3 Leadership Traits to Ramp Up Your Professional Growth

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published June 02, 2022

Are you looking to advance your career and maybe prove that you deserve a promotion during your next performance appraisal? It might be the right time to develop some more leadership traits to improve your professional marketability.

Truth be told, it takes more than career experience, more than just a soft skill or two, and more than being a follower rather than a leader to climb the corporate ladder and have an extra edge against your potential competitors. That’s why we’ve weighed in on the leadership skills and traits that professionals today must possess to be trustworthy enough to be promoted and came up with four that you might want to consider learning for you to really take the lead in your career and set yourself up for further success. Read on for more!

  1. Adaptability and Flexibility

Today’s businesses and industries seek more forward-thinking candidates who can address their growing pains without disrupting day-to-day operations. So, it’s not new for professionals who have (1) the capacity to handle change, (2) the resilience to withstand unexpected situations, and (3) the willingness to pivot as necessary to be somewhat desirable in the world of work. However, given the disruption from the technological advancements, digital transformation, ever-changing market and consumer trends, and even work arrangements due to the pandemic, adaptability and flexibility are no longer just desirable but rather vital. But how do you become one?

To improve your sense of adaptability and flexibility, you’ll first have to recalibrate your mindset. When facing a challenge or dealing with uncharted territory, don’t take it as it is but view it as an opportunity to improve yourself and learn something new. Live a curious life. Look forward to a sense of adventure. Be open to new ideas. After all, these two are all about dealing with change, so you shouldn’t restrict yourself to the old way of doing things. And don’t forget that when presented with a problem, it’s best to respond rather than react to better handle situations since reacting is more emotional and responding is more calculated and put-together. 

Once you fully embrace adaptability and flexibility, you may find yourself with other leadership traits to help your career growth such as problem-solving and risk-taking.

  1. Confidence 

Whether you’re holding a leadership position or not, being confident with your judgment, conclusions, and professional abilities can positively or negatively impact your work-life in various ways.

For example, having confidence allows you to communicate effectively by speaking concisely and with conviction. It can also help you appear comfortable with taking on responsibility and become assertive whenever deemed necessary – something crucial if you want to be taken more seriously. And more importantly, with self-confidence, you’re more likely to make timely and unbiased decisions because there will be no room for doubt. This gives a sense that things are under control and being handled properly, helping you cultivate and maintain the respect of others and further establish your credibility in the workplace.

Now, how will you build self-confidence for your career? There are many ways to do so. You can focus on assessing your skills and capabilities and improving how you carry yourself. Being your very own cheerleader by acknowledging your achievements and supporting yourself in the best way possible will also massively help you. Just don’t forget to be realistic and aim to be self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you don’t go overboard and cross the thin line between arrogance and confidence.

  1. Sense of Accountability

To fast-track your way up the corporate ladder, you may also want to consider developing a sense of accountability or a clear understanding of the fact that your actions will always have consequences.

Again, if you want to show them what you’ve got, you’ll have to show and prove to them that you are reliable, credible, and trustworthy, and aside from bringing confidence with you, you can do that by holding yourself accountable for the outcomes resulting from your choices and behaviors.

To develop such, you’ll first need to understand your responsibilities to be accountable for them. When given a task, seek clarity in terms of what really is needed from you and such. Then, make sure to complete any order by the timeline you agreed on and take responsibility for what happens. If problems arise over things assigned to you, don’t just demonstrate accountability by admitting your mistakes and informing your senior of the situation. Instead, report the issue to your higher-ups, offer solutions to the case, and ask them for feedback. Once you know their thoughts about the circumstance, ask yourself, “What could I have done differently?”

That’s three of many, and three that will surely help you climb the career ladder. Now go forth and focus on creating your own path for success!

For more discussions on business development and career advancement, feel free to explore our IN THE MIDDLE and HEADHUNTED sections, where you can find solutions for aspiring professionals and middle managers.