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In the topic of leadership development, how to get promoted is one of the hottest questions, with one of the widest variations in answers. Not only does it depend on the person, the boss of that person, the company, the culture of said organization, but it also depends on the position sought by those with ambition. But, there are a few facts. For those looking for a promotion or those simply seeking more responsibility, these five facts about leadership opportunities have great value. Without them, you risk being promoted, but not prepared. With only a few of them, you risk making mistakes called career killers. With the facts on how to make the most of your options, you’ll be well on your way to your next fulfilling position.

Opportunities are Everywhere

If you’re not seeing them where you work currently, try looking in another industry or another department or asking around to your colleagues. Truly, opportunities are everywhere, but it also depends on where you’re looking and also on what you consider to be the ones that you’d call golden. Do you need to expand the options around the opportunity you’re seeking?

Not Every Opportunity is Right for Every Person

The old adage is just because a person can do something, doesn’t mean they should do something. No truer words have been spoken when it comes to being a leader. If you take on too much, you’ll be less effective in all of your actions. If you take on opportunities for which you are not well suited, your reputation and perceived skills may take a damaging hit from which you can’t easily recover. What is the ideal opportunity that will make your skills shine like a diamond?

Being Proactive is a Good Thing

Sometimes, the answer to what opportunity would be best is unclear or unknown to someone in leadership. What should you be doing gets confused with what you want to do instead. What is best gets confused with what is logically next. Be proactive in taking the opportunity to grow in areas that might contribute to what you seek next. Actively seek out and say yes to those things you believe might even be remotely related. Remain picky while staying open to options. What do you need to seek out for your career at this time?

Research is a Better Thing

Reaching out to those you know and leading the growth of your proactive skills to find those opportunities is a good thing. Taking the time to research, check into, dig deeper, and learn more about each one is even better. Just because someone else says this is a great opportunity doesn’t make it great for your own leadership development. What do you need to find out about who is involved in this next opportunity? What do you need to avoid when considering this opportunity? What do you need to research in order to find out that information and make a great decision?

Clarity is the Best Thing

If you don’t know what you’re truly after, even the best research and proactive behavior may not get you there. Seek out clarity in a way that makes the ideal opportunities nearly glow in the dark with neon flashing arrows. Clarity comes from knowing what you don’t want, which is easy because it’s all the stuff that gets you grumbling. Then determine what you want instead, which is a topic far less discussed and follow that with the feelings you believe those things you want will create. In truth, it’s the feelings you’re after, so lead your actions to pursue those opportunities that will produce those feelings. What do you want to feel and what opportunities will make those feelings easy to conjure?

With those five facts about your next leadership opportunity, you will be able to lead your actions and efforts more effectively toward taking those best suited for you and your desired direction. Of course, there is also a bonus fact we should mention.

Opportunities Don’t Grow on Trees

We did say facts in the title of today’s Monday Moment and as such, on the surface, opportunities are not leaves and they do not, in fact, grow on trees. But, you also know what that means. Sometimes leaders need to create opportunities to grow, to learn, to recover gracefully, or even to fail quickly, in order to get what they’re after and where they wish to proceed. This means trying more, faster, and with a larger network will increase your opportunities. Which one do you need to start doing?

Whether your next opportunity is a promotion into a higher level, a project from which you will gain visibility, or a skill you know you need in order to get paid more, stop leading actions toward just getting an opportunity and start seeking them with much more specificity. Leaders are clear on where they ‘re going and where they are leading the team. The same clarity is important for your ideal opportunities. Without it you may find yourself going in a direction that looked like the right path and is actually in the opposite direction of where you wanted to go in the first place.

Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist and professional speaker. Her coaching, books, and skill based training programs are requested internationally. Monica is the CEO of  www.ContagiousCompanies.com and a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. She may be reached at 1-866-382-0121.

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