighty responsibility. When others depend on you to set the tone, you need to provide direction. Work on developing a long-term idea of where you’re going and, when you have the opportunity, share it! Your vision casting plays an important role in employee satisfaction and creativity.
3. Be bold.
Being a leader often means blazing new trails. At times it can be challenging to change established patterns and adjust company culture, but it’s important to be willing to take risks and stay the course. A decisive and confident leader propels a company forward and gives employees something to get behind.
4. Never stop learning.
No matter how informed you are, there is always more to know. While you can develop your skills through lectures, learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Ask questions and listen to your employees, clients, and peers. Travel and pay attention to the cultures you experience. Create a space where people feel comfortable talking about ideas, challenges, and shortfalls. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t, and creating an environment where knowledge can be shared starts with you.
5. Harness the power of networking.
Take advantage of every opportunity to connect with others in and out of your field. Networking is a great way to make your company known in the community and form a trusted circle where you can go to for advice. And you may even meet a mentor, form partnerships, and come up with new business concepts along the way.
As the face of leadership changes, it’s important to know your leadership style. Now is the time to figure out what makes you a great leader so you can play to your strengths when the time comes. Get organized and get going!