Webinar on Leadership without Formal Authority

Leadership does not always come with formal authority over the followers. In many instances leaders do not have the authority like a senior executive in a government agency or a military commander. Emerging leaders often drive teams with little authority to direct them. Modern workplaces are becoming less hierarchical, enlisting lateral collaboration, and encouraging bottom-up thinking. Workplaces are agile and employed with task-based short-term employees. Professional associations, clubs and charities lead their members who are volunteers that cannot be directed. These setups create situations where leaders must achieve their goal without any power on their team.  Several key attributes in a leader naturally direct followers without asserting formal authority on them. The attributes are collated under 4 Es’ below.

Expertise and efficiency: A leader must hold subject matter expertise and be able to communicate it effectively to attract followers. Efficient execution of tasks is important to retain the attention of the followers. A leader allocates sufficient own time in preparation, valuing and respecting the time of others.

Emotional intelligence: Good leaders are good readers of emotional cue and respond appropriately. The awareness of nonverbal emotions is important such as exhilaration, enthusiasm, disinterest, frustrations, anxiety, tension, and so on. A leader is always in control of his or her own emotional health and exhibit positive energy towards the team.

Empowerment through a shared vision: People with shared vision can be led without authority. A leader facilitates the development of a collective vision that is owned by all and draws out a path to reach the common goal. A leader without authority is flexible and empowers the team to walk a different path if necessary. 

Equal not hierarchical: A leader without authority fosters team spirit by being one among equals. He or she facilitates an outcome instead of dictating a task. A successful leader motivates the team and recognises achievements, rewards milestones, acknowledges contributions, and offers support where it is needed.


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