How to take charge like a leader
HERE'S how to hone your decision-making skills to become a good leader in time:
DEVELOP A VISION FOR YOURSELF
The best leaders have an overall picture of where they would like to go and a sense of how to get there. They can develop a strategy too.
Map out a career plan, knowing that it will change based on new opportunities that arise. Hold yourself accountable to these goals, make changes when necessary and celebrate your successes.
THINK, DON'T MERELY DO
Never do the mere minimum on the job.
Say your manager asks you to collect some information for her to make an important decision.
After you have done that, read it through, think about it, and take a stab at analysing and synthesising what you have read.
Create three scenarios with implications for each decision. Your boss may make a decision very different from the three you offered but will appreciate the fact that you showed initiative.
The benefit to you is that you are learning how to hone your decision-making skills, a critical skill for leaders.
Instead of waiting for your performance review or feedback from your boss, solicit his views on completed assignments. Learn what you could have done differently. Find out ways you could contribute to the organisation's bottom line while developing new skills in the process.
Also, constraints on the number of people available often mean that important tasks are not carried out because there is no one to take up the cause. Volunteer to spearhead one of those projects.
LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME
The most effective leaders are masters at managing their time. On top of that, they know how to distinguish between seemingly important priorities and those that are truly vital. Learn to manage your time as well as develop a sense of awareness of the critical priorities for your role.
ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN
No one likes a know-it-all. So observe what's going on around you, ask lots of questions and listen for nuggets of wisdom. Learning to listen is also necessary in managing conflict, which often arises because of miscommunication.
Take the time to regularly talk with your colleagues. Knowing other points of view will help you to manage conflicts positively, keeping in mind what is best for your organisation.
Take the time to get to know yourself - your strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to the effect and impact that you have on those around you. Be open to feedback about what you are doing well and your shortcomings. Be prepared to make the changes when necessary.
The most effective leaders learn continuously and are open to new ideas. Look for ideas and inspiration beyond your immediate circle and industry.