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If you’re a dedicated worker in your organization, you probably dream of earning a promotion to a leadership role one day. But being a leader means more work and more responsibilities, as well as a whole new mindset you need to adopt. It’s not just enough to do your job well; you have to make sure the people you lead are working to the best of their abilities too. If you want to get ready for it, there’s no time like the present, so here are some tips on preparing for future leadership positions now.

Start learning

Being a leader is a whole different ball game compared to just being a team member, and it requires a new mindset to learn new skills. The best way to start learning these skills is now, so start studying in any way you can. Go to seminars. Read books. Participate in training. One of the best ways to learn is through a mentor. Find a leader you admire in your personal life and ask them to share their wisdom now and again over a cup of coffee. Experience is the best teacher, but someone else’s is the next best thing if you don’t have your own yet. 

Develop your emotional intelligence

The most significant difference between being a team member and being a leader is that leaders work with people more. You’re not just responsible for what you do, but what your whole team does. Dealing with emotions in stressful times will be inevitable, so you have to make sure you develop your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your own feelings, so you can stay level-headed and be a more effective leader. It will also teach you more about how your team operates.

Be a problem solver

When a problem arises on a team, people generally look to the leader for a solution. If you want a leadership position in the future, one of the best ways to show you’re ready is to become a problem solver. Learn your strengths and lean into them to solve a problem quickly and efficiently. But sometimes, you’ll find your strengths aren’t enough, and to prepare for that inevitability, you should always be learning new skills that you can employ when a problem comes up.