How to Act Like A Leader — Even If You’re Not the Boss

Author: Casey Gale       


Just because you don’t lead a team doesn’t mean you can’t think and behave like a leader, according to Drew Dudley, author of the new book This Is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership. “We are systematically ignoring a huge percentage of the leadership that surrounds us each day — in our own lives and the lives of those with whom we interact because we’ve chosen to define leadership too narrowly,” Dudley — a former director of one of Canada’s largest leadership-development programs at the University of Toronto, and creator of “The Lollipop Moment” TEDx Talk — writes. In order to harness our personal leadership qualities, Dudley outlines “The Big Six” — six key leadership values and questions we can ask ourselves every day:

Value No. 1: Impact 

A commitment to creating moments that cause people to feel they are better off having interacted with you.

Question to ask yourself: What have I done today to recognize someone else’s leadership?

One way to embody impact today: Post a profile of a leader in your life and how they’ve impacted you on social media. Don’t tell them, but tag them.

Value No. 2: Courage

A commitment to taking action when there is a possibility of loss.

Question to ask yourself: What did I try today that might not work, but I tried it anyway?

One way to embody courage today: Speak up in support of someone with an unpopular opinion you believe is right.

Value No. 3: Empowerment

A commitment to acting as a catalyst for the success of others.

Question to ask yourself: What did I do today to move someone else closer to a goal?

One way to embody empowerment today: Pick someone in your LinkedIn network and provide an endorsement.

Value No. 4: Growth

A commitment to expanding the capacity to add value.

Question to ask yourself: What did I do today to make it more likely someone would learn something?

One way to embody growth today: Place a box of Trivial Pursuit cards on your desk. Both you and others will pick them up and read them regularly.

Value No. 5: Class

A commitment to treating people and situations better than they deserve to be treated.

Question to ask yourself: When did I elevate instead of escalate today?

One way you can embody class today: Find a way to use the phrase, “Okay, let’s try it your way.”

Value No. 6: Self-Respect

A commitment to making decisions that recognize four essential truths:
• You have as much a right to happiness as anyone else
• You cannot add value to anyone else’s life until you’ve added enough to your own.
• Your happiness is your responsibility.
• Happiness is not possible without forgiveness.

Question to ask yourself: What did I do today to be good to myself?

One way to embody self-respect today: Learn to say no instead of a half-hearted yes.

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