Leadership as a Service
But the best leadership—the kind that people can mention only with evident emotion and deep respect—is most often exercised by people without positional power. It happens outside the official hierarchy of delegated authority.
In this example, leadership is not about extracting anything from us; it’s about service. The leadership that the Mikes of the world provide enables their endeavors to go forth. While they sometimes set explicit directions, their main role is that of a catalyst, not a director. They make it possible for the magic to happen.
In order to lead without positional authority—without anyone ever ap- pointing you leader—you have to do what Mike does:
- Step up to the task.
- Be evidently fit for the task.
- Prepare for the task by doing the required homework ahead of time.
- Maximize value to everyone.
- Do it all with humor and obvious goodwill. It also helps to have charisma.