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

By Jillian Kramer via   Article

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

“Here’s the thing: ‘Your boss wants to see you act as a leader’ … because ‘your boss wants to know you have what it takes to manage a project or team before he or she considers you for a promotion’ ….

‘it’s important to remember that every day is an interview. Every day you are interviewing for your next merit increase or possible promotion. Employing your leadership skills in the right manner — from a subordinate position — benefits the entire team, lessens your boss’ burden and shows you’re ready for the next step.’ … You can effectively lead in your office without stepping on your boss’ toes, our experts say. Here’s how.

1. Think ahead Leaders are proactive, not reactive. … So if you want to lead at work, you can ‘motivate yourself to think beyond your current project’ …. For example, you can ask: ‘What will the client need when this quarter is finished?’ … ‘set new goals, come up with progressive ideas, do extensive research’  or whatever you need to do to stay ahead of the curve — and on your boss’ good radar.

2. Be your boss’ right-hand man or woman This isn’t acting as an assistant when you’re three steps above that title. (And it’s definitely not about being a kiss-up.) Instead, this means you should learn from your boss by observing by his or her side. ‘Understand how they operate and what they need in different situations’ ….

3. Be an effective communicator … hone your communication skills with your boss — letting him or her know what you are doing, how you’re getting it accomplished, and why you’re spending your time on this project — you’ll not only show your higher-up the respect he or she deserved, but ‘you’ll ensure you aren’t usurping authority’ ….

4. Do it now and ask for forgiveness later On the flip side of that coin, a leader doesn’t always ask for permission. … Examples … include sending a client or vendor a thank you note, incorporating A/B testing in emails, or creating new engagement on social media channels ….”


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