Is Leadership in Your Career Future? Develop These 6 Traits Now

By Chelsea Babin

As you climb the career success ladder, your future rungs may include a leadership position or two. If you want to be a great leader, you need to develop these six traits now and strengthen them over time to do it effectively.

1. Challenge Your Assumptions: The humility to recognize that there are smarter people in the room you can learn from is essential if you want to be a great leader. Don’t restrict yourself from outside opinions and input, instead, surround yourself with diverse perspectives and challenge your own assumptions.

2. Become a Learning Machine: We are in an age of unprecedented technological advancement and, if you’re a technical professional who is eager to move into a leadership role in the future, become a learning machine now. The more you know, the more versatile you can be and you can gather expertise that will come in handy once you’re leading a team or an organization.

3. Build Strong Professional Relationships: People respond to leaders who communicate effectively, listen well, and thoughtfully maintain authentic relationships in a professional environment. Make it a habit to build strong professional relationships now and you’ll be ready to thrive in a leadership role in the future.

4. Be Radically Transparent: The best leaders are radically transparent and build a work culture filled with respect, openness. If you can become radically transparent now, allowing others to voice their opinions and collaborating effectively, you’ll be seen as the kind of professional who can lead companies away from toxicity.

5. Make Time to Serve Others: A common misconception is that leaders should dictate, command, or impose. Instead, a better way to think of leadership is serving others. You need to make time to help others achieve their goals and bring out the best in people, which is something you can start doing now. Make time to help others reach their highest potential and you’ll develop one of the most important leadership traits early on.

6. Carefully Pick Mentors and Surround Yourself With the Best: The people around you define who you are. If you see someone with a career you’d like to replicate or whose words of wisdom you appreciate, carefully pick them and form a mentorship relationship. Anyone who is career limiting or lacks integrity should not be in your inner circle, especially in a professional environment, if you want to move into a leadership role in the future. Surround yourself with the best and learn from them.

These 6 traits are important to develop and foster early if you want to be an effective leader once you move into a leadership role in your career. Priming yourself early for future success is a great idea and will help you move ahead faster than you may have thought possible.