Leading Beyond Authority

by Julia Middleton

5. Resetting your radar

When learning to lead beyond authority, you need to be able to work with and inspire people who are different from you. It requires you to consider who and what is on your radar screen and to make sure you are constantly challenged to see new people and situations in different ways. You will start to work with people who may not have received the same professional training or may not share the same beliefs or ways of working as you, but who will become a source of creativity, challenge and support.

Interest in people

An interest in people becomes a much more important aspect of your leadership. Whether you are leading change in a team, across an organisation or in civil society, you will need to develop and manage a large number of relationships. It will not be possible to remove people from a post or to simply walk away from the change you care about, so you need to take a genuine interest in different people, who they are and what they stand for that will make the most difference. This will allow for stronger relationships and support and for greater insights and therefore more creativity

Networks

Specialised and homogenous networks are limited in helping us solve difficult problems and discover new ways of looking at the world. Leaders need to become more aware of the filters and influences that affect how we work and network with other people.

Why think about this?

People wanting to understand more about this may

  • Be looking for new input or influence into existing problems or challenges
  • Developing a case for a more diverse work force
  • Want to find more support for ideas
  • Want to be less isolated in their leadership and find ways to get greater feedback and input to ideas
  • Want to lead a diverse group of people.