Signs You’re Ready For A Leadership Role

When you think about your dream job, what comes to mind? For many people, the answer involves leadership. While there are many different areas of leadership in the Marketing, Creative, and Digital fields, you may be left wondering what it takes to be a successful leader or when to transition into a leadership role. 

To help guide aspiring leaders along the path to leadership, we spoke with two of our Celarity leaders to get the inside scoop: Our Senior Marketing Manager, Jamie Duong, and our Lead Recruiter, Jessica Spanier. As experienced leaders, Jamie and Jessica have great insight as to what leadership means, how to know if you’re ready for a leadership role, and how to start the conversation with your organization about transitioning into a leadership position.

Qualities of Leaders

The first step to determining whether you’re ready for a leadership role is to define what it actually means to be a leader. While leadership responsibilities look different for everyone, there are a few key qualities that leaders typically possess.

  • Leaders invest in others through mentorship and support, outlining team growth paths and providing the tools that are necessary to succeed.  
  • Leaders support their teams through adversities, successes, and everything in between, taking accountability for improvement opportunities.
  • Leaders are team players, putting the team’s success before their own individual success. 
  • Leaders leverage the unique strengths of others, creating a team based on passion and creativity. 
  • Leaders are adaptable, and they are always looking for ways to help others grow.

Ultimately, being a leader means being there for your team and creating unique solutions to help both your organization and your team members grow. As Jamie explains, “there is no ‘I’ in team, nor is there in company or success. A true leader knows this and leverages it.”

Advice for Aspiring Leaders

While leadership often involves overseeing others to some degree, leading is not always limited to people. For up-and-coming leaders, you can showcase your leadership skills even before taking on the full responsibilities of a leadership position. 

There are many ways to step up as a leader, including:

  • Maintaining a positive attitude even in times of adversity
  • Offering to take the lead on projects, plans, or meetings
  • Embracing flexibility 
  • Supporting your team with words of encouragement
  • Leading by example

At the end of the day, great leaders can be present in many facets of an organization, exemplifying values that others look up to. You can still be a successful leader even without the title, which is a great way to jump-start your leadership journey.

3 Signs You’re Ready For A Leadership Position

It’s no secret that a leadership role comes with a great deal of responsibility. While there are many ways to know if you’re ready to lead, we recommend taking an inventory of the following three signs that point to being ready for a leadership position. 

1. You’re Passionate About Leading

Leadership is constantly evolving, with new trends and team dynamics developing daily. To effectively manage the changing requirements of leadership, you may be ready to transition into a leadership position if you find yourself feeling passionate about the act of leading rather than just the idea of a leadership role. 

When you think about your leadership goals, consider the following points:

  • What is your why? Why do you want to grow into a leadership position?
  • Are you ready and able to handle the challenges that leaders commonly face?
  • Do you feel confident leading others?

By thinking through these questions and answering them genuinely, you’ll be able to form an honest understanding of how your passions and career goals align with taking on a leadership journey.

2. You’re Ready To Teach

In many cases, leading means teaching. Whether it be teaching direct reports how to complete role-specific responsibilities, sharing your wisdom, or guiding your team members through difficult scenarios, great leaders show up for their teams by offering their direction and support. 

As Jamie says, “If you feel ready to exert more of your energy teaching than ‘doing,’ that’s a big sign of readiness for a leadership position.” While this isn’t to say that leaders have nothing left to learn, because that is never the case, this does mean that more of your day-to-day responsibilities will involve helping others along their learning journey.

3. You Have Well-Developed Soft Skills

As personal attributes, soft skills encompass your innate ability to interact and work with others. Common soft skill traits include communication skills, empathy, self-awareness, problem-solving, and adaptability. 

While leading others, it’s essential that you’re able to show your teammates that you are in their corner, that you care about their successes and hardships, and that you’ll be there when needed. And as a plus, leading with empathy can create lasting impressions for your team members, which can even lead to increased trust and satisfaction in your professional relationships. 

As for Marketing or Creative professionals, soft skills are also important to connect with your audience and build effective relationships with clients – so this is a win-win skill to possess.

How To Prepare For Leadership Responsibilities

We’ve discussed what it takes to be a leader and the common signs that may point to being ready for a leadership role. If you feel called to become a leader, now is the time to game-plan your next steps and begin your journey toward leadership.

Reflect on the Leaders You Look Up To

Regardless of where you’re at in your leadership journey, looking to those around you is a great way to identify the traits that make leaders successful (or, in some cases, unsuccessful). As Jamie notes, “Find leaders in your organization and ask them how they got to where they are. Showing the initiative to reach out is not only impressive, it’s also pretty convincing.”

As you read this article, we encourage you to reflect on the leaders in your life. 

  • Who do you look up to as a leader? 
  • What makes that leader admirable? 
  • What are the inspiring traits of that leader? How can you build those traits into your own leadership methods?

As you move through your own leadership journey, you can use this reflection to further develop your own leadership traits and inspire your leadership techniques.

Develop Your Skills

One of our greatest tips for proving that you’re capable of leading others is to seek out leadership development opportunities on your own. Learning from other successful leaders is not only a fantastic way to develop your own skills, but it can also help guide you to a decision about whether or not leadership is the right path for you.

Whether it be an online course, a webinar series, or certification, growing your leadership skills will provide you with a framework to show your organization that you are ready for the lifelong learning and responsibilities that accompany leadership positions. 

Prepare Your Case

Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to start your leadership journey, it’s time to prepare your case to show your organization’s management team that you have what it takes to be a successful leader. 

As it boils down, preparing your case is all about reflection. As Jessica notes, starting the conversation with a manager that you are ready for a leadership position is your time to show how you’re ready, outlining which steps you’ve taken to get to the point of seeking out a leadership role and explaining why you’re interested in leading. 

The following questions are a great starting point to begin your brainstorming:  

  • What experience do you have that shows you’re ready for leadership responsibilities? 
  • What do you plan to bring to your organization as a leader? What value can you add?
  • Why should your organization promote you to a leadership position? What, specifically, have you done to prepare for this opportunity?

By thinking through these questions and preparing concrete examples to support your leadership abilities, you’ll be on your way to proving that you’re ready for a leadership role.

Believe In Yourself!

Regardless of how you proceed with your leadership journey, know that believing in yourself is the key to success! You are the person that truly knows your capabilities and skills, and it’s up to you to show others why those skills are fit for a transition into a leadership role. 

If you’re looking for support along the way, Celarity is happy to help! Throughout 2023, we will host cohorts of our Leadership Development Series: Creating Happy Careers Begins With Successful Leaders. Designed for new and experienced leaders in the marketing, creative, and digital industries, this 3-part course will help you learn successful leadership techniques, self-leadership strategies, and identify unique opportunities for growth. We would love to see you there!

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