Authentic leaders find unique sources of authority
Authentic leaders are resourceful. And they don’t always have to be people leaders in the truest sense. We are all leaders in certain ways, and there are times you may be asked to inspire a team or group you don’t formally lead. Be ready for that challenge and know that authentic leadership principles can help.
A recent article about how to influence without authority does a nice job of detailing the other sources you may be able to use if you don’t have formal organizational leadership on your side. Here are a few examples from the article that I appreciated:
Share your expertise
If you find yourself trying to motivate a group of people you don’t formally lead in the organization, use your unique skills and knowledge to convince others to follow your recommendations. People want to succeed, help them understand that following your lead is the best way to win.
Share your relationships
Authentic leaders build real relationships that allow them to build trust and understanding. This can help motivate others to follow your lead, regardless of whether you have a specific title.
Share your organizational understanding
If you just know how things work around here, take advantage of that. I would also add that if you have a unique understanding of the industry or the marketplace your business operates in, that can also help you gain authority, as well.
These ideas can also help those who come from outside an organization, whether it’s someone who’s joining a new employer or perhaps they’re a vendor or consultant offering their outside perspective. This is especially true of salespeople, who understand the value of relationships naturally, but may not always realize how valued their expertise and understanding can be.
The next time you’re called upon to lead a group that doesn’t officially report to you, be ready to show them you’re an authentic leader by sharing your unique sources of authority.