leadership_smLeadership is possible no matter where you are in an organization’s hierarchy. People in management and leadership positions had to start somewhere – and most of them got where they are by proving themselves as leaders before they were placed in a position to lead. But the difficult part is knowing what actions to take – and when. Here are five ideas that will help you create a leadership framework even if you aren’t the leader.

To begin with, learn to seek responsibility. This has two meanings. First, be on the lookout for responsibility higher than your own. In today’s environment, with shrinking staffs and budgets, many organizations need people who can take on further responsibility without looking for higher pay, more prestige, or even a higher position. This doesn’t mean that you should “sell out” or take on so much that your other duties will suffer. But it does mean that you should look for areas or subjects of interest and volunteer for projects or duties in those areas. Being on the lookout can also mean that you try to find ways to streamline processes or save money – and share those ways with management.