Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority from Clay Scroggins

Do you confuse your position within your organization with your ability to lead?

If so, it might not be a bad idea for you to check out Clay Scroggins and his idea of leading, even when you’re not in charge.

By day, Clay is the lead pastor of North Point Community Church located in Alpharetta, Georgia but it’s easy to see that teaching servant leadership is inherent and evident in every part of his life.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Clay deliver a workshop on shifting your mindset from “I just work here – I can’t lead” to “If I can lead myself successfully, I can help lead this organization in someway.”

Here are a few of my top takeaways:

1. Longterm leadership is cultivated by influence.

  • Clay’s point around this is that leadership isn’t dictated by authority, but by allowing everyone even in the lowest levels of an organization the opportunity to show their leadership abilities.
  • “No one can lead me better than I am leading myself.” – This was interesting because it drives home the notion that leadership starts within yourself and will have no choice but to manifest itself in your work.

[Tweet “”Longterm leadership is cultivated by influence” – @clayscroggins #FlipMyFunnel”]

2. It’s easier to steer a horse than to carry it.

  • Clay used this metaphor to describe how much more effective it is to allow a colleague or teammate to drive their own Ferrari (or responsibilities) how they’d like in order to produce the best possible results instead of dictating exactly how a particular task should be carried out.
  • This doesn’t mean that you throw them to fend for themselves – you’re still there to be a resource and to guide them in the right direction (especially if the task takes a wrong turn). However, this option gives them the ability to flew their leadership skills.

[Tweet “”It’s easier to steer a horse than to carry it.” – @ClayScroggins #FlipMyFunnel”]

3. Are you a wind in someone’s sail or are you a wind against someone’s sail?

  • One of my favorite takeaways from Clay was his notion that it wasn’t his talents, gifts or education that was the greatest benefit that he brings to his team – it’s his energy.

[Tweet “””Positivity is a fight for ‘we’ over ‘me.” – @ClayScroggins #FlipMyFunnel”]

If you’re ever in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out Clay at North Point for more gems like these or pick up his book, How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge.