The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that leadership only matters once you achieve the fancy job title and the corner office. And remember, it’s the people who start exhibiting positive leadership traits now that actually end up achieving those things.

We’ve talked a lot about leadership in the office, but do these leadership styles and tactics really only matter if you have a designated management position on your company’s org chart?

Definitely not. There are endless opportunities for you to be a leader in the office every day — whether it’s leading a project, organizing your team’s upcoming outing, or even just setting a good example for everyone else you work with.

Now what? Well, the good news is that your leadership style isn’t set in stone — you can work to refine it through some conscious effort and habit changes.

One of the best places to start is by thinking about a leader that you really admired. Grab a notepad and start jotting down what exactly you liked about them. Were there certain things they said or did that really impacted you in a positive way? Once you’ve identified those, you can find ways to incorporate something similar into your own approach.

For example, perhaps you really loved that former boss who started each and every one-on-one meeting with some friendly small talk about what was happening with you outside the office. It made you feel like a whole person, rather than like another cog in the wheel.

Start doing something similar! Whether it’s with your colleagues or even the person you see every morning at the coffee cart, that small change will help you take steps toward being the leader you really want to be.

We often have a lot of blind spots about our own personalities and behaviors. That’s why it can be so helpful to ask other people — whether it’s your manager, your colleagues, your direct reports, or all of the above — for feedback.

Are you not quite sure how you typically respond in high-stress situations? Do you not have a good grasp on whether or not you’re an obsessive micromanager or way too hands-off? Get the opinions of others.

Whether it’s through a formal review, a one-on-one conversation, or even an anonymous feedback form, you’re bound to get some enlightening insights that clue you in on what style you tend to lean on most.

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