8 Ways to Demonstrate Leadership

“… You have to distinguish between leader which is a role and leadership which is a behavior. And leadership is the behavior that influences others in positive ways but turns out that any one of us can exercise leadership at any point!…” these are Amy Edmondson’s words from this short video.

How can you demonstrate leadership behavior?


Everyone on the team can exercise leadership behavior, whether they are the leader or not.

You don’t need authority, control, or power to do these 8 things:

1️⃣ Leadership is when you get annoyed by something and take action to make it better… for everyone.

You can demonstrate leadership by: not just complaining when you see problems, but by pointing out how it can be done better and identifying ways to improve a process in your team!

2️⃣ Leadership is to seek clarity and ask good questions.

You can demonstrate leadership by: proactively seeking greater clarity in an unclear environment – actively listening to your colleagues; providing constructive feedback and asking questions, even to your formal leader, so that the situation becomes crystal clear!

Very often leadership is born in the “gray zone“.

3️⃣ Leadership is to take full responsibility for your actions based on your inner values:

You can demonstrate leadership by: acting proactively and shaping your language by using proactive phrases instead of reactive ones.

The team will become more responsible for its destiny. People will get “infected” in a positive way to express themselves proactively.

And remember that: Proactivity = Initiative + Personal Values + Responsibility something Stephen Covey says in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

4️⃣ Leadership is to speak up

You can demonstrate leadership by: using any of the 4 phrases.

By that, you improve the environment of your team by making people feel comfortable expressing their opinion.

Hello, psychological safety!

5️⃣ Leadership is to seek out different perspectives

You can demonstrate leadership by: reaching out to the voice of your quietest colleagues.

By that, you show that everyone belongs to the team – that you are a whole; you provide diversity and a better solution to the problem by looking at it from different perspectives.

6️⃣ Leadership is to make decisions independently and take risks:

You can demonstrate leadership by: acting without waiting for everyone’s approval, asking and gathering diverse opinions from your colleagues with a clear idea of how you will use those opinions to make a decision.

Asking for the sake of being told “yes” in order to be more confident is not leadership behavior this A Leader’s Tale comic illustrates it.

“FYI: I made this decision, team” will make your team faster instead of: “Team, I need a quick sync”!

7️⃣ Leadership is to experiment:

You can demonstrate leadership by: challenging the status quo, thinking outside the box, and encouraging others on your team to look for new ways to tackle an issue.

“We’ve always done it this way!”

Leadership is: “Let’s try it another, better way this time.”

8️⃣ Leadership is to not give up at the first obstacle:

You can demonstrate leadership by: maintaining focus and staying committed to your goals even when faced with negative obstacles, showing that failures and mistakes are f*cking normal.

You make the team resilient, more ambitious, and confident that they can achieve anything!


If you do even JUST ONE of these things, you are already demonstrating leadership behavior. You don’t have to do all of them. It’s simple, isn’t it?

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