To become a leader, don’t wait for the fancy title or the corner office.
Here are three things you can do now, even if someone else is calling the shots:
Demonstrate your potential.
Raise your hand for new initiatives, especially ones that might be visible to those outside your unit. Look for opportunities outside of work, too. You can sit on the board of a local nonprofit or organize a volunteers’ event in your community.
Support your boss in reaching her goals.
Find out what keeps your manager up at night and propose solutions to those problems.
Find role models.
Look for people who have the roles you want and study how they act, communicate, and dress. Identify behaviors that you can emulate while being true to yourself.
Adapted from “Act Like a Leader Before You Are One,” by Amy Gallo.