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3 minute read

5 Ways to Be a Better Leader Even If You Are Not a Manager

There might be occasions when you are tasked to head projects with other colleagues under your leadership. Dealing with various personalities and managing workplace dynamics to fulfil your everyday responsibilities also involves being a leader. Here are five ways you can become better at leading, even if you’re not in a managerial role.


Regardless of job level, high-performing employees exhibit leadership qualities, such as showing initiative and being intrinsically motivated to do their jobs. Such attitudes can guarantee meaningful results at work and also help create a more positive working environment for fellow colleagues.

Why are leadership skills necessary, even if you are not a manager?

The constant shifts and digital disruptions in the workplace show that all job roles must quickly adapt to changes. Employees need to be flexible in wearing new hats and proactively suggest new innovative processes that can help their teams and companies.

Whether you are a project lead or simply an employee who wants to do better, skilfully navigating people management and showcasing emotional intelligence can help you to get your job done effectively, thereby bringing you success at work.

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Read on to learn more about how to showcase leadership, get effective results, and show empathy for others in the workplace, even if you are not a manager.

How to be an effective leader regardless of your job level

1. Avoid being a pushover

It is possible to be kind and exert authority at the same time. Being nice does not equate to being a pushover – the latter can set you up for being taken advantage of.

When you find your co-worker crossing the line, do not be afraid to express your opinion honestly. Reiterate that your working relationship is built on trust, and assure them that you trust them to complete their work.

2. Hold your teammates accountable for deadlines

One of the most challenging tasks as a project leader is ensuring that all your team members meet their deadlines. It is good to ask your teammates to set their preferred deadlines to complete particular tasks and negotiate these if needed. Be sure to write down the agreed deadlines clearly so you can hold them accountable for their deliverables.

3. Motivate them based on the team’s shared goals

Rather than instil fear or intimidation, get the team to unite and agree on shared team objectives. Keep them in the loop and ensure that they understand how their tasks contribute to the team’s short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. This will better guide them towards performing their tasks effectively.

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4. Refrain from micro-managing your team

It is essential to know the difference between being an effective leader and one who micro-manages every team member’s tasks. Micro-managing refers to being deeply involved in each co-worker’s task and criticising them constantly. Scrutinising them every step of the way without providing autonomy can result in poor motivation, retention, and results.

While micro-managers dictate specific actions to take, leaders provide their teammates with the liberty to pursue different directions on their own accord, as long as they are inspired towards a common goal.

5. Exchange feedback with your colleagues

Managers usually provide feedback and coaching to colleagues to help them improve in their jobs. While you do not need to put a formal review system in place, encourage open feedback and honest communication among your teammates. This means providing them with a safe space to air out any issues and build trust and security.

Exchanging feedback also means that you are — and should — be open to receiving comments and points for improvement.

These tips should help you take charge and show initiative in the office to foster better working relationships with your colleagues and get meaningful results.

This article is contributed by JobStreet

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