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Leading Without Authority

How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration

By Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich
13-minute read
Audio available
Leading Without Authority by Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich

Leading without Authority (2020) explores how non-managerial employees can drive change and influence their coworkers. These blinks outline simple techniques for making a big impact in the workplace, regardless of your official title.

  • Employees looking for their next promotion
  • Managers seeking fresh insights 
  • Executive coaches wanting a new perspective

Keith Ferrazzi is an author and entrepreneur whose bestselling business books include Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got your Back. Ferrazzi is also the founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a research and consulting firm. Noel Weyrich is an author with over twenty years of experience in investigative journalism and reporting.

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Leading Without Authority

How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration

By Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Leading Without Authority by Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich
Synopsis

Leading without Authority (2020) explores how non-managerial employees can drive change and influence their coworkers. These blinks outline simple techniques for making a big impact in the workplace, regardless of your official title.

Key idea 1 of 8

Exercising your authority isn’t going to help you achieve all your goals.

How can you achieve your goals in the workplace? You might assume that the more authority you have, the easier it will be. If you’re a manager, say, then you have a team of people at your disposal to do exactly what you tell them to do. But in reality, it’s not as simple as all that. In today’s workplace, you should look beyond your official team if you want to make an impact in your organization. 

The key message here is: Exercising your authority isn’t going to help you achieve all your goals. 

Picture a scenario in which a Human Resources Director is tasked with introducing a new bonus pay system across her organization. The Director instructs her HR team to implement the new system, but before long, she encounters a problem: the Sales Director doesn’t like the idea, and has decided to set up his own independent bonus pay program for his department. So even though the HR director has effective control over her own team, she still cannot achieve her goal of a company-wide rollout. 

If you were in the HR Director’s difficult position, your instinctive response might be to go to your own boss and complain that you don’t have enough control over the situation to achieve your objective. After all, you have no authority over the sales team. You cannot tell the Sales Director what to do, and without his cooperation, you cannot implement the new bonus system. 

Often, the people who can help you get what you want are beyond your direct control. So how should you respond when you find yourself in a situation like the one facing our beleaguered HR Director? Well, instead of seeking to control more people or resources, you’ll need to focus on building authentic and mutually beneficial relationships with the coworkers whose cooperation you need. In the case of our HR Director, she’ll need to start treating the Sales Director as a friend, rather than as an adversary who can be bested. The two Directors need to sit down with one another to explore why their conflict has arisen, and how the bonus program can be implemented in a way that works for the sales team as well as the HR team. 

In the following blinks, you’ll see how you can develop these mutually beneficial relationships so that you can begin to lead change, even when you don’t have authority. 

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