Leadership in the workplace is no longer a top-down affair in which only the boss has ability to make decisions. Modern workplaces expect employees to demonstrate personal leadership in order to drive results. As an experienced resume writer providing professional resume writing services to clients in the Calgary market, I’m often asked about the best ways to develop leadership abilities.

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Even if you are not in a formal leadership position, behaving like a leader can also help place you in position to receive promotions or unique assignments. Additionally, when you act like a leader, we can highlight that on your resume.

The following 10 tips will help you become a recognized leader in your workplace.

1.Manage Workplace Drama with Skill & Diplomacy:

Gossiping, talking down about colleagues and supervisors, bemoaning company policies or, worst of all discussing pay, will place you on a fast track towards job dissatisfaction and possibly jeopardize your career.

2.Believe in Yourself:

Leadership can be a lonely place. Though people naturally follow leaders, there is also an inherent level of resentment that accompanies that role, which ultimately leads to isolation of the leader. When this happens, you have to believe in your decisions and your abilities.

3.Ask Questions:

Do not assume you know everything, even if you are an expert in your field. You always have opportunities to learn more. Your colleagues, boss and reports often have valid reasons to justify their actions, and there is always more to the story. Asking questions will help you garner respect.

4.Deliver Feedback Consistently:

Good leaders regularly share feedback with their teams. Feedback is both negative and positive. It should not be a big deal and should feel as natural as talking about the weather. Your team will come to expect and appreciate consistent feedback. Note: Avoid giving negative and positive feedback on the same behaviour at the same time.

5.Role Model:

Followers naturally mimic their leaders, so role model the behaviours and attributes you want to see in the people around you.

6.Inspect What You Expect:

Every manager in training hears a variation of this phrase and for good reason. You must follow up to make sure the results you are getting are the results you need.

7.Earn Trust and Procure Buy-In:

Trust will come naturally as you demonstrate your ability to make good decisions and get results, and if you have solid communication skills, you can garner trust in the early stages of a relationship. Buy-in is a different spin on trust; it is essentially what happens when you get another person to agree to do something. An example of buy-in procuring phrases could be, “Do you think you could do abc for us?” “xyz is the goal. How will you help us achieve it?”


Every leader should be highly skilled in the art of active listening and not merely “hearing”. Whether it is listening to conversations around you for clues, hearing out a frustrated colleague, or trying to diagnose a performance issue in your team, listening is one of the most important skills to possess.

9.Recognize Success:

When somebody does a good job, it is crucial to recognize the win in a timely manner, and in a way that is appropriate to the level of achievement.

10.Encourage Creativity and Collaboration:

Even though the job market is tough, skilled colleagues and team members have the ability to go elsewhere when they feel disengaged from the decision-making and creative processes. Allow people time and space to come up with creative solutions and involve them whenever possible in decision-making.

No matter what your position may be, you can enjoy the benefits of leadership by acting the part on the job. For example, you might see your workgroup achieve goals nobody thought you could achieve, and all because somebody in the group stood up to lead. Few things are more satisfying than feeling confident in yourself and seeing others around you rise to the occasion. Additionally, few things are more powerful to include on your resume or CV.

Ken Docherty is a Certified Master Resume Writer, Certified Executive Resume Master, an experienced executive recruiter, and former owner of a successful staffing agency.  If you’re looking for resume services in Calgary from a multi-certified, multi award-winning resume writer, visit my website for more details.