By Heather Schlichting via themuse.com Article
“1. Be a Problem Solver
Leaders don’t just wait to be told what to do—they think strategically about what needs to be done, and then they do it. So, next time you’re faced with a challenge, don’t just tell your boss about the problem and wait for a solution. Instead, tell him or her how you’re going to fix it. … When you present the problem along with its possible solutions, your manager will recognize your initiative and dedication to the company’s success. And look at internal issues, too: If you think there are ways to do your job more efficiently, test those solutions and present them. You won’t only make your life easier—you’ll prove to your boss that you’re ready to improve the entire department’s operations.
2. Take on Small Management Opportunities
One of the best ways to show that you’re ready for a leadership role is to find small ways to manage people or projects. You’ll build your management skills, of course—but more importantly, you’ll start being viewed as a team leader. … You can prove your leadership skills through more casual means, too: Offer to help plan the company picnic or volunteer with co-workers at a community event. As you take on more responsibility (and follow through with successful results), you’ll prove that you’re committed to your team and will do what it takes to get things done.
3. Understand the Whole Company—Not Just Your Role
To be an effective manager, you’ll need a 360-degree view of the company. With the right information, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and develop the right strategies to push your department forward. So, spend some time learning as much as you can about your business as a whole. … Act as if you’re an outsider researching the company for an interview and (if you’re not 100% familiar with them already) read up on the business’ current vision and goals. Then, move on to the most recent annual report and press releases to delve into company operations, strategies, and challenges. And don’t forget to research your competitors, too, to see exactly where you rank in your industry. …
4. Be Professional
Finally, as you’re thinking about how to get to the next level, remember to make sure that you’re exemplary in what you do now. Would you want a manager who misses deadlines, forgets to answer emails, and gossips about other employees? Of course not—and even though you’re not a supervisor yet, you shouldn’t be displaying those behaviors, either.
Instead, demonstrate a good work ethic by being on time and courteous to other co-workers. Avoid office gossip, aim to have the reputation of someone who everyone can trust, and approach your everyday tasks with a positive attitude.”