To accelerate your media career, start showing these leadership traits

To accelerate your media career, start showing these leadership traits
Mediatel Jobs

True leadership is not about the leader, it’s about the people that support the leader.


Imagine, for a minute, you’re one of 100 people working at a media company. You’re all around the same age. You’re all smart. You’re all hard-working. You’re all great at what you do.

Which of you will get the next promotion? What does it take to rise to the top and lead a company? And what are the leadership traits you’re going to need to get there?

The good news is these traits are not down to genetics — they’re completely within your control. Less about goals, and more about your values, they’ll make you a better employee, manager and leader. However, make no mistake: true leadership is not about the leader, it’s about the people that support the leader.

People follow leaders who provide a sense of empowerment — who instil trust and hope — and those feelings remain even in their absence. If you want to be that kind of leader, particularly in the media industry, here are the traits you should focus on.

Demonstrate empathy and authenticity

The ability to see the world through the eyes of another person is part of the human condition. Empathy is fundamentally the willingness to learn more about the experiences of others; to temporarily walk in their shoes. As a leader, when you’re interested in and aware of what other people are doing, you demonstrate care. And when you connect on a more personal level, and you show up authentically and with consistency, you build trust. And, as we all know, trust is a leader’s most important asset.

Balance confidence and humility

Great leaders understand that confidence is who we are on the outside, and humility is who we are on the inside. Finding the balance between the two — being confident in your abilities to lead others, while remaining humble even after you’ve acquired great success — is one of the greatest traits a leader can learn.

Stay calm, carry on

If the last three years has taught us anything, it’s that, during turbulent times, the very best leaders bring a level of maturity and stability, and a sense of calm to any situation. People rally around leaders who show composure and restraint when under pressure. Their teams know it’s okay to speak up, admit mistakes, and raise issues. This, in turn, creates a psychologically safe environment where people love working and are free to be themselves.

Be passionately curious

In his book Corner Office, the New York Times columnist Adam Bryant asked 700 CEOs what qualities they see most often in people who succeed. Number One on their collective list was “passionate curiosity”.

Curiosity, at its core, is about being open to listening, learning and to new ideas. Passionately curious leaders assume less, ask more questions, ask better questions and then listen intently to the answers they receive. As Albert Einstein famously said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”.

Passionately curious about a new role? You’ve come to the right place. Here are three great media companies currently hiring, with plenty more jobs to discover on the Mediatel Job Board.

Content strategy and operations ecosystem manager, TikTok (London)

TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. It’s currently seeking a content ecosystem manager for its Content Ecosystem team, who will be responsible for the optimisation and iteration of content distribution strategies, ensuring the smooth distribution of valuable content, optimising the content pool, and improving the user indicators. You’ll also work cross-functionally with various teams to track and align cross-region projects and drive operational excellence. Is your interest piqued? You can read about the role and apply here.

Project manager, Sky (Osterley)

Want to do the best work of your life? With 24 million customers in six countries, Sky believes you can make your mark at Europe’s leading media and entertainment brand. It’s looking for a project manager as part of the Change Delivery team. You’ll lead projects or multiple work streams within a programme across the whole delivery lifecycle, own and manage project artefacts such as project plans, RAID logs and RACI, and develop governance that enables effective project communication and business decision-making. You can find out more information here.

Digital designer, Bauer Media Group (London)

Bauer Media Group has become an enduringly successful media corporation by focusing on creating content that matters most to millions of people around the world. It’s currently looking for a Digital Designer to manage incoming briefs from concept to implementation. The successful applicant will be involved in initial brainstorms, concept generation, creating the pitch and designing the final assets. If you’re organised, able to manage multiple projects and able to manage multiple internal stakeholders, then you should apply here.

Browse the Mediatel Job Board to find your perfect role in the media now


Career Leaders: The Media Leader‘s weekly bulletin with thought leadership, news and analysis dedicated about media careers, training, development and wellbeing.
Sign up for free to ensure you stay up to date every Tuesday.

Mediatel Jobs banner

Media Jobs