No matter your title, you are a leader

Everyone Should Attend Leader Training

I’m really big on leadership training, and I invite a lot of people to participate in leadership training, but sometimes I get a little pushback. People will say, well I’m not in a position that has direct reports. Why would I want to go through leadership training? I’m not a leader and I explain to them, politely, that that’s absolutely false. The reality is, anytime that we need anyone to do anything for us we have to lead in order to make that happen. I learned that early on in my career. I applied for a position and in the job guidelines one of the job requirements or responsibilities of the job was the ability to lead without direct authority. And that’s always stuck with me. What is this idea of leading without direct authority?

For me, it takes out of the equation the carrots and sticks that were a big part of leadership and management for a long time, and replaces that with the concepts of influence and persuasion. The reason that’s so important is that, at the end of the day, if I’m using carrots and sticks to lead then I may get enough compliance from someone to do enough, to say not get fired. But using influence and persuasion, now I’m creating an opportunity to get discretionary effort. Meaning, they may give more than what’s needed, so you might ask, well how is that accomplished? Essentially, it comes down to connecting the dots between three key things. 

Clear Job Guidelines and Objectives

First in the middle is the mission goal, right. The objective, what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Over here it’s, what’s in it for them? What is the benefit that they get when that objective is achieved? And on this side, I’ll say, what are the responsibilities? What are the specific expectations that you have of them, and how do they contribute to achieving that goal? When you connect the dots between those three things and really show that you’re invested in helping them become successful as their leader. Amazing things happen because they start giving discretionary effort and they get engaged.

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