It's a difficult journey to the top of any business, requiring hard work, long hours and some serious commitment.
But there are some simple moves you can take early on in your career that can help set you apart from the crowd, according to global leadership development agency the Center for Creative Leadership.
The strategies can be broken down into five steps, Sunil Puri, CCL's director of research, innovation and product development for Asia Pacific told CNBC Make It.
Aspiring leaders should use the early part of their career to build a "portfolio of experiences" in different types of work, said Puri, noting that is when financial and familial commitments are typically at their lowest.
"Don't go away for two months, that's just a holiday. You need to go away for at least two years," Puri said. He added that studies suggest two years is the minimum length of time needed to gain a proper understanding of a different culture.
More than half of today's C-suite executives have international experience, according to CCL's latest report on global leadership. Despite the recent wave of "pseudo-nationalism" in some countries, Puri said that having an international outlook would only become more important for the next generation of aspiring leaders.
Developing such traits will make it easier to make difficult decisions and deal with the crises that leaders inevitably face, Puri explained. Plus, they're admirable personal characteristics and will earn respect among colleagues.
Staff who are vocal and willing to drive new ideas are far more likely to be recognized by their senior colleagues and be considered for opportunities further down the line, Puri said. He advised stepping up to professional presenting tasks wherever possible, as well as initiating new projects.
Rather than just looking at "how" to do things, aspiring leaders should think about "why" they are doing them, noted Puri. "To operate as a global leader, executives need to understand the big picture, the long term scenarios, the global implications of actions, the enterprise strategy, etc.," he said.
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