Your interview is coming up. You are trying to get a leadership position. Without realizing it – your focus is on your individual contributions and not on ‘leading’. Moving from individual performer to leadership takes a mental mind switch. If you were promoted into leadership – it would no longer matter if you performed superbly if your team did not. How would you ensure that your team performs? How would you motivate them? What is the most important aspect of leadership from your perspective?
Usually, you are unable to make the mental mind switch in the interview to answer these questions unless you have carefully thought through them before the interview.
Would you lead by example? Do you think you would be a hands-on or hands-off manager? Why? Do you feel that you would be good at delegating? How would you determine who to delegate to? What are some examples of projects that you’ve run or committees that you’ve been on that have prepared you for leadership? Do others see you as a leader?
There are things that you can do to prepare yourself for leadership:
- Volunteer for projects that expose you to a team where you have to get support from the team to succeed.
- Take classes on leadership or seminars that talk through leadership issues.
- Ask a leader at your organization to mentor you. Keep asking around until you find someone that says ‘yes’.
- Seek to propose a solution to a problem that your organization is facing. Make it an unsolicited request. Take it on and offer up a potential solution even though it was not assigned to you.
Hopefully, the next time you interview for a leadership position, you will have more tools in the tool box to bring forth in the interview. I wish you luck!
by Bethany Williams