How to Present Yourself as a Leader in Just Twenty Minutes: Techniques for Making a Good Impression

Taking on a leadership role can give you greater purpose in your work and help you climb the corporate ladder. You can increase your influence by attaining official status, as well as by accumulating valuable information and experience.

Despite the fact that rising through the ranks to upper management may take years, you can begin capitalizing on your unique set of skills right away. Figure out how to leverage the resources at your disposal to increase your influence at work.

Establish Yourself as the Subject-Matter Expert in Your Field
1. Start your day with a daily dose of reading. Grab some books and read up on business strategies or whatever else strikes your fancy. Reading a variety of subjects will make you a more well-rounded participant in any conversation. You'll have an air of authority whether you're discussing the weather or a new business logo.

2. Join a training program. Use the resources provided to you by your company. Learn a new piece of software, or brush up on your high school Spanish.

3. Know what’s happening in your industry. The time you wait for an answer or for a meeting to start can be put to good use. Take out your mobile device and conduct a news search in your field. To really distinguish yourself, be the first person to report about a major court case or merger.

4. Complete your degree. Many working individuals are also continuing their education at night or on weekends. Make an appointment at a nearby college or university to discuss your degree requirements.

5. Seek advice from a seasoned pro. Talk to people you know who might be able to offer advice. Publish an interview with a coworker who has just released a book, and use your personal blog to spread the word. Both of you can profit from having more people know about what you're doing.

6. Shadow a star staff member. An expert may be willing to teach you the ropes if they believe that flattery is best shown through imitation. Say something to let them know how much you like their taste. Offer your help with a few select projects so you can follow in their footsteps and pick up useful tips and tricks.

Gain and Use the Skills Necessary to Take the Lead
1. Assume accountability. Show that you can be counted on to do what you say you will do by following through. Build a solid track record of finishing tasks on time.

2. Document your achievements. Start recording your thoughts and accomplishments regularly. Confidence can be boosted by remembering the times you’ve succeeded. Even failures provide valuable insight about how to improve for the future.

3. Communicate your enthusiasm. Leadership requires a certain frame of mind. Treat your coworkers with respect and kindness. Take pride in your contributions to society and the world at large.

4. Take initiative. Give extra effort. Do not be afraid to take on less-enticing but necessary duties that are outside of your job description. For example, you might help the sales staff out with data entry during the quarter if you're available.

5. Give and take criticism well. Respond positively to constructive criticism and suggestions for improving your performance and advancing your career. Give feedback that is both helpful and courteous so that others can improve.

6. Give freely. Let your coworkers know they can always count on you when they need help the most. Aim to contribute as much as possible to the team. Always be on the lookout for others who may be having difficulties, and try to help them out.

Transform yourself into a leader that other employees will desire to follow. The things you know and can do are powerful tools for helping you grow and inspire others.