Moving On Up – 9 Ways to Demonstrate Leadership Skills

Demonstrate Leadership origami birds against black background

If you are looking to improve your career trajectory and climb the corporate ladder, then it’s vital you demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job. In this blog, we’ll look at how to demonstrate leadership skills and ensure you don’t get overlooked.

Ever feel as if you’re caught on a hamster wheel? The endless cycle of long working hours and an ever-growing workload? Add to this, perhaps, responsibilities outside of work, a family for example, and it’s no wonder overwhelm rears its head. It can be difficult to find time to think about your career path, let alone do anything about it. This in turn leads to procrastination; it’s easier to stick with the known, even though you know you are capable of so much more than it is to find the time and space to explore an alternative.

And when the opportunity for career growth does arrive, how can you demonstrate that you are the right choice or even an option? Here are 9 key ways that you can demonstrate leadership capability.

1. Understand Organisational Culture.

What qualities does your organisation value? Is it ambition? Is it visibility? By getting to know the company’s values you can ensure you demonstrate them in your communications, in your relationships with others, and in your day-to-day activity.

2. Switch Your Perspective.

When you’re working IN your organisation, it’s easy to get stuck in seeing things from the limited or “blinkered” perspective of your current position.  One of the key ways to demonstrate leadership potential is to switch that perspective to the much wider view of the company.  The benefit of this “bigger picture” view is that it can help you make better, more strategic decisions as well as foster a greater understanding of difficult change.

3. Build Confidence.

The most effective leaders are those who have developed sufficient self-awareness that they know their strengths and recognise their weaknesses. Strengths can be built upon, and awareness means you know which activities to engage in that will allow you to shine. Knowing where your weaknesses lie can, in turn, help you to develop those weaknesses, perhaps through further training or working with a coach or mentor. However, knowing your weaknesses is often enough, particularly if they can be mitigated by your strengths – If you can focus your work on your strengths, then do so. If not, then develop your weaknesses to an acceptable level – don’t attempt to be an expert in everything.

4. Take Responsibility

Another key way to demonstrate leadership qualities is to take responsibility and to be accountable where both successful outcomes and mistakes are concerned. Remember that often mistakes occur not because the original concept was flawed, but due to poor execution, for example, or other external factors. By being accountable, you also can act proactively to analyse the “why” behind the results and to suggest improvements.

5. Lead Upwards

Leadership involves understanding risk, engaging people, and building strategies. 

When both present and effectively listening to others, you are more able to identify any gaps in these areas. If you are then able to develop your skills to match any of these gaps, you not only demonstrate initiative but will help yourself to get noticed for the right reasons.

6. Build Your Visibility.

Shrinking violets beware! Whilst senior team members are often too busy to represent the organisation at events, write blogs, be guest speakers, or volunteer for committees, this gives you a valuable opportunity to demonstrate leadership skills and potential. Networking events are a great way to get known, but also offer low-cost marketing opportunities for your organisation. By creating blog content, you can also demonstrate your thought leadership, whilst driving traffic to your organisation’s website.

7. Embrace Diversity.

A good leader understands that diversity is not just about age, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It’s about ensuring a mix of IQ as well as EQ and embracing diversity in personalities, ideas, and approaches. This diversity creates so many more opportunities for growth within any organisation and that’s where true innovation lies.

8. Have Strong Boundaries.

Saying “No” may sound counter-intuitive, but a strong leader knows how to ring-fence their time, how to delegate, and how to say “No” when a no is needed! Remember, clarity is kind, not only to others in that they understand where you stand but also to yourself. You cannot give your best to your role if you’re burned out.

9. Find A Mentor.

I often work with clients as a sounding board to their ideas, whilst offering clarity on the vision of where they want to be, in supporting them in the development of their leadership skills and advancing their career goals. 

How to Demonstrate Leadership Skills – In Summary. 

We have explored some of the hard and soft skills that a good leader needs, but it is also worth making the point that you need to communicate your desire for progression. This could be as simple as voicing your wish for promotion, or it could be a more subtle approach. Perhaps demonstrating that you are capable of the increased responsibility by undertaking some of the tasks associated with it. What is important overall, is about understanding others’ perception of you; how they turn to you for advice or for inspiration. What matters most is how you develop your skills, and how you interact and share your experiences and knowledge with others. That is the mark of a good leader.

If now is the time to invest in your business growth or if you are looking to gain clarity to progress up the career ladder and ensure your leadership skills are top-notch, I can help. With 25+ years of experience, gained in many different sectors, from legal to coffee merchants, and having owned several successful businesses of my own, I can support you, coach, and mentor you to be the best version of yourself.  Book a call and let’s chat through the options.

Being in Flow – How to increase productivity in business

tranquil river with stepping stones over How to increase productivity in business

Being a productivity ninja would be great. But always achieving what we set out to do, always meeting deadlines, and crossing off every item on our to-do list before the clock strikes five, is an ideal that few of us can ever achieve.  But, if you are wondering how to increase productivity in business, there are some simple steps that will help you, if not achieve everything every day, at least get the most important things done.

In this blog, I’m going to help you to understand the concept of being in flow in your business and show how you can ensure that you use this state to increase productivity in business -and life in general.

Increasing Productivity in Business – The Power of Being in Flow

What is ‘Flow’?

Can you remember the last time that you were so engrossed in an activity that you completely lost yourself in the task? Time passed, but you were so involved in what you were doing that you didn’t notice?

This is what is often referred to as “being in flow” That mental state where creativity blooms, where you’re more productive, more empowered, and ready to achieve. Typically, during these times, you’ll also feel pretty good about yourself. You’ll have the end goal in focus and be motivated to reach it.

You may have heard this referred to as “being in the zone” and you may already have experienced moments like this, where everything goes right, and you’re on the fast track to getting things done.

It’s a great feeling. But if you are looking to increase productivity in your business, instead of passively waiting for moments of flow to arrive, there are things you can do to intentionally create that flow and, in so doing, supercharge your ability to get things done and reduce stress.

Here are 6 practical ways to create flow and reap the benefits:

Set the stage.

The easiest way of signaling to the brain that you want to get into a flow state is to create an action, or series of actions that signal to both brain and body that you want to focus on one specific task, free from distraction.

Your actions could be a short meditation, spending 10 minutes outside in the fresh air, or a few moments making a cup of tea, whilst thinking around the task at hand. It doesn’t matter what your actions are, the key is that they remain the same and are repeated every time you wish to get in flow. This will signal to your mind and body that it’s time to focus.

Get rid of distractions.

Are you guilty of settling down to one task, then being distracted by your phone pinging, messages arriving, or even the lure of social media? These might seem like momentary lapses in focus, but it has been proven that to reach flow, you must eliminate all distractions. Every time you allow your focus to be challenged, you take yourself further from that flow state. In fact, research has shown that it can take 25 minutes to regain full focus.

Don’t also forget that, to the procrastinators amongst us, desk items can also prove an opportune distraction! Help yourself by sitting down at a clear desk. Of course, diversions can come from the inside as well as the outside, so use journaling or meditation to keep your mind as clear as possible from stress and to control your thoughts.

Understand Your Peak Time.

This involves not only being self-aware enough to know when you’re at your best but also combining that with the best environment in which you can focus. It’s pointless to try and create this level of focus when you’re distracted by others and their noise. 

So, if you find that your energy levels are at their highest early in the mornings, plus the office or household is quietest then, this might be the time to focus on getting into flow.

Get the Balance between Challenging and Difficult.

Any tasks need to be enough of a challenge that you’re not going to complete them without any thought or effort. You can’t create that all-important flow if you’re brain knows it could complete the task easily; It needs to be enough of a challenge to require your full concentration. 

However, on the flip side, if the task means that you spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to figure out how to do it, then you’ll end up stressed and frustrated and as far from flow as you could be.

Flow is being completely involved in an activity for its own sake.  The ego falls away. Time flies.  Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.

Mikaly Csikszentmihalyi

Have a Clear Goal.

One of the keys to increasing productivity in business is to be clear on the outcome you desire from any task. When you lack clarity, your brain will naturally struggle to maintain concentration. In addition, you’ll be laying yourself wide open to procrastination which thrives on a lack of clarity, pushing you towards easier tasks or abandoning the job at hand.

Keep Practising.

Like any muscle, focus is something that doesn’t just “come”. You’ll need to practise sustaining focus for any length of time. The key here is to start small and to gradually increase the time that you are able to maintain in flow.

Summary: The Power of Being in Flow

When you’re looking to increase productivity in business, being in flow gives you a distinct advantage. By practising and maintaining being in flow you’ll be able to stay focused on important tasks and projects and get them done, rather than the “start/stop” methods used by others.

Although it can take time to achieve, once you have mastered working in flow, you’ll most certainly feel happier and more fulfilled in your working day and less stressed.

And that’s what we all want, isn’t it?

Remember, if now is the time to invest in your business growth, to create ease and flow, to discover ways to increase productivity in your business, to align your values to your business, or to build a business that you’ll love getting up to each day, then there are several ways that we can work together:

1. With 1:1 coaching.  With monthly or weekly sessions available, we’ll work together to create a sustainable, resilient, and successful business, banish the overwhelm and create success on your terms. Find out more here:

2. If you’re starting out or have a young business then my Startup to Success coaching programme is for you. You’ll learn all the steps to creating strong foundations upon which to grow your business. Click this link to discover more:

3. For those “quick wins” my Coaching Power Hour is a must. You’ll receive actionable steps to help you move past your blocks, gain clarity, and gain the momentum to grow your business. Book your Power Hour here

If you’re not sure which option is best suited, then why not Book a Call, and let’s have a chat.