How to Demonstrate Your Leadership When Working as an Individual


If you ask us, leadership is a key part of building a successful career, but not everyone is in a leadership role. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can’t demonstrate your leadership abilities unless you are in a leadership role, as leadership is a mindset and an attitude. Even if you don’t have any employees reporting to you, and you don’t have anyone specifically to lead, you can still showcase your leadership skills.


Key Ways to Strengthen Your Leadership Traits as a Professional

  • Look at the Bigger Picture - As an individual contributor, it’s likely that you spend a lot of time focusing on the task at hand, working through your ‘to do’ list throughout the day. But, leaders need to look at the bigger picture, at how those tasks impact the wider project. Leaders need to speak out when they view something as being important, which can mean questioning authority.
  • Be Grateful and Appreciative - When you are a leader, you need to showcase your appreciation for others. You need to express gratitude and thanks for colleagues, and the work that they do. Even without a leadership title, you can praise and thank other people within the team.
  • Be Positive and Optimistic - To be an effective leader, you need to be positive and optimistic, always seeing everything as a possibility. Leaders need to avoid negativity and blame, and keep complaining to a minimum. It’s important to stay focused on the bigger picture and quickly move beyond small problems, setbacks and issues. Instead of being negative, focus on small wins and little steps towards big changes.
  • Demonstrate Leadership Skills Away from Work - You can demonstrate your leadership abilities even when you are not at work. For example, you could do something to support a charity or a volunteer organisaton. This will showcase how capable you are at leading others, which you can then share at work.
  • Be a Spokesperson for the Team - Being a spokesperson for your team, and the company as a whole, shows that you are a team player and loyal. You can be a company ambassador by showing important information on social media or by being part of employee onboarding. Being a spokesperson is all about spreading the word about what the team does and what makes the company different.
  • Communicate Effectively - You need to communicate effectively with your team, even if you are an individual contributor. This means writing emails, delivering presentations online and engaging with discussions. Though you might not have employees to manage, you need to be able to communicate effectively with everyone around you.

As you can see, you don’t need to be in a leadership role to demonstrate your leadership abilities. Even if you are working as an individual, and when you don’t have a team of people to manage, you can showcase various leadership behaviours.

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Posted by: Branwell Ford