Don't wait for the title, start leading
I want to become a Leader / Manager, but how do I become one? How do I set myself up for success when/if that opportunity gets available? are the 2 most common questions asked to me.
Now, there are 2 options for you
- Find a role in the company you work at
- Find a new Leadership job
You can either look to find a role in your company or find an entirely new role outside that company. You might have an easier time finding a position in your company since they have already hired and trusted you. So we will focus on that today!
But that doesn't mean finding a leadership job is harder. We will cover that some other time.
Here are a few things I’d suggest,
A lot of folks fail when things don’t go according to plan 📜
🤫 Here is the secret, as a leader, you need to step in and brainstorm solutions. Many folks run away from uncertainty, but you should brave it and walk towards that.
Help your team see the light at the end of the tunnel and help them get through it. You will genuinely shine and build trust among your team and manager. This is an essential quality to have in a leader.
Be proactive and show initiative 🔥
If someone in your team is stuck and needs help, please step in to help them. Pair program with them, ask questions and support brainstorming ideas. Remember, when you start to lead, you will do a lot of this, so this is good practice.
Communicate your Ambition 🗣️
Many folks think managers are mind readers 😅 and I swear we try to be but are not. So if you want something, ASK. The worst case is going to be that the answer will be no.
💪 You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so you might as well try.
You can share in a way that you are excited about and want to see as an option for you in the future. Your manager's job is to ensure you are growing, so they will keep that in mind as new opportunities arise.
Communicate effectively 🤝
Think of all the great leaders in your career. There is one thing they all have in common, and that is being a strong communicator.
But, How do you improve your communication skills? 💬 Here is an infographic for you taken from Developer to Leader program 🚀.
Improve your communication skills
First, prepare for meetings and genuinely be helpful. Make sure you list down and prep for any questions that may come up. Provide your advice and expertise. You will come across a lot more confident.
Don't communicate for the heck of it but be thoughtful
There is a lesson dedicated to communicating and crafting a strategy for it 🚀 in Developer to Leader program. If you are interested, add yourself to the waitlist. and take advantage of Early Access discount.
🔥 1 Hot Tip: Focus on the outcomes from every conversation, and your communication strategy will change.
For example, if the outcome of a meeting is for you to figure out how that component needs to be architected, then all your questions and efforts should be toward that. If the conversation gets sidetracked, you should be able to bring it back to the point.
Your goal should be to have a well-designed component or a resolution and alignment toward that.
Present more often and give more demos 🎁
Give product demos to stakeholders, in design meetings or wherever there is a showcase. By giving a good demo and answering questions, you will stand out in front of important stakeholders, plus you are getting better at presenting.
Help folks beyond your immediate team 🤝
Think of a time when someone outside your team helped you? didn't you appreciate their help? do the same! If a question is asked in Slack, related to the services you are using and if you can help or answer, then definitely help others. You will get brownie points as you do that.
You build trust with other teams because of it 💪
Think big picture 🎆
Understand the org’s and team’s vision. Create a mini plan 💡 to determine how to contribute to that vision. If you have new ideas on how your team can do better, share those thoughts and ideas. Understand the OKRs and goals for your team.
Ask your manager how you can be more resourceful.
Don’t wait for the title 🙅🏽♀️
You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you, "Now it is your time to lead".
Leaders don't wait for a title and don't need someone to say to them. However, you can start leading before that by demonstrating the leadership skills we discussed.
Well, you can do a lot more, but this is an excellent start to becoming a Leader and finding those opportunities yourself.