How does your manager describe you? Words like action oriented, dependable, driven, and collaborative are all admirable. But to demonstrate you’re ready for next-level leadership, you need words like strategic, innovative, influential and resilient. It might seem like a subtle shift, but the potential impact on your career can be enormous.

Know someone who might benefit from this career tip or find it interesting? Go ahead…pass it along. Better yet, leave me your thoughts or questions related to what it takes to be ready for Next-Level leadership.


How do I become more resilient?




When I work with my coaching clients, there’s a question that always comes up. Is there a secret to achieving breakthrough performance that shows my manager I’m ready for next-level leadership?

The answer is yes, but it’s not a secret. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with hundreds of top leaders at some of the world’s largest companies, and I’ve asked them directly: how do you identify high-potential employees…the ones tapped to rise quickly through the ranks? What qualities are you looking for?

According to my research with these executives, there are 6 attributes that consistently “flag” a professional for an accelerated career path. I’m going to share those with you today.

First, employees ready for next-level leadership are innovative. They think creatively. They challenge assumptions. And they reward innovation among their teams.

Second, high potentials are resilient. They know how to handle change and setbacks. They aren’t afraid of uncertainty, and they face adversity with courage.

Third, those who are primed for next-level leadership are strategic. They devote time to big-picture thinking and analysis. They develop and execute strategies that align with corporate objectives.

Fourth, they are influential. They build alliances and work collaboratively to meet their goals. They understand how to communicate effectively with their stakeholders. They are perceived as having workplace clout and decision-making power.

Fifth, employees ready for next-level leadership exhibit executive presence. They speak and present with ease. They are diplomatic and tactful, and they know how to “read” their audiences. Their image, demeanor and behaviors instantly communicate leadership.

Finally, they are insightful. They establish themselves as thought leaders—proactively consuming industry information and “connecting the dots” in an interesting way. They use their knowledge to identify trends and opportunities. And they have the confidence to share those insights.

If you want to accelerate your career and break through to next-level leadership, focus on incorporating these critical attributes into your personal brand.

Until next time, I’m Sara Canaday.