How to Improve Your Leadership & Managerial Skills, So You Are Prepared When You Become the Boss

By Pinnacle Placements April 7, 2020

When your boss calls you to his office and tells you, he wants you to take on a pet project, it’s a reassuring signal your talent, skill and effort have been noticed by those around you. Treat this as an opportunity to further display and develop your managerial and leadership skills.

You may ask, what do you do if you’re asked to take charge of a project without full or formal authority needed to complete it? In such a situation, applying influence and taking needed control can present challenges to success. In this situation, consider these tips on how to be a DIY leader.


1.) Own the Responsibility Given to You

When assignments go according to plan, good leaders point to the effort of their teams and share the praise and accolades that come with that. Conversely, when there are failures, leaders take full responsibility, despite how mistakes were made. If elements of the project go wrong, avoid placing blame, especially publicly. Instead, work with your team to address the issue and identify ways to prevent it from happening again.


2.) Demonstrate Collaborative Skill

Collaboration is a crucial soft skill needed in leadership roles. This is an ideal situation to hone this key attribute. Remember, maybe not all the teammates on the assignment report to you. The best way to inspire those around you is to set the example of how you expect colleagues to advance the project forward. If you’re exuberant, they’ll show passion. If you gripe and complain, so will they.  When tempted to moan internally about the added pressure and workload, avoid complaining to those working with you on the project.


3.) Pull Your Weight

Despite being the project leader, you will still need to do some of the less glamorous work associated with the assignment. Those working with you take note if you aren’t contributing or are missing deadlines and deflect last-minute problems to others. You’ll earn respect and wield the most impact when colleagues see you working as hard – possibly harder – than they are.

4.)  Don’t Show Favoritism

The quickest way to sow dissention on your project team is to appear to be favoring close colleagues with the desirable assignments and not-so-close colleagues the less desirable tasks. This is the time to bring out the best in others by leading and encouraging the team to do their best work complete the assignment. Emphasize the team of short and long-term project goals. Recognize and celebrate along the way when each one is met.

5.)  Seek Input, Listen

Inexperienced leaders often fail when given an opportunity like this, because they follow the instinct to do all the speaking in order to assert themselves as the leader of the pack. Leadership and management experts stress one of the most vital managerial skills is encouraging dialogue. To get people comfortable sharing and talking, you need to listen; really listening means being receptive to ideas and opinions.

6.)  Sharpen Management & Leadership Abilities

Though some people are born leaders and managers, most of us learn it as we go. On-the-job training as it is called. This is the best and most common way to learn your individual leadership and managerial skills. Supplemental approaches are to emulate the qualities of authority figures you follow and read books and articles on the subject.

Being entrusted with a team project is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate your leadership & managerial skills. Even though your official title hasn’t changed, there are many ways you can show your boss and colleagues that you’ve got what it takes to be a future leader and earn their respect.

7.)  Be Yourself

This may seem like corny, worn-out advice, however, when you look around the most respected business and security leaders are personable and genuine. Advancing into a role that requires managerial/leadership skills doesn’t mean you need to adopt a phony persona. Your colleagues would likely see right through that, anyway and you would lose their respect.


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