What Can I Do to Gain Leadership Experience? Get Prepared (7 Tips for Women)

Like success, leadership doesn’t just happen. This article recommends seven steps to help women prepare for the experience.7 Tips· Set GoalsWhat do you want? What are you willing to do to achieve your dream? What’s your timeline? Is it realistic? Preparation begins with planning. Success is not an accident. Consequently, it’s purposeful. People who excel are not just stumbling along waiting for things to happen. They drive the process by taking calculated steps.Hence, set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. By setting SMART goals you take a proactive stance towards your career.· ReadBooks teach, and they’re free. They contain treasures hidden between the pages. But if you are not a reader, you will not unlock the secrets. If you want to advance in any area, reading must become a priority. Anyway, you enjoy reading more when it’s for pleasure or concerning a topic of interest.

For example, over the years I gained more reading on my own than when I was in college. When you’re a student reading is not an option. If you don’t read the material, you run the risk of failing the class.Equally important, books are like advisors. Think about it. You probably couldn’t pay for the expertise of a Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey, but you can read their books and get invaluable insight for free. Another option is listening to audiobooks.· Take classesEnroll in a college course or two. Or, take a leadership course online. Things have changed, and more options are available. Explore workshops, seminars, conferences, and weekend retreats. You don’t necessarily have to get a degree.The point is to increase your knowledge base. Make a commitment to absorb information on leadership like a sponge.· Know your strengthsOver the years, I have administered various assessments. Yet, when I found out about the CliftonStrengths Assessment, it surpassed them all. After responding to a series of questions, a report is generated identifying your five dominant strengths out of a category of 34. You will discover what you naturally do best and how to develop those talents. Visit the Gallup Strengths Center online to learn more.· Take a personality assessmentWhat’s your personality type? How does it impact your relationships with others? Visit your human resources department to see if it offers personality assessments. Contact the alumni office if you’re a college graduate. And, visit career services if you’re a college student. When all else fails go online.

· Get a makeoverProject a professional image. Begin by getting a makeover. Change your hair. Get a manicure. Dress like a leader. Newsflash- you don’t have to spend a mint to sharpen your wardrobe. Visit thrift stores and consignment shops. Enlist the help of an image consultant. When looks matter, it matters how you look.· Find a MentorOne of the best way to prepare for upward mobility is enlisting the help of a coach. He or she will become your guide. They can advise and help you to sidestep potential problems. You gain the advantage of learning from their mistakes.