If you feel like you’re at the bottom of the totem pole and there is no way for you to get to the top and have some authority, you’re not alone. In fact, a large percentage of people who have plans of switching jobs are doing so because they feel there are no resources or tools available within their current organization to help move up the chain and become more of a leader.
While there may not be any exact plan or steps you can take, there are always options when it comes to developing your leadership skills. At the end of the day, to be a leader you don’t need some fancy title. It’s about becoming a person or employee those around you look up to and aspire to be.
So don’t think you have to switch jobs just to become a leader because you can work on becoming one here and now. Here are a few ways you can do so.
1. Know the Members of Your Team
Being a good leader starts by knowing the individuals that make up your team. Get to know their strengths, their weaknesses, and how each person can complement the next when working together. Just find ways to have simple conversations with them that you can build off. If you find it difficult to bond in this way with co-workers, set time aside for it. Go on a quick coffee run with someone you don’t know too well or offer to take them to lunch. The more you know about each of your team members, the easier it will be to oversee the group.
2. Remain a Team (Company) Player
Just because you want to become more of a leader doesn’t mean you have to be boss-like and managerial all the time. Recognize it’s always a group effort. If you see that someone is overwhelmed and could use some assistance, offer a helping hand regardless of your position or job title.
A good leader prioritizes and responds to what needs to be done the most. This may not benefit you directly, but it shows great maturity to put the greater good in front of what is important for you now. When you are supportive of your peers in this way, it gives you valuable insight on positive communication and trust, which are two things you need to have a handle on as a leader of people.
3. Go the Extra Mile
There are plenty of ways to take on extra responsibilities in the workplace. The great thing with this is the more you do, the more knowledgeable you become about your company and what makes it tick.
A good manager recognizes weaknesses and shortcomings and devises plans to address them. This can mean developing a new more efficient way to train new employees or something small like helping someone who is busy jumpstart a project they’ve been meaning to get to. Leaders are self-starters, and acts like these show that you take initiative.