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70% of businesses suffer from a lack of employee engagement.

  • Can you influence your business team from within?
  • If you change your perspective, what performance improvement is possible?

In The 360-Degree Leader, John C. Maxwell notes that most leadership comes from within an organization, not from the top.

Attitude is Everything

Everyone can influence others up, down, and across the organization, especially those in the middle. It is a matter of perspective. For instance,

  • What the difference between power vs authority?

When we realize that influence, or power, comes from the choices we make and not position, we better appreciate the importance of leadership.

  • Employee engagement: whose responsibility is it?

Everyone in the organization has ability to influence.

Leadership Challenges

Maxwell addresses a number of challenges. For the majority of us who are not at the top, he suggests that you might be in a great place where you are, assuming you buy in to the company vision and believe in the leader.

Some observations from The 360-Degree Leader consistent with this website include:

  • Leading Up – employee engagement includes adding value and supporting the boss unless you know they have acted unethically or criminally. Encourage management to set the example and live the corporate values.
  • Leading Down – we should know what to own and what to delegate; understand the distinction between authority vs. responsibility.
  • Leading Across – recognition is important to everyone, but understanding team roles and continuing to contribute is the mark of a team player.

Maxwell also addresses fulfillment, suggesting that we view winning in terms of teamwork and that we place team needs above personal success.

Leaders who care about people as individuals motivate their teams. They demonstrate true leadership by conveying a genuine attitude of concern that others will will follow naturally.

Leadership Myths

Maxwell also debunks several leadership myths from the practical perspective that employees should not feel entitled. Instead, we need to earn our position based on experience and demonstrated performance.
If leadership is about the ability to influence, employee responsibility increases as your performance demonstrates that you are capable of more. Over time, authority and the implied responsibility that goes along with it increases.

Other important nuggets from The 360-Degree Leader include:

  • The Position Myth – leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit.
  • The Destination Myth – you learn leadership in the trenches and make mistakes on a small scale that can be overcome easily, first!
  • The Influence Myth – Those without experience overestimate the importance of a leadership title. Position is not the same as the ability to influence – this must be earned.
  • The Inexperience Myth – the higher you go, the more you realize multiple, competing factors. More than ever, the ability to influence becomes increasingly important.
  • The Freedom Myth – I’ll have more freedom when I get to the top. Not true; as you move up, responsibility and pressure increase – grow as you learn.
  • The Potential Myth – work to reach your potential, not the head office. You can make an impact from anywhere.
  • The All-or-Nothing Myth – don’t define success as being at the top. Value the position where you are and do what you can.

An organization that instills concepts of team roles stays well ahead of the competition.

If you believe you can influence others from anywhere within your organization, you can develop leadership skills and have an impact. Be someone who adds value and makes positive change and influence by helping others!

Developing Leadership Skills

Create an environment of engaged employees by communicating your values, and read more about teamwork, team building skills, team building exercises, and being a team leader.

Tom Crea

Tom Crea is an author, leadership speaker, and leadership development coach who travels from Pittsburgh, PA.  Tom's passion is sharing lessons learned in how learning to delegate made his life easier.