Week 12, 2020 - Leading Without Authority
I was first introduced to the concept of leading without authority by Matt Russell’s article How To Lead When You Have No Authority.
The article presents four pillars on how to lead without authority, with two concepts as the foundation: humility and selflessness. If you try to use the following pillars without placing them on this foundation, they will just topple over.
Build trust: trust comes first.
Trust is a feeling that others have about you. It’s not an action or a resume. This feeling comes from two things: 1) a belief that you have their best interests at heart, and 2) a confidence that you have the ability to help them.
Some of the best ways to build this are
- to ask people for advice and listen to them (everyone wants to be heard)
- to take a personal interest in what is important to them (this validates them)
- and to always be genuine (this shows them you have no agenda).
Create alignment: the power of communication
As long as you have trust with others, then you have an open door of communication with them. It enables you to align your actions and goals with those around you. How is not important, but what is important is that you initiate the conversation.
Some ways to do this are
- to send periodic or regular emails
- to leverage existing (or start new) meetings
- to book one-on-one sessions with key people
- to just bring things up around the water cooler
Cultivate Momentum: Take Action And Others Will Follow
The engine of all change is action. Whenever you are questioning whether or not you should act on something that you believe is a good idea, you should absolutely act. When your idea start to succeed others will follow you because they want to be successful also.
Inspire Belief: Find the Greater Purpose.
You do this by helping others find a greater purpose to their work. Everyone wants to feel a sense of purpose (a sense of importance) to what they do. The one who can find this purpose (and inspire belief in it) will have a natural magnetism about them. They will have influence with everyone because everyone will look to them for meaning and inspiration.