People who are natural leaders but don’t realize it yet often display these 7 behaviors

Have you ever wondered if you’d be good at taking charge, but doubt yourself?

Perhaps you feel that you are ‘too introverted’ or that other people know best?

If that sounds a bit like you then read on to see if you do any of these things

1) They may not offer to lead but if someone puts them in charge they exceed expectations

Natural leaders may not see their own capabilities, but often other people notice that they have a talent and select them to be in charge. 

When I was younger I didn’t know that I could be a natural leader. I was working in quite a new job (in adventure travel), and I saw an email from management asking who would like to be in charge of working with travel agents.

It didn’t even occur to me to apply, so I was very surprised when I was approached by management and asked to submit an application.

And guess what?

I got the promotion – but that wasn’t all. I not only took charge of that section of the business but also rearranged the whole system making it easier to use and more efficient. There was great feedback from the travel agents and the bosses.

Does this kind of thing happen to you?

If so, it may well be that you are a natural leader whose potential has been spotted by others.

2) They find they are the ones taking charge of a work project

In the story above, I was asked to take charge. But often it can be that no one is specifically asked to lead a small project. Most projects need leaders – without one it can be hard to get things done.

If you or someone you know is often taking responsibility and helping a project to get organized, then there is a good chance they are a natural leader in the making.

For example, when I worked at the adventure travel company, we suddenly got a huge influx of bookings for a particular tour. My boss Laura realized we didn’t have enough staff to handle the workload.

Rather than appointing someone to oversee hiring and training needs, she just sent a vague email saying we needed more tour guides ASAP.

After a week passed with no progress, I decided to take initiative. I projected staffing numbers needed, found viable candidates by networking locally, coordinated interviews, and created a streamlined training program for newcomers.

Within a month we had ample touring staff onboarded and I continued handling HR coordination for all new hires.

I didn’t set out to lead hiring efforts but simply acted on an urgent gap. My boss was thrilled and told me that she should have formally put me in charge from the start!

3) They are the ones who are always organizing

Maybe it’s a birthday party, a stag or hen party (UK English for bachelor/ette party), or a baby shower. Whatever the event, these people often find themselves taking charge and bringing the group together. 

They will make sure that someone is taking care of the entertainment, another the venue, and yet another will find a place to stay.

Not only do natural leaders handle event organisation pragmatically, but they also possess the emotional intelligence to orchestrate group dynamics. 

My little sister Emma is a great example of this as she has a knack for bringing people together.

Last year when our cousin got engaged, our aunt insisted on hosting the bridal shower. But she tends to be quite overbearing, dominating conversations and strong-arming her taste onto things. Emma noticed quietly that the bride genuinely wanted input.

So she created a private Facebook group and gently asked everyone to share theme ideas, food preferences, and meaningful memories about the couple, that could inspire unique details.

People opened up enthusiastically with great suggestions. Emma used everything she could, thoughtfully crediting each person.

In the end, everyone felt heard, my cousin was deeply touched…and our Aunt admitted that Emma had pulled off an even lovelier event than if she herself had micromanaged everything!

natural leader People who are natural leaders but don’t realize it yet often display these 7 behaviors

4) They don’t mind putting themselves out there

Starting something new can be intimidating for many, but it can also be a thrill. The natural leader will be drawn to the rush of putting themselves out in the world, and may also wish to be at the front of changing things.

When I was at University, I wasn’t impressed with the music scene, so I put on my own nights, with the help of a friend. (Leaders don’t have to do everything alone!)

Other people might even find that they are putting themselves up for local elections or other kind of community leader.  Or perhaps they lead a campaign for someone else. (If they don’t enjoy being in the spotlight).

Ultimately, if you see someone who decides to create and facilitate some kind of group., from book clubs to conservation work, this person is likely to be a leader

5) They experience an unfamiliar sense of contentment after leading a group, situation or team

So I’ve talked about the thrill of putting yourself out there. Have you ever felt it?

People who know they are leaders often thrive from this energy and it keeps them motivated. For others they feel a deep sense of satisfaction or contentment after the job is well done.

But for those who are new to this kind of thing, they are likely to be surprised by these happy but unfamiliar feelings.

What may start off as fear and overwhelm can end up becoming a rich and even addictive feeling, pushing them to do more in the future.

6) They know when to delegate and when to get their hands dirty

Remember when I said that leading isn’t the same as doing everything alone?

Well, what’s also true is that being an expert delegator is not the same as being a leader.

In my early 20s, I found that out the hard way, in an interview to become a tour manager (a person who looks after group holidays).

It was an interactive group interview spanning a week in the forest. Each of us were appointed leader at a specific time. Under my ‘rule’, a team project needed doing. I had learned already about the importance of delegating.

So I delegated all the tasks, feeling proud of myself, making sure that each part of the project was being taken care of.

To my disappointment, the feedback I got was that I had over-delegated and they thought I was being lazy. 

Natural leaders know how to get this balance right. And if they don’t, they learn about the world until they do!

7) They use the rule of three

One of the things we learned about in that tour manager job interview (which also included training), was the rule of three. This means that you repeat everything three times for a group of people to get the message. 

So for example, if you want everyone to meet for dinner at 7 pm, you would say “Ok, so we’ll all meet at the restaurant at 7 pm.” then a moment later you might say “We’re going to the Blueberry Bush restaurant at 7 pm.” And then again one more time.

It sounds silly but if you just say things once or twice, people inevitably miss it and you will get lots of questions and lost people. Three really is the magic number.

This can be applied to all kinds of group situations where you need to make sure that everyone understands what is important or needs to be done.

Natural leaders use the trick of repetition without even thinking about it, because they understand human psychology.

Louisa Lopez

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

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