4 Ways to Become a Leader at Work – Even When You’re Not the Boss


You’re not the boss, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. And you know what? Your boss wants to see you perform like a leader. Why? Because they want to know that you have what it takes to manage a project, a team, or a client, before they consider you for a promotion or a leadership position.

Think of it like this – every day is an interview. Every day you are interviewing for the next bonus, raise, or promotion. And using your leadership skills doesn’t just benefit you – it benefits the entire team, lessens your boss’ workload, and shows that you’re ready for the next step.

So how do you become a leader at work? Here are some ideas:

1. Think ahead – Leaders are proactive, not reactive.

Great leaders think ahead of the deadline. Motivate yourself to think beyond your current task or step within a project. For instance, think about any questions a client might have or information the client may need down the road and proactively provide them with the information they need.

Anticipate people’s needs, then help them fulfil those needs. Set goals, come up with innovative ideas, and do a lot of research in order to stay ahead of the game.

2. Be your boss’ right-hand man

This does not mean acting like their assistant. Learn from your boss by observing how they operate and what they need in different situations. This way, you’ll be more prepared to handle similar issues, provide examples, or answers to their questions.

3. Be an effective communicator

Effective communication is key, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Showing that you know how to effectively communicate shows your boss that you know what you’re doing and how to get it done.

4. Take initiative

Taking initiative can be risky, but it can also pay off in a big way if done the right way. Leaders take initiative because their experience helps them determine which opportunities are too good to pass up. By taking initiative, your boss will see that you’re a forward thinker and that you do not wait for opportunities to come to you, and may consider giving you more responsibilities in the future.

Bonus! 6 tips to sharpen your negotiation skills – another skill that will help you as a leader.

How to be a leader at work – when you’re not the boss

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