When founders and CEOs look to hire and promote managers, they want people who exhibit leadership. But how can you exhibit leadership if you're stuck in individual contributor roles? No one reports to you, and you're not even a project manager.
Good news is, leader isn't a title, it's a group of characteristics, and you can acquire them, even if you're not the boss. Here are 10 ideas:
1. Communicate clearly. Leaders don't grumble behind closed doors when things don't go their way. They don't say yes when they should have said no. They say what they mean, and do so in a way that people understand. This is not advocating rudeness, but it is advocating dropping passive-aggressive behavior.