How do emerging leaders become viewed as such by their peers and superiors? What does it take to be considered an emerging leader? What are these people doing that sets them apart, not just in the eyes of their superiors, but also their peers?
It isn’t about being a yes-person or company person or a thankless workhorse. It is about influence. It’s about doing things that make people feel good about the work when you are on the team. They should choose to follow you, your advice and suggestions when offered. Better yet, become the kind of person from whom people seek suggestions and advice.
Influential employees identify problems, take them to people in power, offer practical, thoughtful solutions, note their own role in whatever mess needs mending, and offer to take part in the repair work they suggest. Telling your bosses that all’s not well can be risky when done wrong, but rewarding when you prove yourself to be the “loyal opposition.”
If you’re seen as operating from a small silo while ignoring the organization’s big picture, you won’t be taken seriously. At the same time, if you’re not interested in learning new skills as your business evolves or keeping updated on industry developments, your colleagues won’t count on you to do more than stagnate in the status quo while others lead change.
Finally, people who automatically look for ways to help others tend to do well at work, unless they are so self-sacrificing that they’re taken advantage of and fail to effectively manage their own time and workload.
These principles can be applied to our work inside all kinds of organizations like NPOs and community projects, not just at work.