There are now quite a few of us in the Assistant world running around shouting that you, lovely Assistant, are a leader within your organisation! You may not manage a team, but you do work in a management role. You manage your Executive, you work with and support the leadership team, and you should see yourself as a role model within your organisation for other members of staff. With all that being said there are plenty of ways that you can boost your managerial presence and today we have five ways to improve your leadership skills.
Five ways to improve your leadership skills
Always keep learning
This is something that we see all the time in great leaders – they are still curious. You should always keep learning as much as you can about the business, about the people around you and your strengths and weaknesses. Take the initiative when it comes to your learning, put yourself forward for work that will challenge you and look at the areas you can improve and then take some training or read some self-improvement books.
This is something that leaders have to do. They have to take the initiative, make things happen and take responsibility for driving the business forward. Even if you are not in a management role, you can act like a leader and take action. Make decisions that are in the best interest of your business and put yourself forward for work that will get you noticed (sometimes that means taking on tasks that nobody else wants to do.)
Ask for feedback
During your one to one meetings with your Executive (that are about your personal development), you should really ask for input on the skills that make you a leader, such as taking initiative, understanding the way the business works, motivating others, taking responsibility for your work and for the success of the business. There are many leadership skills that you can acquire, and it would be good to get feedback on what areas you can improve. If you work with teams or in project groups, you should also ask for feedback after the project is finished.
Have those difficult conversations
Difficult conversations are obviously always hard to have but when you think about it often when you have these difficult conversations something positive comes out of it. Real leaders can firstly initiate these types of discussions and structure them in a way that makes them worthwhile having.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses
Having self-awareness is an excellent strength for Assistants to have in general but for leaders being aware of their strengths and weakness is essential. If you can, complete a survey like Insights Discovery or Myers Briggs to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie as a leader and then you will have a good understanding of the areas that you can work on.