[insert-author-info] The August 2015 issue of the Marketer features three great articles to help you navigate the countless roads to firm leadership. In “Finding Your Path to Leadership: Eight Actions to Shorten the Journey,” Michael Reilly, a 30 year marketing veteran and past SMPS National president, along with six other industry leaders, highlights eight areas that a person can take to establish a track record for thinking and behaving like a principal. These include marketing your achievements, learning the business side, reinventing your value-proposition and actively building revenue, knowledge, and trust.

[expand title=”Click here to read more…”] In “The Four Levels of Leadership: Creating your Future,” Marjanne Pearson breaks down firm ownership into four levels of responsibilities: fiduciary, enterprise, practice and project. The article can help to explain why not all principals are technical experts and not all are savvy business executives. A firm needs all four levels to continue succeeding! Which one do you identify with the most? Marjanne is a frequent Marketer contributor who has owned her own management consulting practice for over 30 years. Finally, Tracey Gould and Tim Klabunde share insights on why and how market research can help firm leaders and marketers define more precise client pursuit strategies in “Debunking the Mystery of Market Analysis.” Although, many firms do not have a dedicated person to oversee market analysis, there is a trend that firms plan to increase market research efforts because they see the value in it. Tracey and Tim close their article with a helpful tip on how you can help your firm get started. One theme stands out strongly to me in these three articles. It is the theme that “Anyone can lead.” No single person knows everything so we always have something to teach and something to learn from each other. Even if you are a team member who does not have an explicitly defined leadership role in your title, you always have opportunities to influence others and produce better outcomes. Whether you have an interest in market analysis, or in learning more of the business side, or in helping the project team excel at client relationship building, here are some tips for taking on leadership roles: 1. Identify opportunities for improvement that align with your interests 2. Share your ideas in a positive manner with your colleagues and your manager (i.e. don’t just complain about what’s wrong, but talk about steps to make it better, and then take action) 3. Let your manager know how he or she can facilitate your productivity increase (i.e. Are there tools you need to help you work more efficiently?) 4. Volunteer to lead employee initiatives such as joining the special events committee, the office green team or help out with an employee mentoring and support network 5. Encourage others to lead Remember that you don’t need permission to lead. You just need to identify what’s important to you, and then take ownership.[/expand]