Becoming a leader is something that you can do to advance your career and take on other job opportunities. Likewise, to become a leader you may need to demonstrate specific qualities that affect the way you approach leadership. Additionally, as you advance your leadership skills and gain more management experience, you can take on higher-level leadership positions. In this article, we will explore what leadership positions are, some of the key leadership qualities and 10 leadership positions that you might consider pursuing to advance your career.
What are leadership positions?
Leadership generally refers to a person's ability to influence and motivate others to achieve set goals or objectives that can positively impact the growth and development of a business, organization or other community groups. Effective leaders will generally share similar qualities, and these qualities can be requirements of specific job titles and can also be traits of individuals who may not perform in a leadership role in their organization.
It is also important to note that while all leadership job positions can require specific leadership skills and traits, many individuals who do not work in leadership roles can also possess these essential qualities. This can result in career advancements and promotional opportunities, especially as individuals demonstrate successful leadership skills.
Read more: What Does Leadership Mean?
Types of leadership positions
There are many ways for employees to act in a leadership capacity, however, there are also specific jobs open to individuals who have experience working in managerial or other leadership positions. Some roles that successful leadership candidates may be interested in pursuing can include:
- Department supervisor
- Operations manager
- Plant supervisor
- Business manager
- Production manager
- Executive director
- Project manager
- Director of operations
- Plant manager
- Brand manager
National average salary: $43,365 per year
Primary duties: Department supervisors may perform a variety of tasks, depending on the industry. Some examples of common responsibilities of department supervisors include assigning and delegating tasks to teams, organizing schedules and providing performance reviews. Supervisors may also provide mentoring and coaching to help new and current employees develop their skills.
National average salary: $64,818 per year
Primary duties: Operations managers will also perform a variety of duties depending on their industry. Tasks like overseeing quality assurance processes, monitoring and evaluating processes and developing strategies that increase productivity. Operations managers may also help during the hiring and training process for new employees.
National average salary: $64,924 per year
Primary duties: Plant supervisors lead their teams by coordinating and planning plant operations as well as monitoring the processes and activities of plant operations. No matter the industry, plant supervisors may be required to possess strong management skills and experience.
National average salary: $69,672 per year
Primary duties: Business managers typically monitor and evaluate an organization's operations and the employees that work there. Business managers may also act as leaders to influence employees and keep them motivated to achieve company goals.
National average salary: $71,569 per year
Primary duties: Production managers typically keep business finance and employment issues organized for various industries and organizations. Oftentimes, production managers may oversee budget spending and ensuring projects remain within budget and schedule constraints.
National average salary: $73,158 per year
Primary duties: Depending on their industry, executive directors can be responsible for managing the planning, strategy development and administrative duties of an organization. Executive directors may also be leaders in marketing roles, finance or outreach leaders.
National average salary: $82,795 per year
Primary duties: Project managers are typically responsible for overseeing the processes of taking on and completing projects. Depending on their industry, project managers may oversee the planning, development and implementation of different projects, including maintaining budgetary standards and deadlines. Project managers can also act as team leaders, helping motivate and influence employees to achieve goals and objectives.
National average salary: $95,365 per year
Primary duties: A director of operations may have similar duties as an operations manager, however, they may monitor and evaluate more operational processes within a business or organization outside of their departments. For instance, many directors are leaders in sales, marketing and other business development strategies, and many times a director of operations will oversee different departments, each led by an operations manager.
National average salary: $103,642 per year
Primary duties: Plant managers typically oversee and maintain the organization of processes and operations of manufacturing and production plants. These leaders may be responsible for managing employees, their productivity and performance to keep them aligned with business objectives. Plant managers may also be lead safety mentors in their roles to ensure employees adhere to standard safety procedures and protocols.
10. Brand manager
National average salary: $65.80 per hour
Primary duties: Brand managers may typically be responsible for promoting, marketing, advertising and otherwise getting customers aware of a business's products or services. Brand managers may monitor and assess market needs, trends and other market data to help businesses develop better strategies to place their products and services ahead of the competition and appeal to their target markets.
Related: 4 Steps to Building a Brand
Qualities of effective leaders
To become an effective and influential leader, it is important to develop your leadership skills. Some skill sets and qualities of effective leaders include:
- Motivation and influence
Strong leaders should have effective communication skills. For instance, the ability to communicate with team members, delegate tasks, send emails and provide feedback are several key aspects of leadership positions that can rely on effective and strong communication skills.
Capable leaders usually possess exceptional empathy and regard for their team's thoughts, ideas and feelings. Strong leaders will continuously exhibit empathy toward their team, whether it is dealing with conflicts, providing constructive criticism or offering praise or promotion.
Effective leaders should also possess creativity and vision. Leaders who motivate and influence people tend to communicate creative ideas, solutions to problems or grand visions that get people excited to work with them.
Successful leaders may also be required to have strong organizational skills. This can mean keeping documentation, schedules, budgets and other paperwork organized, however, organizational skills can encompass more than that. Leaders with effective organizational skills will also take on collaboration and coordinating tasks, delegating assignments to team members, planning projects and developing strategies effectively.
Motivation and influence
Strong leaders must also be motivated to motivate others. Being a leader means expressing your motivation for doing, learning or exploring something. It can also mean that you use this motivation and passion to help influence others to work with you.