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Whether you’ve always dreamed of landing an executive role or the thought of having such big ambitions has only crossed your mind a couple of times, you may just be cut out for a C-Suite position.
Sure, leaders are made, not born. With awareness and conscious effort, you can develop the qualities required to become a more powerful leader. However, the best leaders also know how to build on their existing strengths and unique attributes. They find their own style of leading.
Understanding whether you currently possess some of the things needed to make it to the top of an organization can help you hone your skillset as well as feel more confident about where you currently are and where you’re heading.
Some leadership qualities are obvious. But there are also unusual clues that can reveal whether you’re a strong leader. Want to find out if you already have it in you to have a job title that includes the word “chief?” Here are six surprising indicators you were made for the C-Suite.
1. Others do favors for you
Do others tend to go out of their way to help you? Are you the type of person who can just smile and turn a conflict into a favorable opportunity? Your natural ability to influence others and charisma could mean you were made to be a high-level executive.
Leadership expert Robert House was one of the first researchers to present findings around charismatic leaders. He theorized that the basis of charisma is the emotional interaction that happens between a leader and her followers, which leads followers to look up to the leader and want to carry out the leader’s interests as their own.
So when you’re chatting with your coworkers about your projects and challenges and they end up wanting to help you out, it could be because of your charm and ability to lead.
2. You like to perform selfless acts
Have you heard of servant leadership? It’s a philosophy in which the main objective of a leader is to serve and develop her people and community.
If your natural instinct is always to lend a helping hand or support those around you, you have the drive to serve — and this drive could very well be a powerful asset in your career.
As you explore your leadership style, remember that being a kind, supportive person can go a long way. It’s easy to think of the path to the C-Suite as a cutthroat one, but an attitude of service can skyrocket you up the corporate ladder way more effectively than making enemies.
3. People come to you for advice
A comprehensive study of the traits and behaviors of effective leaders revealed that the best leaders exhibit traits that fall into the categories of advising and supporting others.
So if others constantly come to you for advice, don’t brush it off and chalk it up to being a good listener or friend. It could very well indicate you have the potential to make it to the C-Suite.
You might take the fact that you have the ability to advise and support people for granted because it comes so naturally to you. But being perceptive and able to display encouragement is not all that common. There wouldn’t be as many challenges with toxic workplaces if that were the case.
4. You can juggle taking decisions and collaborating
The study mentioned above also concluded that strong leaders exhibit traits from these categories: “analytical,” “assertive,” “cooperative,” “dedicated,” “personable,” and “practical.”
Take a moment to review the traits as a whole and think of how you behave in a team setting. Being analytical, assertive and practical means taking decisions when needed — and having the good judgment to be able to do so. On the other hand, being cooperative and personable highlights people-oriented qualities — it’s about being able to collaborate with others.
Do you recognize yourself? Congrats, you may possess just the right blend of traits to join the C-Suite.
5. You’re emotionally mature
Emotional maturity is one of the core traits identified in the trait model of leadership. And it can for sure be an underrated one.
But what exactly is emotional maturity, after all? Healthline defines emotional maturity as the ability to manage your emotions no matter the circumstances.
From owning your mistakes to demonstrating high EQ, being an emotionally mature person means you can handle the pressure of a high-profile leadership role — like a C-level job.
6. You like playing video games
Elon Musk recently revealed that playing video games helped turn him into a billionaire tech founder. So if you are obsessed with gaming or any hobby that involves solving complex problems and having to strategize, you’re onto something. And that something could take you straight to the C-Suite.
Just because you like to flex your cognitive abilities for fun doesn’t mean you can’t use those same skills to solve big challenges in the workplace — a crucial aspect of leading entire businesses.