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Leading without “hierarchical power”

Lateral leadership

Anyone who has managed a large project knows how it is:  management expects you to drive jobs forward successfully – and this often goes hand in hand with great responsibility for strategically important change processes. On the organization chart, you as the project manager are usually wedged between all kinds of power structures – hierarchically official but without an elevated position. Management structures can be formally unclear in a similar way when teams work independently. In these kinds of situations, successful leadership is highly demanding. In my experience, the only way to be effective is through smart communication and by considering a wide range of interests.


Leading without “hierarchical power”

Issues that may concern you if you have management responsibilities without corresponding authority.

* You lead a project team in which some team members are your seniors in the organisation. The extent to which they are accepting your role and thus make the group effective has a lot of room for improvement.

* Being the executive department of the managing board, you have to implement and communicate many demanding topics. High ranking executives regularly criticise your approach.

* Although you feel that you involve all stakeholders before making important decisions, your proposals usually go down like a lead balloon when it comes to making decisions.

Or are there other issues that concern you as a leader with responsibility, but without authority? Let’s talk about it.


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