Leading from Any Chair

Leadership is not a box on the organization chart! As Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander explain in their book, The Art of Possibility, you can lead from any chair.
According to an April 19, 2018 article in the Washington Post, Fortune magazine just named their pick for the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders." At the top of the list is not an individual but a group -- "the students" at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (and others around the country) whose "courage, tenacity and sheer eloquence" led the massive March for Our Lives.
Other groups are on the list, including the #MeToo movement, the West Virginia teachers who sparked protests in other states, and the gymnasts who spoke out about sexual abuse by the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
What the members of all of these groups have in common is courage -- and it takes courage to be a successful manager and leader in any organization. This is a management trait that we did not overlook in our new book The Manager's Answer Book, which is available for pre-order now from Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/yd7todyc
What is a courageous manager? Someone who earns trust, who is comfortable speaking up if things are going in the wrong direction, who isn't afraid to respectfully confront a situation or a wrongdoing, who will take an opposing point of view and put the interest of others above their own.
What this year's greatest list from Fortune indicates is that leadership is not a top-down, hierarchical phenomenon that occurs only in organizations where power is centralized in the hands of a few individuals. Leadership and the power to make substantial changes can exist anywhere, in any organization, in any facet of our society. Leadership is not something that is bestowed on someone just because they hold a title -- it's something that is earned through actions. Leaders are all around us. Maybe they are sitting in the chair next to you!

Cornelia Gamlem

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