What is leading beyond authority?
Many successful leaders learn to lead in roles or circumstances
where they have clear authority, budget and accountability. When
they move beyond this - leading peers, partners and stakeholders -
the skills that brought them success may not be enough. To operate
effectively they need a different approach to leadership - the
ability to Lead Beyond Authority.
Common Purpose founder and Chief Executive Julia Middleton has
written a book on the subject of Leading Beyond Authority. In the
Authority: Leadership in a Changing World" she interviews
leaders who have either been successful beyond their authority
within their organisation - which she describes as the first outer
circle - or who have succeeded beyond their organisation - the
second outer circle.
"The lovely thing about the outer circles is that all that
really matters there is influence. And influence travels. You can't
transfer authority from one circle to another - but you can
transfer influence. And influence is mainly about character. I
believe influence increases if you behave properly and do what you
say you will do".
Lord Puttnam (David), former filmmaker,
President of UNICEF (UK) and advisor to the Department of
David Bell on Leading Beyond Authority
"As you keep going out of your core circle, and you get better
at it, your circles expand too. As you progress within your
organisation, your core circle gets bigger, often because you have
got better at negotiating your way around the other circles."
James Ramsbotham is Chief Executive of the
North East Chamber of Commerce and former vice-chair of the Esh
"Leadership, in and out of authority, takes courage; a broad
view; common sense; a small ego; the ability to focus and
concentrate effort; a preparedness to change your mind publicly for
the right reasons; and an ability to engage and influence
Sir John Rose, Chief Executive, Rolls