Some time ago I had written an article on claiming your leadership. I suppose this article could be a follow-up to that after some recent, disheartening, personal observations.

We talk about things like distributed leadership, a person-centered, authoritative approach, leading from the ground up, building solid teams and trusting your people – and many other best practice leadership buzzwords and concepts. In short, we know what works. We know which types of leadership strategies and habits are effective and which should have died a long time ago.

And the leadership paradigm certainly has changed on the whole – but examples of archaic leadership unfortunately persist: little to no communication from the top down, a heavy-handed approach with little recognition, expecting more out of people to compensate for low morale… you get the point. And although I continue to see this quite regularly in certain pockets, I’m always still a little surprised by it.

Being a “solo player” myself, I’m not in a formal leadership position: and I know it’s easy to cast stones until you walk in someone’s shoes (excuse the clichés). I’m not assuming by any stretch that I would do a better job in a formal leadership position; but as an objective observer I still find it very perplexing and frustrating.

As a coach I see that these types of leadership behaviours make things very difficult for the players behind the scenes.

But leadership takes many forms, and it has to come from all levels. If it’s important that you do so, express your own leadership wherever you can and wherever you are. Don’t let the obstacles in your environment – wherever they’re coming from – stop you from doing what you know needs to be done. You probably have more impact than you know; despite the fact that it often goes unrecognized.

Change happens because certain people see what needs to be done, and they persevere. If your environment is working against you, do your thing anyway if you know its right. It’s often the leaders behind the scene, interspersed throughout the system – formal title or not – who change paradigms and improve lives.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Hammer, Ph.D. is a certified professional coach and licensed psychologist. He offers leadership and life coaching services, as well as various self-development tools for people who are passionate about reaching higher levels of success and becoming the best they can be.

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