If you are a professional who is seeking to secure a leadership role there might be the temptation to rely totally on your technical expertise. Yet in truth, if you are applying for a senior level role, your technical competence will almost be taken for granted. So if it is not your technical competence that you need to demonstrate what is it?
Being aware of what you do best and what needs developing is essential for success as a leader. In addition, you need to be aware of how your behaviours and style impact on others as your ability to influence is a huge contributor to the results you achieve.
What makes you different from everyone else?
If all of the candidates can do the technical aspects of the job to a broadly similar level, what is it that you bring to the table that sets you apart from everyone else? Spending time thinking about the 3-5 things that you believe are unique about you is time well invested.
You are a team player
Chances are, unless it is a start up company is that you will be joining an already established team. Those recruiting need to be comfortable that you are going to successfully integrate into the team and build relationships with colleagues.
As part of the leadership team you are no longer just the expert in a particular discipline. You need to be able to see the bigger picture and maybe even break down some prejudices that you have about other professional groups. Remember that a big part of your role is to drive the organisation forward so the ability to think creatively and come up with innovations and ideas is vital.
Long term potential
Few people will be able to tick all of the boxes in terms of skills, experience and attributes but you need to be able to show that you have long term potential to grow and develop.
You will be a good ambassador for the organisation
You need to be able to represent the organisation well internally and even externally, particularly if you are working in a public body.
Bottom Line – Breaking through the career glass ceiling is less about technical competence and more about your ability to inspire and influence others. So where do you need to develop to achieve your professional potential?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.