I believe there are three directions every leader has to lead. Up. Down and Sideways. No matter who you are and where you are on the fabled organizational chart you are influenced by someone, influence others and work alongside others. How you navigate these relationships matters.
Leading Up deals with leading those who lead you. It challenges you to leverage your influence when the final decision is not in your hands. There is a fine line of manipulation and influence you have to walk here.
Leading Down challenges your motivation. How do you lead those who follow you. Would those people who are paid to follow you do so if they weren’t paid? What you are building determines how you relate to those you lead.
Leading sideways – This is perhaps the most difficult and least talked about form of leadership. Leading your peers. This challenges your vision. You can succeed departmentally and fail organizationally. Silo’s are created from a lack of intentional sideways leadership.
For the next couple of days I want to hit each of these directional leadership principles and give some practical suggestions to excel in every direction that your influence flows.