The UK needs 500,000 new managers and leaders by the end of the decade, and while many people will argue that the role of a manager and leader is different, one thing is clear. Every company needs leadership, and with three-quarters of organisations in the UK having a leadership shortage, opportunities exist.
Embarking on a leadership career could see you working in the public, private, or non-profit sector. You may enter a leader's role in an existing company or possess an entrepreneurial spirit that will drive you towards a firm's sole or co-ownership.
Leaders have many responsibilities, most of which are centred on implementing business strategies to ensure the company hits its financial goals. As a leader, you will set goals, be accountable for business performance, and manage individual and team performance.
Aside from financial and directional decisions, you are also responsible for your workforce's physical and mental well-being. There really is no role quite like leadership, and you will require the most diverse range of skills and natural talent to become truly successful.
You can start in any job and, over time, work your way through to a leadership position. However, many leaders hold a degree in business or organisational leadership, which sees them enter a business at a higher level.
A leader can be many things, so salaries vary significantly. A call centre team leader will earn, on average, £23,000 per year, while highly-experienced team leaders in the highest positions can earn a wage of £39,500.
Non-executive directors in the UK earn around £31,000, but benefits can push salaries up towards £107,000. A business development director typically earns £73,000, progressing to £92,500 over their careers. A managing director can earn £90,000 to £140,000, and much more beyond this.
You should be career-driven and looking to fast-track your career. You could work in any environment, but within an office is most typical. As a visionary or mentor, you will rely on your strengths and talent to encourage others' development. Working hours can be huge, and you should expect to work out of typical business hours, including over weekends. Many opportunities exist to travel or work overseas.
To have the skills for a leader's role, you will need to be creative, inspirational, motivational, innovative, and ambitious. You will be a good problem-solver and communicator and hold financial numeracy, strategic planning, staff management, and time management skills.
To carry out your leadership duties, you will need commercial awareness, emotional intelligence, empathy, decisiveness, and flexibility. You could become extremely influential, and who knows, maybe you are the next Richard Branson or Lord Sugar.
If you feel you have leadership potential, it is time to start thinking about advancing your career in unique and interesting ways.