Many jobs require that employees be "team players." You may hear that so often that it becomes meaningless. But it isn't - being a team player is a fairly broad term, and it can include an important attribute that employers appreciate: leadership.
Being a leader in the workplace does not necessarily mean being a boss, manager, supervisor, or other "official" position, although it can mean that. Being a leader in the workplace can also mean setting a good example for others and/or heading up office programs and projects.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to be a leader in the workplace.
There's a saying that can serve you well in the workplace: "Never let them see you sweat." Of course, no one is perfect; but appearing confident inspires others to trust you and take your advice. One way to ensure that you appear self-assured is not to talk too much about your fears and concerns. Talk to friends outside of the workplace about your uncertainties.
See the Good in Others
Being able to see the good traits in others is a useful leadership trait in the workplace. If you need to put certain people in charge of certain tasks, it pays to know who will do well with what task. You also may see potential in a co-worker and "stretch" him or her by requesting a task that might be a bit challenging. This improves the overall skill set of the workforce, and helps build self-esteem in your co-workers.
Don't Be Afraid to Delegate
There's a difference between being a people person and being a people pleaser. Being a people person means you have a genuine love for people, but you're not afraid to ask people to do things. Being a leader doesn't mean just doing everything yourself; it means you are comfortable giving up some control and delegating tasks to others.
No one wants to work for or with someone who doesn't appreciate them. If you let everyone know you appreciate what they've done and how they've given their time and talents, it can go a long way. It's always good to remember that there would be no leaders if there weren't any followers. People who are appreciated may be more likely to follow your lead next time.
If you step up with ideas on how to solve dilemmas, problems, and so forth, and have resourceful ideas about how to accomplish something, then speak up. Employers value the ability to think through a problem and find a creative solution. This is a valuable leadership quality.