Leadership Up and Down

Leadership has many different spheres. In this section we will look at the two closest to yourself and your team. If you think of your team as a 2D circle that is your influencing circle down. Then having an outer circle encompassing this first circle which represents your oversight up. You're involved in both of these obviously and you mediate between the two. Below we will use phrases and words to describe these dynamics and then explain how you should influence up to your oversight and down to your team.

Leadership Task

Down - You lead your team to accomplish a task. You use empowerment, coaching and skills to accomplish this to equip your team to successfully achieve success and do your best to develop your team members. This is great and how you lead down.

Up - You are lead by an oversight who delegates a task to you. They are accountable to their oversight as you are to them. If you do not accomplish the task then they are dropping the ball just as you are. However you are assigned the task and most of the time your oversight is overseeing many tasks and needs to trust you to work independently without much help. Keeping in mind you still need the same resources that you give to your team from your oversight, usually more concisely as you are a leader, you need to succeed without being micro-managed. You lead up by influencing up and making your oversight look great by accomplishing the task successfully and release your oversight as much as possible to oversee other tasks. Just because you're not bugging them constantly about details doesn't mean they won't notice you. Having a team leader with heaps of initiative and wisdom is a stand out.

Selling Leadership Tickets

Down - No great leader spends their time telling people how poor or useless their teams are. Indeed those kind of leaders fall flat on their faces. You should 'sell tickets' which is a phrase I heard from a really great influencer once. What is meant by this is you're selling tickets to someone in your team. Just like you would a great movie you'd seen:

"you have to check out that movie released last week! It was so funny and entertaining I'd watch it again - we're going to buy the DVD."

"you have to meet Tom he's a really great Web designer. I've never seen such well designed and well communicated websites in my life. He'd be an asset to any team."

You see? You highlight the positives to encourage team members and show others how great people are and influence the team member to move forward in their future and empowerment. You introduce your team to your oversight like this and you bring life into your team. People want to meet these awesome people and they take giant leaps forward in their commitment and journey to success.

Up - in the same fashion sell tickets to your oversight. Show that you have the ability to encourage your leaders by refining some of their best attributes to others. This shows your appreciation and respect to your oversight And communicates to others that you're an encourager and person to lift others up. For instance:

"Elisabeth is just the best oversight I've ever had. She handles pressure like a baker handles dough; turns something not so great into something amazing!"

please check back for more great examples of Leadership up and down. Return back to the Team leadership page for more great content.
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