Just because you don’t hold a certain title or have a team reporting to you, it doesn’t mean you can’t act like a leader in the workplace. Not only will you improve your own performance, you’ll start to garner the respect of those around you … who knows, you might even put yourself in line for a leadership role sooner than you think. Accountability Actions speak louder than words, and this tends to be a factor that separates the average from the high flyers. When you commit to something, follow through. You’ll begin to gain exposure and earn yourself a reputation as somebody who can be depended on, because others rely on leaders, right? It is imperative to also take responsibility for your actions. In today’s dynamic business environment, things are bound to go wrong one way or another – this is where leaders come to the fore. Although it’s probably easier to search for a scapegoat and deflect the blame elsewhere, you will gain respect when you show courage and seek a solution to influence change. Be positive A negative attitude in the workplace reeks. Not only will your colleagues be less likely to interact and engage with you, you’ll more than likely be passed over for opportunities that could give visibility to your leadership aspirations. A positive attitude draws attention, creates influence, and earns respect and attention from others. Get your hands dirty Sure, finishing a report that nobody can be bothered to do might sound mundane, but it’s the little things that will get you noticed. In general, there’s plenty of opportunities to take the lead on tasks that are often tedious and unpleasant. It might not be glamorous, and you might not have the exact skillset the task requires, but the ones who get noticed are those willing to get their hands dirty in times of need. Show initiative Why stand around and wait for someone else to get things started? Set an example. Showing initiative and taking a calculated risk correlates strongly with personal achievement and professional development. It demonstrates you take personal responsibility for your growth, and is a clear sign of your capacity to develop as a leader. Immerse yourself in company culture Being able to network and connect with different types of personalities in a professional and personal setting shows you’re a people person who’s able to work well with others – an important leadership trait. In any organisation, it’s often the up-and-comers who can have the most profound impact on company performance. However, many talented individuals often don’t realise the opportunity and influence they possess because their title doesn’t reflect it. Through your ability to make an impact, while not yet holding a leadership position, you’re showing the exact leadership traits you’ll need as a successful leader of the future. Do you have any tips for aspiring leaders? Please share in the comments below.