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  • Writer's pictureBart te Nijenhuis

How to go from Emerging Leader to Leader

Updated: May 19

10 Steps to ditch the ´Emerging´ tag

Becoming a leader is a journey that requires dedication, self-awareness, and continuous growth. While many individuals possess the qualities of an emerging leader, making the transition to a true leader involves honing specific skills and embracing key principles.

In this blog post, we will explore actionable steps and strategies to help you transform from an emerging leader into a respected and effective leader in your field. Let's dive in!

Cultivate Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the foundation of effective leadership.

Start by gaining a deep understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership style.

Reflect on your past experiences, solicit feedback from mentors or colleagues on a regular basis, and invest in personal development programs or coaching to enhance your self-awareness.

By knowing yourself, you can leverage your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and lead with authenticity.

Set Clear Goals

Leaders are visionaries who inspire others to achieve a common goal.

Define your vision and create clear, actionable goals that align with that vision.

Break them down into smaller milestones, and regularly assess your progress.

This structured approach will provide you with focus, keep your team motivated, and demonstrate your commitment to achieving success.

Develop Strong Communication Skills

Effective communication is vital for leaders.

Enhance your verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills.

Practice active listening (much more important than talking), ask open-ended questions (the ones that cannot be answered by a simple Yes or No), and foster a culture of open dialogue (don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer).

Tailor your communication style to different audiences, and be clear, concise, and transparent in your messaging.

Good communication builds trust, inspires others, and promotes collaboration.

Build a Network

Leadership is not a solitary endeavor.

Cultivate a diverse and robust professional network.

Look for people with opposing views and character traits, attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with peers, mentors, and influencers.

Don’t expect ´you´ from others.

Actively seek opportunities to collaborate, learn from others, and share your knowledge.

A strong network provides support, exposes you to different perspectives, and opens doors for growth and advancement.

Lead by Example

Leadership is not about position or power; it's about influence.

Set a positive example by living up to your values and expectations continuously.

Demonstrate integrity, humility, and ethical behavior in all your interactions.

Show dedication to your work, embrace challenges, and persevere in the face of obstacles.

By embodying the qualities you wish to see in others, you will inspire and motivate your team to follow suit.

Empower and Delegate

Leadership is not about micromanagement; it's about empowering others.

Trust your team and delegate responsibilities accordingly. And no, you are not simply passing on work by delegating; you are passing on the opportunity to your team to show the world what they are good at.

Provide clear expectations, offer guidance, and encourage autonomy.

Empowered individuals are more engaged, innovative, and committed to achieving collective success.

By fostering a culture of empowerment, you will build a high-performing team that drives results.

Continuously Learn and Adapt

Leadership is an ongoing learning process.

Embrace a growth mindset and commit to continuous learning. Stay updated on industry trends, invest in professional development, and seek feedback regularly.

Embrace new technologies, methodologies, and best practices.

Adaptability is crucial in a rapidly changing world, and by staying ahead of the curve, you will be better equipped to lead and navigate challenges effectively.

Simply stated: Embrace change and be an early adapter.

Embrace Failure and Learn from Setbacks

Failure is not the opposite of success; it's part of success.

Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve.

Encourage a culture of psychological safety within your team, where individuals feel comfortable taking risks and learning from mistakes.

By viewing setbacks as learning experiences and encouraging resilience, you will foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a critical leadership skill.

Enhance your ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as those of others.

Control your impulses, cultivate empathy, practice emotional regulation, and develop effective conflict resolution skills.

Emotional intelligence enables you to connect with your team on a deeper level, build trust, and navigate challenging interpersonal dynamics.

Seek Mentors and Role Models

Learning from experienced leaders can significantly accelerate your growth.

Seek out mentors and role models who can provide guidance, share their experiences, and offer valuable insights.

Engage in meaningful conversations, ask for advice, and observe their leadership styles.

Mentors can provide valuable feedback, challenge your thinking, and help you avoid common pitfalls.

Unleashing Your Leadership Potential

Becoming a leader is a journey of continuous growth, self-reflection, and learning.

By practicing the above skills, you can transform from an emerging leader to a respected and effective leader.

From a talent who shows potential to a pillar in a team whose high-level performance doesn’t surprise anybody anymore.

Embrace the challenges, stay committed to your personal development, and inspire others with your vision and passion.

The world needs more exceptional leaders, and with determination and perseverance, you can be one of them.

Want to know about emerging leader coaching? Contact me here

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