How to Determine Whether You’re Ready for a Leadership Role

Leadership is a learned skill.

It’s performance art.

To understand it, you have to experience it. To improve, you have to practice. We also know that leadership skills that you hone in community organizations, such as JNA, can add to your professional development and can transfer to other leadership settings.

Are you ready for a leadership role in JNA? An April 5, 2020, Washington Post article examined how you can determine when you’re ready for more responsibility. It listed the following points which you can use to evaluate where you are:

  1. Do you listen to and reflect on others’ feedback?
    A solid sign of a potential senior leader is someone who recognizes how much they can learn from the people around them. A strong leader also knows how important it is to listen to get buy-in. This is important because people support what they help create.
  2. Do people come to you for answers?
    When you move into a leadership position, your role shifts from doer to champion of the doers. Your priority is removing obstacles so that persons who report to you can get the job done.
  3. Do you reflect on lessons learned?
    When you’ve finished a project do you spend time reflecting on what could have gone better? If you find yourself fascinated by improving and streamlining processes, you’re likely to be successful in a leadership role.
  4. Do you speak up in a professional manner?
    When you’re in a senior role, you’re expected to have opinions and share them— respectfully and professionally.
  5. Are you calm under pressure?
    A leader stays calm and provides direction.
  6. Are you willing to go the extra mile?
    It means being available on nights and weekends and filling in when you’re shorthanded. Are you willing to put in the effort necessary to get the job done?
  7. Do you stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard?
    Part of being a leader is doing what’s right even when the going gets tough. The title of a senior leadership role will always sound appealing, but the work behind the scenes isn’t easy.

Providing leadership training is also part of the mission of JNA’s Student Outreach & Educational Support (SOES) Committee. The Committee is developing online leadership and communication skills training sessions targeted to students of Jamaican heritage attending colleges in the Washington DC. Metropolitan Area. As planned, they will feature leaders from the local Jamaican community with exceptional insight, strength, purpose and great vision for the future.

If you would like to recommend a leader to be featured or you are such a leader and would like to volunteer, please contact the SOES Committee at

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