Don’t wait to develop your personal impact. Start now.

What comes to mind when you think about the personal impact required to step up to a leadership role? How do you acquire it? When do you start? Is it a case of waiting, doing a great job and expecting that to sell you? Or are you developing your personal impact now to be ready for it?

It’s a competitive world. If you start thinking about this now you can put yourself ahead of the field. You can learn before you’re under pressure to do so. You can showcase your skills early, before the formal process takes place. You’ll amass the evidence for your suitability. And you can turn the step into a gentle slope. You may even decide that leadership is not for you or discover the terms under which it might be.

Where do you start? This is the subject of my session at the Young Association Executives Forum on 17th December at the Associations Congress 2018. I’ll be sharing my experience and a 4-step method and practical advice on how to develop your personal impact to the level required to lead, to be ready for when the opportunity arises.

Starting something now for the future is not easy for most of us. We often put it off, and end up learning by being in the heat of the occasion rather than through solid practice and experimentation. This may be fine (albeit painful) when it comes to a Parkrun or a round of golf. But as I’ve experienced, in the case of your career, the value of practise and experimentation to personal progress is significant.

How can you use the time before you get there? Here are some things to notice:

  • Your communication: what do you notice about how you speak and how people listen to you?
  • Your profile: what are you interested in, how do you share that interest and who with?
  • Your support: who is looking out for you? Who do you have as a sounding board outside your organisation?
  • Your network: Who is in it? What do you give to them? What do they do for you?

Simply becoming aware of how you are in these areas will pave the way for your personal impact to change and develop. Time spent being curious about and starting to ask more of yourself is good for you. It leads to you becoming the leader you want to be.

A leadership role is more than the day job. It requires you to go above and beyond what you’ve been doing, reach beyond yourself. This takes time to adapt to and people can benefit from a period of experimentation and learning. Those successful in securing leadership roles are doing these things. Now. Don’t wait for the future. It’s coming towards you. The question is, will it choose you or someone else?

For a reading list and resources to support you to develop your personal impact, take a look here


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