Impressive Ways to Lead Without the Title
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Simply because you do not have a title does not imply that you are not a leader.
But if you want to eventually hold that title and the position of team leader or manager, you'll have to solve a conundrum. You'll need to be able to show leadership at work to those who make promotion decisions — even if you've never held a leadership position.
Here are three ways to demonstrate leadership at work so you can recognize those moments, act on them, and use them to make the case for why you're the leader your company requires:
1. Take responsibility
When new assignments emerge, take the initiative and be the first to volunteer for new tasks that are relevant to your skill set. You don't have to and shouldn't volunteer for everything — just the ones that give you a real opportunity to use or develop your skills.
Take responsibility for your contributions, even if initiatives go wrong. Many people attempt to shift blame and make excuses, but exceptional leaders accept responsibility for problems and work to find lessons and solutions. That sense of obligation is also what distinguishes aspiring leaders from unstoppable leaders.
2. Include other people
Every organization seeks leaders who think that team success is more important than individual success. Making sure others are included in meetings, brainstorming sessions, and key decisions is the best way to show this. The extent to which you can involve others in your projects or volunteer to assist others with their projects demonstrates your readiness for leadership.
You will profit from a more diverse set of experiences and skill sets if you collaborate more. And you'll form friendships with individuals who might one day be on the team you're asked to lead.
3. Make your voice heard
Be ready to share your ideas in meetings, to provide feedback to colleagues and your boss, and to champion ideas (yours or others) in meetings where decisions are made. You don't have to be a loud, extroverted person who is always thinking, but you must get your views out there.
If you are having difficulty getting your point across during a group gathering, you can speak up privately with the people you want to hear your ideas from, either in person or via email. However, if you truly think you have a valuable contribution to make, you owe it to your team to speak up — and doing so will help you get noticed.