How To Lead Your Leaders
You have probably heard someone ask before; “how do I lead my leaders?” Obviously, because of their position, it can be a tricky terrain to navigate. They have a level of authority and power that comes with their position that must be respected.
Ultimately, they are the decision maker and the organization or entity they are leading cannot rise beyond their level of approval. No matter how smart a follower is; every entity will only rise to the level of the leader’s capacity.
Saying leading your leaders sounds quite heavy and perhaps, if we adopted John C. Maxwell’s definition of leadership; INFLUENCE, our question becomes less stressful. How do you influence your leaders? My experience over the years SERVING under different people has taught me a few things. Perhaps the most important one with regards to our question is that you influence leaders by offering solutions to problems they are dealing with. Be that kind of person that offers solutions.
Every entity will only rise to the level of the leader’s capacity
Make suggestions: Subtly, in a respectful way suggest ways in which something can be done. Your goal shouldn’t be to show that “you are smarter than them”. That will not take you anywhere so even as you make suggestions, be mindful of the fact that they are above you. It’s tempting to see your suggestion implemented and working and you go telling everybody how “you told them what to do…”
So make suggestions… give your ideas but also, within the confines of your authority, do something that can be considered brilliant. Something they can see you do and think; “that’s great… let’s replicate it in other departments… or let’s adopt that as a way of giving things.”
I remember whilst saving under a very noble man, I gave an example on how a certain message can be communicated effectively to a particular audience. It was interesting to note one day that they had done exactly as in an example I had given to communicate their message to even a larger audience.
Strategically, depending on the relationship; solicit their thoughts on something that you know is a good idea. Ask what they think about it and how it can work better. That way, they know and understand that you recognize and respect their authority. Besides, no matter how brilliant your ideas can be, you won’t go anywhere with them without their “blessing”.
Here is the thing you must keep in mind; serve the vision and agenda you have submitted yourself to. Your actions, ideas and suggestions should be in the best interest of the vision you are serving under. Leaders who know you are there to serve will warm up to you and will give you their ear.
If you have any questions on this, feel free to ask.