What do employers look for in emerging leaders?

If you’re looking to step up into a leadership role, then it helps to know what employers look for. Four attributes are key: proactiveness, strong communication, project management and people skills. Why are these attributes important? This 2-part feature identifies both practical and purposeful ways to show your employer that you’re a worthy contender for a promotion.


If you want to be taken seriously then you need to show that you’re someone who’s looking to step up. Being able to spot opportunities to improve efficiencies and solve problems is a great way to build your credibility. When it comes to ideas around changing processes or if you’re looking to pitch a bold new idea, remember to be tactful with your approach. It’s important to read the room and to pitch ideas for solutions when your management team seems open to discussion. Don’t be aggressive or relentless when pitching ideas and don’t be surprised or upset if certain concepts get knocked back, it’s all par for the course. Often your managers have more information and context than you do, which is why some of your ideas might get picked up while others that on the face of it may seem great, may be rejected.

Strong Communication skills

Communication is key, regardless of what role you’re in. With so much communication happening online, it can be much harder to read body language cues like smiles and crossed arms (even during video calls). So, what you say and how you say it is more important than ever before. Start brushing up on your communication skills by keeping messaging simple and to the point. Essential tips for good communication can be found in our IMNZ article, Three Soft Skills To Master If You Want To Be Taken Seriously As A Leader.

When stepping up into a leadership role, you will likely be pulled into more meetings, and be expected to regularly give presentations and updates on team performance and projects. You’re also more likely to be put on the spot about projects when you won’t always have the answers at hand.

If you’re not a fan of public speaking or you find your thinking gets scrambled when you’re put under the microscope, don’t stress. No one wants to see you fail, you’re all on the same team working towards the same goal, people are just trying to get information from you that will allow them to do their work better.

Think on Your Feet course is a globally recognised course that teaches you to speak concisely and persuasively, even under pressure. It is one of the most powerful communication and influence courses in business today and would be ideal for those who struggle in this arena.

Continue on to part two

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