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This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at

Opportunities to lead aren't limited to times when you have formal authority. Case in point for this post: Update meetings.

Most people overlook the creation of an agenda for that regular weekly update meeting. But even a regular meeting is a significant opportunity to show leadership. It demonstrates that you understand what the most important topics to discuss are, that you are strategic versus tactical. It demonstrates that you have excellent judgment, that you have the ability to take charge, and the ability to be strategic as opposed to simply following others.

Managers are always thinking about succession planning, and who can potentially replace them. That's because everyone is looking to grow, and move along to another role. But you've got to show leadership even when you don't think you have it.

Real leadership is never a matter of formality.

I find that even a short quick Monday morning meeting is an excellent leadership opportunity that speaks volumes about what people think about you and your suitability for more responsibility and bigger jobs.

Moving through life aware of this reality and better yet, if you choose to embrace it, the smallest tasks at work and in life can be significant opportunities to contribute value, demonstrate your readiness for more and get closer to where you want to be.

This is how leaders and teams find the people that they will ultimately pass the torch on to.

Peter Aceto is president and CEO of Tangerine Bank