Lead From Anywhere

October 17, 2012

I have the honor of speaking today to the Project Management Community at Microsoft Licensing in Reno, Nevada. They are interested in helping their project managers better understand how to lead from anywhere. I’m going to attempt to explain why and how people can and should exhibit leadership behaviors even when they might not have the formal title or position. Leadership is something you never stop learning how to do well, and you should start learning how to lead well before you are ever formally expected to assume that role.

To lead from anywhere we have to be able to engage with others to help the organization achieve it’s shared purpose, and when necessary, use our influence to help guide and support real change. With or without a formal title or position, the most effective way to lead from anywhere is via our relationships with others. Our capacity to influence others is constrained when we behave in ways that others see as untrustworthy, self-centered, and unconnected.

The process of leadership is enhanced when everyone assumes responsibility for becoming a purposeful, trustworthy, interdependent partner with others. Master and then continually improve your current job responsibilities, genuinely care about the people you work with and for, take a stand for the things that matter to others even when the pressure is on to do otherwise, help others become more autonomous and less dependent at work, and understand why these types of behaviors from you are critical to the growth of your organization. That’s the essence of becoming a purposeful, trustworthy, interdependent partner at work.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Blake Bunte says:

    I believe that leadership is one of the most essential parts of positive organizational behavior. It is the stepping-stone to an effective management team and when initiated correctly can be a very empowering thing to everybody in the workplace. You made a great point about the process of leadership being enhanced when everyone assumes personal responsibility for becoming purposeful, trustworthy, and independent, and I could not agree more. I also feel that this point is a key downfall in organizations with poor organizational behavior and management. For someone to assume a leadership role but not have some sense of personal responsibility can be detrimental to everyone involved. In this instance, coworkers will likely become more dependent on each other and when something can and will go wrong under these circumstances, the leader is likely to blame others and become untrustworthy to all of his or her associates.

    Bret L. Simmons Reply:

    Welcome, Blake. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Bret