Just because you aren’t the project leader doesn’t mean you can’t step up to a leadership role. Leaders don’t have to be the ones in charge. Consider these 5 ways to step up to a leadership role without having the official title of “Project Leader:”
- Take the initiative! Don’t wait to be assigned work. Do you see a “gap?” Fill it. Get the job done. I’ve been on initiatives where someone sees that there is a task that was never assigned yet the person never bothered to speak up about it because “it wasn’t [his] problem.”
- See an improvement in a process that could make the job easier for everyone? Step up to the plate and get the process improved. For example, maybe communications can be clearer on the project. Why not take the lead to improve communications. (Warning: just don’t change a process without understanding how it impacts everyone else!)
- Someone needs help? Pitch in! Don’t wait for someone to ask for help. Sometimes more junior team members are worried about asking for help when they are falling behind. If you are aware of your fellow team members and their responsibilities, it is easier to see if someone could use a helping hand.
- Does the project manager have more on her plate than one person could handle? Why not reach out and see if you can take the load off a bit by taking on some additional responsibilities.
- See two team members not getting along? Help them out. Get them together and help to mediate the situation. Over time, team members whose conflicts do not get resolved will impact the rest of the team and the project. Don’t just ignore the situation.
Can you add to the list? What do you do to step up to a leadership role on your projects?