Are you looking to move into a leadership position?

You may be looking for that promotion in your current workplace, securing a role in management or team-leadership.

Or you may be considering leading a team within your own business.

Whatever the case, the onus is on you to prepare yourself for the enviable/unenviable (delete as applicable) task of being a leader. Many people before you have failed miserably, often because they have let power go to their heads, or because they didn’t have the skills to lead a team successfully. It’s a tough job, but to ensure you don’t fail as a leader, there are things you can do in preparation for the role.

Study for the position. While you may not fancy going back to school, it could be the right thing to do if you want to learn the skills necessary for the role. While you may be able to find one-off courses online or at industry events near you, it’s also worth considering taking a bachelor’s degree for organizational leadership careers. Particularly when looking for a promotion, a professional qualification will stand you in good stead. But even if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the knowledge gained from such a course will be invaluable when running any kind of team.

Learn from others. What leaders are your role-models? Who inspires you? Seek them out and learn from them, taking a cue from what they have done to get to their position, and identifying the skills they possess to run a team successfully. If you know any of these leaders personally, ask them to mentor you. If you can attend a conference where any popular leaders are speaking, then go, listen and learn. And think about the famous leaders who are often in the media, be that in the world of business, or even politics and sport, and consider what they do to prove their leadership credentials.

Read something. There are thousands of articles online, so scour the internet, and read the advice given to you. And consider these famous books on leadership. From classic examples, such as ‘How To Win Friends & Influence People,’ to more out-of-the-box reads such as ‘The Art of War,’, there are books on the linked list that are required reading for any aspiring leader. Read them, learn from them, and put those words into action when you do take on that leadership role.

Self-reflect. Finally, a little self-reflection is always useful. Think about your strengths, and how they can help you within a leadership position. Think about those personal weakness that could undermine your role as a leader, and consider ways to improve upon them. Think about past mistakes you have made, perhaps in other leadership roles, and learn from them, so you don’t make the same errors again. Take time out to reflect on these things, make notes, and as the saying goes, ‘know thyself’ to help you prepare for leadership.’

A leadership role is not the faint-hearted, but by taking the steps mentioned here, you will be a better leader than somebody who has failed to learn about and reflect on the position. Let us know what you think, and if you have further advice for our readers, then be sure to share your wisdom with us.