Instead of waiting for someone else to make the needed changes in their organizations, future leaders should step up themselves—without waiting to be asked, advises Professor Harry Kraemer, a strategy expert, in his Kellogg Insight.
He offers the following tips for future leaders:
Lead from where you are. Leadership doesn’t need to wait until you have direct reports or a long tenure at your organization. He says you are “equally capable of leading whether you’ve got 50,000 people reporting to you or nobody.”
Start offering solutions.Rather than simply complaining about what’s wrong in your company, go to your boss with at least one or two potential solutions. They may not be used, but at least you’ll show that you’re a leader.
Do your research.Strive to learn everything you can about your organization, even if it seems to have little or nothing to do with your own position. Programs, divisions or special task forces might be operating that you don’t even know about.
Build your network.Make a point to get to know two or three people in every function, division and business unit of your organization. Don’t worry about where the other person stands in the company hierarchy; simply reach out to people you think you can help and learn what you can about the organization in the process.
Encourage future leaders.Do your best to inspire others to speak up, offer solutions and take on special projects that will expand their own networks and understanding.
See the full Kellogg Insight: “Don’t Wait to Be Asked: Lead.”