"To Hidden Leaders everywhere. You are the powerhouses driving creativity, productivity, and innovation in business" - Scott K. Edinger and Laurie Sain
|How many Hidden Leaders leap into your mind?|
I have always been fascinated by growing any plant that I can get my hands on. As I grew up and entered the "real" world my love for growth transferred to people and relationship building. As a manager, I love finding that special "thing" in people and mentoring them to grow and develop. It's a humbling experience to see my people grow in their field and become leaders. I'm a true believer that the best leaders don't have titles or are a designated position. The best leaders are "Hidden Leaders".
I was fortunate to be given a copy of the new book "The Hidden Leader: Discover And Develop Greatness Within Your Company" by Scott K. Edinger and Laurie Sain. The book launches today and it's a book that every "official" and "unofficial" leader should read. That means you! It's a book that you will find yourself referencing frequently as you look around your company or within your own team. The best leaders can be found in unusual places in every company. Leadership is what people do. Hidden Leaders are all over and can be your best advocates and "powerhouses". You just need to look a bit closer to find them.
My favorite aspect of this book is how interactive it is. I'm a bit of a tech geek and there are plenty of resources to use in this book. There are numerous online resources including worksheets and analytical tools for the mobile phone, tablet, and PC. There are numerous QR codes that you can scan with your phone to catch tools at your fingertips. There's more! The book offers a very helpful appendix that has several tools to discover and develop Hidden Leaders. There is also a Hidden Leader community that you can join online to connect and share thoughts with others. These tools are what make The Hidden Leader such a great book to keep handy on your desk.
Scott and Laurie really capture the traits of Hidden Leaders and what gifts that these people possess. They are enthusiastic leaders to those that they work with and a smart company will realize what champions they are. They can bring and develop excellence within a company and really help drive positive change. Hidden Leaders have integrity, form authentic relationships, focus on actions, and are very customer purposed. They can make things happen without having a leadership title or position. Wow. Why would anyone in a "leadership" role not want to take the time and energy to seek out Hidden Leaders?
Hidden Leaders don't need to possess all 4 of the listed traits above to be effective. Perhaps they are newer to an organization or less seasoned. If a team member has a few of these traits they should be identified and mentored to develop the skills that they lack. Moreover, not everyone wants to be pulled up into the leadership ranks. Some people are fulfilled by making a difference right where they are. You can't just stop at finding Hidden Leaders. Managers need to pave the way and develop a strong, nurturing, accepting culture to help grow them. Anyone who feels that a company culture is oppressive or negative may not step up to be a leader no matter how focused and passionate they are. There needs to be a culture of acceptance, innovation, empowerment and ownership in order for people to thrive.
The authors really delve into what makes up a hidden leader. These leaders are willing to speak up with courage and make decisions. They have integrity and listen while being effective mentors. They lead without people realizing it. They are skillful at building relationships and really use their empathy and generosity to do so. Hidden Leaders have compassion, value others, are very honest and remain very curious. They really focus on acknowledging others and being transparent with their intentions. They skillfully seek out solutions and resolve conflicts without added drama. Doesn't this urge you on to find Hidden Leaders within your own team or organization? I can think of a few from my past experiences, yet I never had an effective label for them.
Effective Hidden Leaders are "customer purposed". This is a critical distinction from just being "customer focused". We all think that we are customer focused and being advocates for clients every day no matter what our positions. You know from personal experience that this isn't true! How many irritating horrible customer experiences have you had just in the last month? I bet quite a few. "Customer Purposed" Hidden Leaders take service to the next level. They really strive to give value to the paying customer. They form strong authentic business relationships and really view their role in terms of what value that they can provide. They really "get" the value promise of an organization and take ownership. They strive to make a difference and seek out ways to "make things right". They are always enthusiastic, have balanced communication skills, have a sense of urgency, an ownership mindset, and are true champions of change. These Hidden Leaders are gems. You really need to refine how you will find your own Hidden Leaders or even become one.
We all have a responsibility to locate and mentor our Hidden Leaders. Needless to say, they are people that surpass goals and bring in the numbers. You need to know what to look for, how to grow your Hidden Leader network, make a plan, and go! It's in all of our interests to find Hidden Leaders and deploy them throughout organizations. They are an invisible army to encourage others and bring about solutions and change.
Scott and Laurie really hit home with this book. In addition to all of the great tools that they offer, they present some real world examples of Hidden Leaders. They also point out "false" leaders. Anyone who interacts with people at any level will benefit and enjoy this book. There are so many Hidden Leaders in our communities and volunteer groups. Think of what we can achieve if we grow these important people? Look at the silent movers and shakers that you work with. They deliver so much, yet ask nothing in return. Pick The Hidden Leader up today and start seeking out the Hidden Leaders around you and work to deploy them.
Here's a link to buy The Hidden Leader: Discover And Develop Greatness Within Your Company Amazon.com
Happy reading! Let me know what you think about this wonderful read! Better yet? Become a Hidden Leader yourself!