February 23, 2018

Leadership isn’t always about teams

Two staff members smilingWe tend to think of leadership in the context of leading teams, at least in connection with work we do.

But it isn’t necessarily so.

Yes, a leader’s role is often to build the necessary relationships with and amongst the members of a formally-constituted team in order to create the conditions where the group can perform to the best of its ability.

Sometimes though…

Leadership is about stimulating some kind of response amongst people who don’t work together at all, nor for the person “leading.” They might not even know the leader personally.

But still there is some kind of relationship—a more subtle one perhaps…

Because there’s no authority in the situation, it’s a more delicate matter—“like cooking a small fish,” in the words of the Tao Te Ching, “you spoil it with too much poking.”

How do you go about leading when you don’t have authority (assuming you need to, that is)? What’s different for you?

Something about seeing what’s important to people perhaps.