how to show leadership even when you’re not the boss

Even if you’re not leading a team, you probably have opportunities on the reg to show leadership anyway – and doing that is a good way to build your reputation, increase your value, get better projects, and set yourself up for promotion. Oh, and money.

At Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about opportunities you probably have to demonstrate leadership even if you’re not actually leading people. You can read it here.

{ 11 comments… read them below }

  1. Jerzy*

    Oh, wait, I know this one! I can show leadership by volunteering under duress from requests from my boss and PR manager, neither of whom actually go to any of these volunteer events themselves!

    1. Nethwen*


      This is the kind of “leadership” I remember being trained to do in college. The other kind was “be popular and talk over everyone else.”

  2. Sunshine Brite*

    I’ve been trying to balance building leadership skills and not taking on too much. Around here when you volunteer for something they tend to turn to you first whenever they need something.

  3. CanadianDot*

    This is one of those things that a former boss of mine kept pushing – Leadership at every level.

    I personally don’t like the label “leader”, but that’s just a thing with me. I know that it’s about your attitude, and the way you deal with situations and people at work, and what you bring to the table. But I hate thinking of myself as “leader”.

  4. Nethwen*

    Publicly admit your mistakes…

    This is what started me loving my then-boyfriend, now husband. He says “I’m sorry” or “I looked into it and you were right” whenever it’s appropriate to the point that I wonder what’s wrong with me that my first instinct is to ignore a mistake and silently go forward with the correction.

    1. Florida*

      I think when we are the one admitting a mistake, sometimes it feels like a weakness. But when we see other people admit their mistakes, we admire it.

      That should give us the clue that other people will admire it when we do it.

  5. voyager1*

    In the end to be promoted to become a manager/decisions maker, someone has to take a chance on you. You can do all things right, have the knowledge and even do all the good recommendations that this article suggests (which are good) but in the end someone has to take a chance on you.

  6. Davidson*

    A good way to think about this is to expanding your leadership capabilities. It’s not necessarily about the project because you can develop your influencing, communication, and decision making skills in a lot of different situations. Building rapport, articulating a vision or strategy, and coaching are other leader-like skills that you can expand.

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