In order to achieve a successful career, one often needs to be a leader. Leadership is not only beneficial for those in charge of teams or groups, but it is also essential for anyone looking to move up the career ladder. Leadership skills can be learned and developed through different experiences and training programs. However, what is most important is that individuals are willing to take on new challenges and put themselves out there.
By having strong leadership qualities, an individual is able to set themselves apart from their peers and advance their career. But the question is how do you practice leadership? What skills should you have to pursue a leadership role? Keeping these in mind, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) held a two-week-long career expo on ‘essential leadership skills to build a career in a rapidly changing world.’ In the career expo, different leaders from different sectors conveyed their experience about leadership.
Here is what you need to keep in mind to become a successful leader.
Leadership starts from preparation, that is what was addressed by the career expo webinar moderator BYLC President Ejaj Ahmad. In order to be an effective leader, it is important to have a clear understanding of what your role entails and what is expected of you. Preparation is key to success in any field, and this is especially true for those who aspire to lead others. By taking the time to learn about the different aspects of your job and the organization you work for, you will be better equipped to handle challenges and make decisions that are in the best interest of both. By understanding the basics of your job, you will be able to take the first steps towards becoming a leader.
A good leader is someone who takes responsibility for their actions and can be counted on in times of need. Responsibility is the foundation of leadership, and by taking responsibility you are able to build trust with others. People will respect you more if they know that you are a reliable person, and this will help you to become a better leader. When you take responsibility for your mistakes, you learn from them and become stronger.
About taking responsibility, Centre for Research and Information (CRI) Trustee Radwan Mujib Siddiq conveyed, "Youth today must prepare themselves adequately and take responsibility. If you make a mistake, own it instead of hiding it. However, you should be able to defend your thought process even if you make a mistake."
Become a part of the team and find your own niche
Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one person may not be effective for another. To grow as a leader, you need to find your own niche and become a part of the team. This may require some experimentation, but it's worth the effort. Once you have found your niche, focus on developing the skills required to be successful in that role. Be prepared to put in the time and effort required to achieve your goals. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed the matter and shared experiences from his first job of his life. He said, “Do what you feel strongly about and what feels right to you. Don’t pay heed to the opposition of your peers or even mentors.”
It is often said that communication is the lifeblood of any organization. Whether it is a start-up or a multinational conglomerate, if people can't communicate effectively, the company will grind to a halt. And yet, so many people seem to underestimate the importance of communication skills. As a leader, it is essential to be able to not only communicate with your team but also to be able to listen to them. Communication is not just about transmitting information; it is also about building relationships and establishing trust. If you cannot do that, you won't be a leader for long.
Never fear a failure
There are a lot of reasons why you should not fear a failure to become a good leader. The most important reason is that you can learn from your failures. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's how you respond to your failures that determines your success. A good leader takes failures in stride and learns from them. They use their failures as a way to become better leaders. So, don't be afraid to fail – it's the best way to learn and become a successful leader. Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank’s Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan conveyed some wise words about being a failure. She said, “Never fear failure. Failure is the first attempt at learning.”
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
The ability to think critically and solve problems are essential skills for any workplace. Critical thinking skills allow you to analyze and evaluate information, while problem-solving skills allow you to identify and implement solutions to problems. These skills are important for all employees but are especially critical for those in management or leadership roles. A workforce that is able to think critically and solve problems is more efficient and productive and is better able to meet the challenges of the modern workplace. Member of Parliament, Nahim Razzaq conveyed, “Be driven and create a career, based on trust, knowledge sharing, and networking. These are the assets that you build in the working environment.”
Learn through practice
Leadership is often considered a quality that is innate, or that someone is born with. However, leadership can also be learned and developed over time with practice. Learning through practice is an important way to grow as a leader. It allows you to experiment with different techniques and strategies, learn what works and what doesn’t, and develop your own leadership style. Additionally, learning through practice helps you to build relationships and networks with other leaders. These relationships can provide you with valuable resources and support, which can help you to further develop as a leader. Regarding this matter the Dutch Ambassador, Anne van Leeuwen mentioned, “Leadership cannot only be learned from a book; you have to learn through practice.”
Leaders are not born, but they are made. They have a clear vision and are able to articulate it in a way that inspires others to follow them. Leaders also have a strong sense of values and principles that they live by. Finally, leaders are able to take care of their people and make sure they have what they need to be successful. We hope that BYLC's two-week-long career expo in 2022 will help the nation build portential leaders who will lead the country in future.