Forward: To move in front, make progress and head towards the future. Nothing about this definition suggests standing still or lagging.
It’s that forward focus that has defined many great leaders. They sought a clear vision of the future they wanted and made it a reality.
Aspiring leaders, change-makers and influencers must have that same focus. Regardless if you aim to launch a business, take the next step up in your organisation or make it into the C-suite, envisioning where you want to be is essential. It’s imperative to back that vision with the skills to achieve it.
Of course, skills can only propel you so far. What sets apart leaders who stand the test of time are their leadership qualities. Why? Driving your team into achieving a vision requires more than the mastery of processes.
So, are you a leader who is looking to stand out? Have you got the qualities to succeed now and in the future?
To know for sure, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I competent?
Defined as the ability to do something successfully or efficiently, competence is a must for any leader – particularly for business owners and professional consultants. To determine competence, one study recommends the use of objective measures of performance. Rather than relying on confidence, speaking ability or persuasiveness, which are difficult to quantify, you want to stand out for your proven ability to lead successfully.
For Dr Travis Kemp, an organisational psychologist, independent company director and adjunct professor at the University of South Australia’s Business School, his profound appreciation for the importance of competent leaders led him to seek out a globally recognised accreditation. Kemp observes that “management is one of the emerging professions that need standards and barriers to entry put in place.
Gaining an internationally recognised designation, built on industry-leading standards, is one way for leaders to display evidence of their competence. The result of having truly competent leaders, according to Kemp is that “people working in organisations get access to growth-centred leaders and managers.”
Similarly, Head of Customer Service and APAC Professional Services at Intelledox, Sue Ann Mckenzie-Smith, wanted to quantify her competence. She looked to accreditation for “industry recognition of my skills as a manager and effectively leading people.”
So, are you competent? How can you improve your leadership competence? And what can you do to showcase this?
- Assess the level of your leadership skills and compare this with industry standards
- Develop any skills or competencies that you might feel you lack or need to improve
- Accredit your leadership skills against an internationally-recognised standard
Am I impactful?
Making a meaningful impact on your future and that of your organisation requires the ability to drive people. Your skills and experience can mean very little if you are unable to empower yourself and others to achieve results.
Kemp, who is an academic specialising in leadership, agrees. After researching the topic and becoming a business leader himself, he points out where his passion for leadership stems – being impactful. “I think leaders’ impact can be incredibly positive when it is directed in the right way, to the right people in the right time,” Kemp said.
For the Director of CatholicCare Social Services in Toowoomba, Kate Venables, making an impact is the main factor in becoming a stand-out leader. Venables explains, “I think everyone has the capacity to be a leader, but leadership is a real privilege. And the importance is that you empower and engage others to do the best in their job.”
Does your leadership make a positive impact on your career, team and organisation? Here’s how you can ensure that it does:
- Focus on delivering results that make the most significant impact on the business
- Empower your teams to achieve goals through effective and inspiring leadership
- Reflect on your skills to lead others and deliver results to determine where you can improve
Am I connected?
Whether you aim to start your own business, offer services and expertise as a consultant, or simply want to move up in your leadership journey, undeniably, your professional network contributes to your success.
Venables knows that an excellent professional network is an essential resource for leaders. She believes that there’s much value in connecting with people with “a lot of wisdom and knowledge”. Venables also recommends seeking out other networks where you can find other leaders who can mentor you.
In thinking of the type of professionals you need to network with, quality is critical. Mckenzie-Smith advises those looking for support in becoming better leaders to, “connect with like-minded managers,” through strong professional networks.
Leadership success sometimes comes down to who you know, not just what you know. That’s why you should examine the quality of your professional network. Remember, an effective network should:
- Connect you with professionals from a variety of industries – not just your specialty
- Allow you to engage with forward-thinking professionals – leaders who represent the gold standard
- Identify you as a leader who is committed to maintaining good leadership practice
Great leadership starts with you
If your vision includes making an impact on the future of business – as a leader, a business owner or professional consultant – you need to equip yourself with the skills and qualities to future-proof that goal.
The Chartered Manager accreditation involves an in-depth self-reflection process. Your skills and experience will be assessed against 34 leadership competencies, ensuring you are equipped to manage yourself, others and the organisation successfully.
You’ll also become part of a community a diverse network of professionals from various industries and sectors via the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand (IML ANZ).
By becoming a Chartered Manager – like Travis Kemp, Sue Ann Mckenzie-Smith and Kate Venables – you’ll ensure your leadership success now and in the future. In fact, the Chartered Management Institute in the UK (CMI), found that among Chartered Managers:
- Are competent: 96% of Chartered Managers use their designation as proof of experience
- Are impactful: 91% of Chartered Managers see their designation as proof of their ability to deliver results
- Are connected: 70% of Chartered Managers use their designation to increase their visibility
Change the future of management and leadership – become a Chartered Manager.
To find out more or to apply, visit managersandleaders.com.au/chartered-manager.