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

Although you are not in a supervisory role within your organization, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader to those at the office. Even if no one directly reports to you, you can still lead by example without being “bossy.” True leaders aren’t necessarily in that position because of their job title, but instead they possess a specific skill set that others look up to. Below are a few ways you can be a leader at work even though you’re not the boss.

Spread the love

Unfortunately, many bosses don’t take the time to compliment or give credit to their team. This is where you can step in to spread some love. If you notice a colleague is excelling in a certain aspect of their job, give them the props they deserve. Getting a good pat on the back from a coworker can be just as encouraging as a kind word from a boss.

Communicate carefully

Leaders don’t complain when things don’t go their way. Instead, they are open and honest with others about their thoughts and concerns. Even if you are not the boss, you can still lead by communicating effectively with your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of how to move forward. Lean on those around you to develop a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration.

Lend a hand

Just because others aren’t reporting to you doesn’t mean you can’t help them when they are struggling. Even if they don’t accept your offer to help out, just extending a helping hand will show them you care about their work performance. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way for teammates because that demonstrates a humility that only true leaders possess. Hopefully if you are there when someone at work needs you, they will help you out down the road if you hit a rough patch.

Take a risk

Real leaders get to where they are because of the risks they’ve taken throughout their career. Others recognize when a leader steps outside the box and even if you’re not the boss, you can still move out of your comfort zone. Impress your colleagues with your creativity and innovative outlook. As a result, they will more often than not be inspired and follow suit.


Wendy Moody

Wendy Moody

Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps ... Web: Details

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