I’ve been writing about leading beyond your authority. Ultimately, your success depends on knowing how to influence and inspire others.
According to Clay Scroggins, author of How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority (Zondervan, 2017), influence is the foundation of leadership.
Remember, there is no need to insist on asserting authority when you have mastered these principles and skills:
- Understand the difference between true leadership vs. authority
- Be a worthy, noble leader
- Build relationships and credibility
- Challenge ineffective systems (and the status quo)
Your next steps are to engage your colleagues, and demonstrate your initiative.
Enlist Your Colleagues’ Support
When you harness the influence of peer-level leaders, you’ll build an even stronger position. 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.
Anticipate and Initiate
Anticipate leadership opportunities—and be ready when the call to action arrives.
“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
As a manager or leader, you encourage your direct reports to be self-starters. Seize every opportunity to lead by example.
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.