Showing Leadership Could Lead to a PromotionBy Marshall Brown
Q: I have been at my current assn for two years as a manager and love working here. I would really like to show my team leaders that I want to advance within the organization. Any suggestions?
A: Good for you for taking charge of your career and not waiting for your employer to tell you what to do (most assn executives don't have the time to do that). I commend you for being proactive, wanting to show your organization you are a valuable asset, and for want-ing to develop yourself as well.
Here are a few suggestions, partly adapted from the work of George Johnson and Jeff Staggs, authors of The 7 Entrepreneurial Skills.
1. Survey the leadership and staff within the organization and come up with a vision of what you can do to make the assn better. Determine where a problem or challenge might exist. Look for something that you have an interest in improving. Stumped? Ask yourself these simple questions to start the ball (and mind) rolling:
- What are some current projects?
- What is the assn's purpose? And values?
- What are the unmet needs of the assn?
- What are other similar assns working on? 2. After assessing the needs of your organization, start brainstorming ideas for a new vision or project. Don't limit yourself. Think outside the box and ignore all those "I can't do that"voices.
3. Develop an outline of the steps you would take to implement your idea.
- What need will this project fulfill?
- What is the níche this project will fill?
- Who might you partner with?
- What is the suggested timeframe?
- How will the idea be funded?
4. Get feedback. If you are able, ask your peers, your supervisor or your own staff for feedback on your idea. Be sure you go to folks you can trust and with whom you are comfortable sharing your idea. Listen to what they have to say and make changes if necessary.
5. Present your idea to management. Recap what you've done, including assessment, your idea, and a rough outline of a plan. Be open to discussion on how to make it even better. Keep in mind, you are going to leadership with an idea. It might work, it might not. But you have done something that hopefully will help the organization move forward. What good decision-maker, president or CEO wouldn't want that?
I also encourage readers of this article to send me ideas or examples of what they've done to advance in their organizations. I will post them on my web site. You can be anonymous if you want.
This is all about positioning yourself as a leader, and a leader takes charge of his or her career. Leaders create a vision, develop a plan to make it happen, and then implement that plan. It's your turn to step up and become a leader in your organization.