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5 Ways to Be a Leader Outside of the Office

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Want to be a better leader to more than just your employees? If so, you’re not alone.

Don’t sit back and wait for leadership opportunities to present themselves to you. If you’re hoping to prove yourself a great boss, it’s in your best interest to show some initiative.

How do you do that? It isn’t as hard as you might think. If you’re looking to become a better leader — and you don’t want to sit around and wait until leadership opportunities are presented to you in the office — consider the following five tips:

  1. Position Yourself as an Expert. Let’s say you’re in the marketing space and you constantly scan Twitter and the other social networks to find the latest trends. Rather than letting all the information you come across rot away in your brain, so to speak, do what you can to share your ideas and knowledge with others. To do this, consider publishing your own website or blog where you simply write about the bigger picture within your industry. You may also want to try writing guest blog posts on other platforms.
  1. Establish a Strong Social Presence. If you do decide to start blogging, you’ll want to promote your writings on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You may also want to contribute to discussions on sites like Quora. This is a surefire way to broaden your exposure. Who knows? Maybe someone will stumble across your work in the digital world and present your company with a very lucrative opportunity.
  1. Speak at Colleges, Conferences and Workshops. Even if you’re terrified of speaking in public, now is probably a good time to see whether there are any speaking opportunities available that make sense for you to pursue. At worst, you’ll improve your speaking skills — a vital asset to leading in the business world. At best, you may impress someone in the audience who wants to do business with you.
  1. Take Advantage of Leadership Opportunities. Let’s say a storm devastated a part of the country. While such tragedies are certainly horrific, you can use them as leadership opportunities. For example, you could spearhead an initiative to raise money for the victims of the disaster. You could also organize a trip to help give back to those in need. Remember, leadership doesn’t always have to be work-related. 
  1. Always Be Networking. You never know when you might be standing next to Elon Musk at Starbucks. So don’t be shy. Network as often as you can, and build relationships with folks in your field. If everything works out, you may end up becoming friendly with someone who ends up bringing your firm an insane amount of business.

Putting it all together

Let’s take a look at a real life example. Keith Springer is the President and CEO of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, CA. He positions himself as an expert (1) with his own book, establishes a strong social presence (2) on LinkedIn by posting his articles, and speaks at several events (3). He takes advantage of leadership opportunities (4) with the Springer Turkey Challenge that feeds thousands, and is always networking (5) on Seeking Alpha. Are any of those things required to run his business? No, but they’ve helped it grown and turned him into a respected leader.

If you truly want to be a leader in the office, you don’t want to sit back and wait for responsibility to fall into your lap.

By taking on the extra responsibility yourself and proving that you’re truly committed to management and leading, you may find yourself growing into a truly great leader faster than you imagined.

Scott Huntington is a career expert and writer for The Daily Muse and Business Insider. Follow him on Twitter.

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