Research indicates that organizations whose leaders have high learning agility establish the best foundation of transformation. When competition is severe, the skill required of a leader is learning agility. This is the skill to quickly learn from experience and achieve success by applying what is learned in a new environment.
Gaining a competitive advantage by improving your leadership skills can set you apart from other applicants during a job search, career advancement, and additional compensation. And while it’s important, working harder isn’t the solution to gaining a competitive edge. You must work strategically to lift yourself above the competition.
Here are ways to use your leadership skills to gain a competitive advantage.
1. Get Feedback from Others About Your Leadership Behaviors.
Make sure that your intentions translate into actions. Undergo various assessments as this will help you better understand how you lead others. Work on the alignment of your values and actions. Audit yourself also to see if your actions consistently express your values.
2. Develop and Maintain New skills
Expanding your existing skills and developing new ones will make you more valuable. Read about the latest trends and technologies in the industry and try out new technologies to remain competitive.
Improve your knowledge and skills by attending classes, seminars, and conferences. Master your hard skills as this is essential. Your ability to work as part of a team and get along well with others is important. There is always room for mastering skills and going beyond give you a competitive advantage over others.
3. Learn More About What It Means to Lead
Learning is a process and the best way to stand out as a leader is to always keep learning new things. Get to know how you can be the best leader as this will keep your mind sharp, and your skills fresh. It also gives you a new challenge as a leader. Register for online leadership classes or enroll in courses that will develop and improve your leadership skills.
4. Communicate Effectively
Communication is essential and when you communicate effectively, the employer will be convinced that you will be significant in an organization. If you can explain the needs of a project clearly in a way that the recipient understands, then you will get results more quickly compared to a leader with poor communication.
5. Exceed Expectations
When you go above and beyond in your work, others will notice. When you go beyond what others are doing or are willing to do, you will stand out to management and achieve a competitive edge and, most likely, see more rapid advancement in your career.
6. Invest in Yourself
Be willing to invest time and money into your professional development. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend workshops, webinars, and seminars. Look for opportunities that will help you practice a variety of skills, including communication, negotiation, management, and collaboration. Leadership roles improve your visibility and professional reputation.
7. Join A Professional Association
Professional associations give you instant access to like-minded professionals in your industry who can help you gain access to new and exciting opportunities. Through professional associations, you can access learning opportunities, training conferences, or online education platforms.
Leadership is much more than simply being in charge. As John Quincy said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
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