Emerging leaders are those people in an organization who may have an increased level of responsibility, such as having a department to run or leading a special task force. A senior leader has identified them as having potential for a greater leadership role in the future.
Emerging leaders often ask themselves about the next step in their leadership growth. How do they prepare themselves for a larger role? We’ve identified four key questions these emerging leaders can ask themselves and focus on to produce higher level growth potential.
1. Do you think about the big picture?
This requires you to not only think about the piece of the organization in which you may be tasked, but the organization as a whole. Will you give time to think about the health of the entire enterprise rather than just your area? Also, you should be thinking about how your area can come into alignment with the vision of the entire company, rather than thinking about how to defend your silo. You shouldn’t let your passion for your piece of the puzzle disrupt the big picture.
2. Are you a strategic thinker?
This is a difficult one since many at the top are not strategic in their thinking, so it may not be trained and reinforced. At the same time, thinking WHY and WHERE must be part of your thinking process if you are to get into higher positions of leadership. You need people who can think WHAT and HOW, take a game plan and make it happen. This may also be you, but to grow, it’s time to add strategic thinking to your tactical thinking.
3. Can you build a team?
Many times, emerging leaders get chosen because you may have been the best on a team. Now it’s time for you to be the excellent team builder. As your organization grows, you will need to develop people who can develop teams, so this is an essential skill as you work your way up. You need to be able to identify and empower. If you think, “I need to do this myself”, you may be headed down instead of up the ladder.
4. Are you growing in depth as well as height?
You have been promoted a couple of times, maybe because you were ahead of the growth curve on skill level or maybe because you are a little charismatic in your approach. The fact is, there is no status quo, you must deepen yourself along the way to match your increasing stature in the organization. You need to be spending time honing your skills to mastery level and a continuous diet of learning new things. Do you have a learning program?