In most discussions about change and successful change projects there is one thing totally clear: commitment from the top is vital. If the CEO and the leadership team are not driving and supporting the project: forget it. My question is: why do so many people make their success dependent on the vision and quality of the top of the organization? Often this is also not the desire of the most senior leaders. We need more people, also in bigger organizations, who can work leaderless. What are the signs that can tell you that you are ready to work leaderless?
- You want to work leaderless
Many people in organizations are looking for strong leaders. This is why they choose to work in a bigger organization. Strong leaders give comfort. And it is also nice to have someone to pick on when things are not going so well. This is OK, but if you are a person who thrives under strong leadership, you are not ready to work leaderless.
- You know where to find leadership when you need it
Working leaderless is not working alone. Everybody is looking for leadership at some time. If you need it, you know where to find it. You practice situational leadership. You can rely on yourself. You can look for guidance by your team members, by another colleague or by other people in your network.
- You manage your own projects in a leaderless way
If you are able to manage your own projects in a leaderless way, you might be able to work more leaderless in a wider way as well. Treat you boss as a valuable resource, and not as the source of all wisdom. Rely on your experience and intuition and move your project forward. Maybe also some new side projects that might lead to interesting innovations.
- You are not looking for approval when you take courageous steps
You are willing to take some risks. You know that you loose speed if you are constantly looking for approval from your superiors. You move on, you get things done, and you are motivated by the results and not necessarily by the pat on your back from your boss.
- People like to work with you
When people are putting together a team for a challenging project, they are looking for you. They like to work with you. When you have an assignment, top potentials are asking you if they can contribute. They know they get the opportunity to grow in your team, not only because they can contribute content wise but also because they can practice and sharpen their leadership skills. In a leaderless team everybody can be the leader.