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You don’t need to be a Manager to be a Leader July 19, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Leadership.
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Now and then I’ll guest-coach lower ranking staff with their supervisors with the goal of inspiring such individual contributors (Storm Troopers, Imperial Guards, etc…) in the Empire who demonstrate a high degree of potential.

And one of the things I like to iterate frequently is that you don’t need to be a manager to lead. Anyone can be a leader; you don’t need staff that directly reports to you, and you don’t need control over budget and spending accounts.

A leader is one that is willing to step up to the plate and lead the charge on something. A leader doesn’t need to come up with all the ideas, or be the only one to create a vision from scratch.

Successful organizations are the result of having an abundance of leaders, from individual contributors all the way to the top dog (or Darth). Leaders are aware of problems, shortcomings, issues, and don’t wait to have the task delegated to them – they step up and rope in all the people they need to accomplish the task; this includes getting support from executive sponsors, getting help from subject matter experts, and the manpower from supporters and consultants.

It doesn’t have to be problems; projects also require leadership. Non-Leaders will hope that a manager delegates the responsibility to a project manager or take it on personally. But projects need leaders to be successful by keeping all the roles and responsibilities defined, keeping everyone in sync, tackling tough decisions (even if by consensus), and just overall getting the job done.

Even the most seemingly small things can use leadership. For example a Jr Technical Writer may notice that all the documents don’t follow a common template; and will not stop at just pointing the problem out, but develop a plan, propose the project, get support for it, and see it through to the end.

The Empire was built on leadership, something the Jedi clearly lack…
Darth Sidious

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