What It Takes to be Management Material

If you aspire to be the boss one day there are certain qualities you’ll want to develop within yourself, according to a new report from staffing company The Creative Group.

The group recently polled advertising and marketing executives, seeking to find out which qualities they felt were most valuable for business leadership.

Here were their top answers:

Motivational or leadership skills


Interpersonal or soft skills


Strategic business expertise


Technical expertise


Seniority or tenure with the company


As you can see, the ability to motivate is far and away the most admired quality in leaders. You may think that some people are simply better at that than others are. We’ve all heard the phrase “born leader” used to describe certain people.

However, you can nurture the qualities of leadership within yourself, and better position yourself for the management role you seek to attain.

The Creative Group offers these five key traits that leaders possess:

Vision. A sharp understanding of where your business is going is essential to success. Great leadership relies on a clear vision of the future as well as the ability to inspire others toward your goals.

Focus. Effective managers keep their eyes fixed on the prize. They know when to sacrifice short-term wins to pursue bigger-picture objectives.

Creativity. The most successful leaders share a willingness to turn established business practices on their heads and foster a culture of smart risk-taking. A passion to innovate and advance the company overrides their fear of failure.

Flexibility. Good managers know change in the workplace is constant and that agility is central to getting ahead. This means they can pivot at a moment’s notice to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Resilience. Sometimes the act of striving toward business goals means you will fail. The best bosses can bounce back and turn a setback into a well-timed gain.”

These are excellent guidelines, but how do you develop these qualities in yourself?

Management coaches, recruiters and other experts often use another phrase: “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

This advice extends beyond wardrobe. Future leaders not only look the part, but speak it and think it as well. To think like a leader you must first see beyond your own role, and understand the larger goals of the organization.

Having a good mentor can really help you to do this, but it’s not 100% necessary. In fact, most of the larger goals of a company or organization can be boiled down to simple, common-sense things that serve broader goals, such better meeting the needs of customers or addressing problems that are draining team morale.

The person who sees the problems, devises actionable solutions, and effectively communicates these solutions within the organization is well on his/her way to being viewed as worthy of a leadership role.

However, the trick is to learn how to do all of this tactfully, so that you earn respect and forge key relationships – without alienating people. No one says this is easy, but the first step for you is to set your goal: Decide that you want to be the boss one day, then get serious about preparing yourself for the role.

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