Do you want to be a leader? Some people may not want to be in a leadership role, but it is thrust upon them. There are other people who long to be in a leadership role but can’t seem to find one. No matter which group you fall into, self-expression is key to understanding to improving your leadership qualities. Here’s how:

You don’t have to be in a leadership position to lead

This is an important thing to keep in mind, as it’s possible to lead people informally too. For example, if there’s a company meeting and the person leading it asks for some input, you can raise your hand and answer. You don’t have to wait for someone else to do so.

Initiate inclusive engagement

If you firmly believe in something and you want to bring it up, either in a meeting or individually with your supervisor, then you should do so. Expressing what you feel passionate about is the first step towards becoming a leader.

Plus, if you know for a fact that many other employees also share that opinion but no one seems to want to bring it up, then you can do so. Saying what no one else seems to want to say is another essential constituent of being a leader.

Stick to your principles

If you look at many people in leadership positions—whether at work or in social or political situations—you’ll see that they have the guts to speak up where no one else wants to. They start moving up and becoming leaders when they start expressing themselves, despite resistance. And they keep climbing up the leadership ladder by continuing to this in one way or the other.

Incorporate the opinions of others

The opinions they express may be strictly their own, or they may be the opinions of many others, but it is representing them which makes someone into a leader. And often, as people continue their leadership trajectory, their views might change. But they continue to show them.

Some leaders put forth their opinions in an aggressive way while others state them in a more sedated fashion. It all depends on your personality and what you feel comfortable with. Some people might express their opinions in writing too. You have to find the way that works best for you.