Lead Beyond Your Authority:
Show Initiative

Lead-Beyond-Authority-Show-InitiativeI’ve been writing about how to lead beyond your authority.

No matter what your organizational model, your success as a leader depends on knowing how to influence people and breed a desire to follow (as opposed to trying to mandate it via formal authority). Following a leader­—whether it’s buying in to a philosophy or supporting a solution— is a choice based on desire; trying to mandate it is misguided and ultimately doomed to fail.

Are you prepared for leadership opportunities beyond your current authority?

“Each of us has a unique opportunity to create something right where we are. It doesn’t require special authority or a fancy title or having the corner office…Don’t shrink back until someone calls your number.” ~ Clay Scroggins, author of How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority (Zondervan, 2017)

When I discuss this with my coaching clients we talk about the need for preparation, and for action. Leaders are self-starters: they recognize opportunities to lead by example, and they are prepared to:

Engage Your Colleagues

Your next steps are to engage your colleagues—enlist their support—and demonstrate your initiative.

I have found that you’ll build an even stronger position when you harness the influence of peer-level leaders. Reach out to these colleagues in a positive, sincere and nonthreatening way. By working together, you have a greater chance of convincing higher-level managers to move forward.

Present solutions as vehicles for achieving joint benefits. This approach can be a compelling start to improving the status quo.

Remember: People are watching you. They’re searching for character in their leaders, and they appreciate working for (and with) individuals who improve their lives at work. They want to admire, respect and follow authentic leaders.

What do you think? Are you prepared to lead beyond your authority? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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