In the book, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander show us the 12 things we can do to go on a journey of possibility, rather than living a life full of hurdles and constraints of our own making.
These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.
The Fifth Practice: Leading from Any Chair
In this chapter, Roz and Ben discuss the act of leading from just about any position or level within the team or organization. They offer the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:
Great leaders care about the engagement level of the team members. Most leaders act from a position of authority and channel their power to direct others for results. Thoughtful leaders are constantly seeking information about the team’s engagement. They want more information and more relationship.
Capable leaders also know that they will not be correct all the time. Everyone makes mistakes and tries to minimize them, so hopefully, others will not notice them. Great leaders own their mistakes by acknowledging their missteps and openly discussing them with those people who are impacted by the events.
Great leaders know that their true power comes from their ability to make other people powerful. Thoughtful leaders will allow others to play the leadership role on various occasions. A monumental question for leaders in any organization to consider is: How much greatness are we willing to grant people?
A great conductor in an orchestra does not make a sound. His power comes from making other people in the orchestra powerful. A leader’s job is to awaken possibilities in other people.
When a leader helps others realize the power they have within, his team members’ eyes light up and become engaged. They can be sitting quietly on the edge of any chair and listening. But, they are also observing with commitment and fully prepared to take up the baton when the time calls for someone to step up.