Almost every professional dreams or aspires to go up the career ladder. Who wouldn’t want to be promoted and get paid more? Sure, you’ll likely have more responsibility, but responsibility is a major part of being an adult.

Not everyone needs to get a promotion right away. If you aren’t ready to shoulder the added burdens of a higher position, there are no worries. Many of the best leaders were made, not born, and developing the qualities needed to be an effective leader is a great way to set yourself up to get that promotion.

What It Takes to Get Promoted

There are several qualities that are known to shape great leaders—ones that have been cited by people such as Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs as instrumental to their success. These are incorporated in the list below, showing five important things to keep in mind for you who are looking for career advancement.

1.     A good leader has vision and plans ahead.

Leaders are by nature ambitious, with broad designs for both themselves and their organization. The most effective leaders have almost a preternatural ability to foresee the future and predict future trends. In addition, they are able to strategize these dreams into concrete plans for implementation.

These qualities separate leaders from managers. Whereas managers settle with upholding the status quo, leaders innovate and transform their teams for the better.

2.     A good leader can communicate properly and effectively.

Simply having a vision is useless if it cannot be shared with others. Business goals are best attained when everybody in the organization is taking part and fulfilling his or her roles. If no one else knows of your grand designs, how will they ever come to fruition? Groups can only be transformed if they are part of the process, and good leaders are excellent at communicating their goals so that everybody involved will work together aiming towards one.

Communication is just as much about listening as it is speaking, and apart from sharing their vision, good leaders know how to understand and empathize with the concerns and ideas of others. They can see how these ideas can be aligned with the team’s goals.

3.     A good leader has integrity and respects others.

Many business leaders, despite their differing backgrounds and corporate goals, agree upon one central tenet: honesty. Possessing a solid ethical core and applying it to both internal and external actions is perhaps the most important quality of a leader. It is because this is the most visible and one that is likely to be emulated.

Leaders are examples, and those who possess integrity are those actually worthy of following. True authority stems from followers respecting the leader, who earns the right to be responsible for their group.

4.     A good leader is confident and continually strives to excel.

Another case of leading by example, leaders who are confident also inspire confidence in others. A leader who has conviction and passion for the team’s vision sets the tone for the rest of the team.

Furthermore, a calm and collected leader will keep the morale of the group high despite whatever hardships they may encounter. Working to overcome problems and guiding the team to success are some of the more critical responsibilities of the leader.

5.     A good leader has a sense of humor.

High-pressure situations are naturally filled with tension, and effective leaders do their best to ease these situations by cracking a joke, usually at their own expense. This last bit is critical. Because morale must remain high, leaders cannot demoralize team members.

That sense of humor will also come in handy for the inevitable failures— whether great or small. You can encourage your group to laugh at mistakes instead of stressing out and maintain that positive energy for future projects.

Once you realize what qualities are needed, you’re one step closer to going up your career ladder. Here are a few more tips that can help you in getting that promotion:

1.     Do your job well.

Your performance is integral to your being considered for a promotion. Are you good at what you do? Cultivating a reputation as an important employee will be crucial to your bosses when they look at the pool of those eligible to climb the career ladder.

2.     Understand that your boss is key.

If you have intentions to become a boss, you should familiarize yourself with the one you have now. While you don’t necessarily have to befriend your boss, you do have to make sure that you have greater ambitions. Ask how you can improve, looking for constructive feedback. They will remember you.

3.     Show everybody that you deserve it.

Underpromise and overdeliver. Take the initiative. Accept and volunteer for assignments. The higher-ups are always seeking problem-solvers, so throw yourself at pending issues. Commit to self-improvement as well by expanding and diversifying your skill set through extra courses and workshops.

While not everyone can be a leader, the potential for it exists in everyone who has the necessary drive and ambition. Follow these tips and that promotion is as good as yours.