Think leadership is something you don’t need to think about until you’ve got yourself the corner office and an army of underlings to oversee? Think again. Leadership is about more than telling people what to do—it’s a presence and way you carry yourself professionally.
Ready to up the ante even if you aren’t the CEO? Here are three tips to be a better leader while you bide your time:
1. Add something to conversation
Speak up. Bring something to the table when you’re in a meeting. It’s less about being heard and more about playing an active role in what’s going on in your professional life.
2. Keep your thoughts about others to yourself
If you’re still gossiping about coworkers and superiors, you’re lightyears away from leadership material. Petty gossip adds nothing to professional situations and actually undermines your hard work.
3. Improve things for everyone
Bring ideas to the conversation that will improve projects, issues and works in progress. Never be short of ideas on how to improve things for everyone and you’ll see your following grow organically.
Leadership isn’t an appointed position—it’s a way you have with others that naturally inspires them to follow your lead and can be learned over time. Take time each week to work on your leadership skills and reap the rewards of more confidence and greater professional success.