5 Ways to Become a Leader–Fast…And Get People to Follow You

Ways to Become a Leader

Have you ever imagined yourself becoming a leader? Think about it. You’d be great. But if what’s holding you back is not knowing where to start or how to chart your path to leadership, I can help you.

Leadership is vital, and good leaders can be hard to find. A new global survey, published on February 1, 2018, revealed that only 14 percent of CEOs believe they have the leadership talent they need to execute their strategy. According to the Global Leadership Forecast 2018, what’s keeping C-level executives up at night is the need to develop “next gen” leaders and failure to attract and retain top talent, which presents an opportunity for anyone who has ever dreamed about assuming a leadership position in their organization.

Here are five ways to become a leader-;fast. Each of these recommendations is an essential element of building your path to a leadership position.

1. Develop a Global Mindset. Companies like Ernst & Young and McKinsey have polled and found that leaders today are lacking in global awareness and knowledge, otherwise called “global mindset.” The research states that these skills are crucial to the success of a business.

The Globe Project first put its stamp on this term when the extensive research was done in 2010 on what, how and why a leader can be successful in an international context. Today, no leader works in just one place or with only one culture. If you have employees, you work with people from all over the world, and in different geographic locations. Whether your team is local or global, you need to become savvy at working across diversity.

The Globe Project produced an assessment called The Global Mindset Inventory to “test” a leader’s ability to work across cultures and countries. The categories evaluated include:

  • Intellectual Capital: The hard knowledge and skills in social, governmental, and legal aspects of a particular environment
  • Psychological Capital: The interest and desire to work across ambiguity and willingness to explore the unknown
  • Social Capital: The experience and “soft” skills in diplomacy and intercultural communication

2. Become a Thought Leader. The trend is for internal leaders to create thought leadership around a particular topic. Sheryl Sandberg became known for women in the workplace, Jack Welch is known for management, Richard Branson is the expert entrepreneur, and Elon Musk’s brand is innovation. If you want job security, more visibility, a better brand, leadership notoriety, and more meaning at work, you should consider initiating a topic or theme that you can become known for, establish a legacy around, or be the expert in.

3. Create and State “Mantras.” I’m not sure if it’s truly politically correct to use the term “mantras” as I think it has religious meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, it’s meaning is crucial: “Phrases that are repeated again and again.”

Have you ever noticed how top leaders have catchphrases they say regularly? It might only be for a quarter or a year, it can vary, but they use them to establish ideas and make them memorable. Repeated use of words gets others to use them, and then eventually, according to social psychology, people start to believe those words and act on them.

If you want to make an impact on your manager, company culture, your team, or even externally, you’ll want to craft such mantras or catchphrases for yourself. Make sure they align with your values, principles, and actions for them to be authentic.

4. Be a Great People Manager. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is, only about 45 percent of those who become managers actually receive management training. The trend is that those who are really good at their job, or experts in a product or process, get promoted to management. And those promotions don’t necessarily mean they can manage individuals or teams well.

Learning how to balance individual contributor work with management responsibilities is essential. Being able to give critical feedback, teach employees a particular skill, or help them figure out their career path takes practice.

Seeking out management courses both internally and externally will help you speed up that learning curve of not only ensuring productivity and engagement from your team but assist in charting your leadership trajectory.

5. Enlist a Coach or Mentor.  Everyone needs help. Why should you go at it alone? Seek out a professional or find someone who will agree to mentor you. You can ask them anything you want to – how to navigate the organization, who to network with, how to solve a conflict, where to discover new interests, how to plan your career path, etc. Both coaches and mentors can give external and internal perspectives, depending on who you choose and what you need.

Becoming a leader takes work. Becoming a good leader and positioning yourself as a candidate for leadership in your organization requires focus, passion, and dedication. And, if you employ those things as well as the five essential steps I have listed above, you will attract the attention of the people who promote leaders in your organization-;and become a leader yourself.

Do you have questions or need more information about how to chart your path to leadership? Contact me.

A version of this post was first published on Inc.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Lamson is the CEO of Lamson Consulting, Founder of the highly popular leadership program for women, Advancement Strategies for Women, and creator of award-winning management programs for SpaceX, LinkedIn, and SAP. As an author, consultant, and speaker, Melissa accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by growing leaders, bridging cultures, and empowering teams.  More About Melissa Lamson

How to Become a Thought Leader in Your Organization

Image-of-Yield-Sign-Caution-Future-World-And-local-Leaders

In today’s work world, leaders need to define their areas of expertise—and stand out. I’m seeing a growing trend for individuals who are creating their own niche inside their organizations. By doing so, they are standing out as thought leaders; pioneers and advocates on particular topics, which builds their visibility, their reputation as experts, and attracts opportunities inside and outside their company.

As Daniel W. Rasmus writes, for Fast Company, “Amid the cacophony of corporate voices, those found to be additive to the dialogue, rather than distracting, can be considered thought leaders.” These thought leaders have become known for something—hopefully a passion of theirs—and this perception of them helps open doors, and provides career and job security.

“The best thought leadership helps people in an industry, or more likely, in a role within an industry, do something better or gain insight that helps them better understand their market or their job,” writes Rasmus.

I’ve been following, interviewing, and coaching internal thought leaders for a long time now and realize there are common strategies that make these leaders successful. Employing these strategies in your own life can help you ascend to the next level in your career, and become a leader yourself. “Becoming a thought leader isn’t just a process. It requires a passion for and a commitment to spreading ideas that can help others,” states Ned Ward, vice president of Sterns & Associates, in an interview with says Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan.

“Thought leadership is commonly discussed in the business world, and to the average person, it may sound like another annoying corporate buzzword,” says Nicole Fallon, of Business News Daily. “But behind the jargon is the honest and admirable ambition of being viewed as a credible industry expert, one who cuts through the “noise” and offers something worth listening to.”

How You Can Become a Thought Leader

You may be wondering how you can become a thought leader. You’re in luck. I’m sharing these special secrets in a webinar on February 9th at 11 am PST/noon MST / 2 pm EST for 60 minutes. This webinar will analyze those who have successfully become thought leaders in their organizations. It will also deliver a step-by-step guide to creating a plan for your own thought leadership.

During my webinar you will:

  • Decide on your thought leadership topic
  • Design messaging and create a brand for your subject
  • Develop a step by step plan to launch your own thought leadership campaign
  • Learn how to expand and sustain your thought leadership reach both inside and outside your company and your professional networks.
  • Discover how to leverage your network to support your topic

After this information-packed, one-hour session you’ll leave with:

  • A topic of focus, passion
  • Clear branding and messaging around your topic
  • A plan for creating broader visibility for you and your subject
  • Unique ways to promote yourself and your topic
  • Ways to speak, write and use social media to promote your topic

What do you want to be known for? How high do you want to climb in your career? The thought leadership tips and coaching you will receive in my webinar will help you answer those questions—and more.

Remember, being perceived as a thought leader is an excellent form of career insurance; one that will open doors to new levels of professional opportunities and job satisfaction. Join us for my thought leadership webinar on February 9th at 11 am PST/noon MST / 2 pm EST. Register today!

Header Image: Wesley Fryer,  CC 2.0

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Lamson is the CEO of Lamson Consulting, Founder of the highly popular leadership program for women, Advancement Strategies for Women, and creator of award-winning management programs for SpaceX, LinkedIn, and SAP. As an author, consultant, and speaker, Melissa accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing a global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross-cultural communication.  More About Melissa Lamson