Senior positions typically require that candidates have a proven track record as a leader. So, how are you talking about your leadership skills when you are networking or during an interview?
First, let’s consider the differences between leadership and management. The best quote that I’ve found to describe these differences comes from John P. Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and author of On What Leaders Really Do:
“Leadership works through people and culture. It’s soft and hot.
Management works through hierarchy and systems. It’s harder and cooler.”
Think about the times when you worked directly through people and culture to get things done. Next, turn those situations into colorful, concise, captivating stories to prove your leadership skills. (Two issues of our free newsletter detail exactly how to tell stories to dramatically increase your impact on the interviewer.) Then, take a good look at your story. Did you include the words “people” and “culture” at the beginning, end and throughout your story? That helps reinforce to the listener that you really understand what it means to be a leader because you’ve walked the talk.