True leadership does not rely on authority to influence or guide others, rather, it inspires beyond direct authority. I wrote about this in my last post, True Leadership: Leading Beyond Your Authority. Noble leadership is reliable, trustworthy and respectable. Noble leaders naturally exude these attributes.
You see, followers want to be associated with noble, successful leaders. They listen to leaders with admirable traits, seeking hope, encouragement and professional possibilities.
It’s also important to demonstrate confidence if you want others to work with self-reliance, advises Patricia Simpson in Leading Without Authority, a July 2016 Leadership Institute article.
Remember: People are watching you. They’re searching for character in their leaders, and they appreciate working for individuals who improve their lives at work. They want to admire, respect and follow authentic leaders.
How self-aware are you? Your identity relies heavily on how you view yourself. Knowing your abilities, limitations, values, mission and perspective allows you to perform an accurate self-assessment. Followers, colleagues and superiors will judge you on these factors, so you must continually work to improve your skills. You’ll be rewarded with greater trust.
People value leaders who have everyone’s best interests at heart, including those outside your direct authority. I think we’d all agree: Leaders who care about others are worth following. Being helpful, especially when there’s no direct benefit to yourself, commands respect and influence.
Your motivation and ambition should focus on achieving something, suggests Clay Scroggins, author of How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority (Zondervan, 2017). Followers want to take part in your achievements, as long as your goals aren’t self-serving. Selfless leadership should generate a matching level of enthusiasm. (Both draw attention from a distance and are contagious.) It doesn’t take long for the workplace to recognize where they originated.
Dedication to excellence, without the intrusion of one’s ego, is a catalyst for inspiration and influence. The best leaders take ownership of the quest for positive change, while also giving credit to others—a potent combination for growing a following. Listening to others’ ideas and valuing their input forges a collective ownership.
What do you think? Are you a noble leader? Are you leading beyond your authority? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.