Beyond Authority: Leadership in a Changing World



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Beyond Authority: Leadership in a Changing World (Julia Middleton)

Jerry’s selective summary

  • In summary: humility and self belief.

  • Need ability to cross worlds, to understand different cultures (private / public / voluntary sector). Go to an event you would not normally go to.

  • Need courage – but be sensible! Exercise your courage – but make a stand on the right things.

  • Jettison: giving instructions, intellectual rigor, strict hierarchies, and the instinct to tidy.

  • Where is the source of power? Power of position / intellect / personality / ideas / communication; power to reward / invest / connect (Italics = key when working ‘beyond authority’)

  • Know your role: are you a rebel or a transformer? Or a ‘useful idiot’ (adding credibility, legitimacy and authority to a dictator)?

  • Expect and cope with the vitriol - there will be strong voices ranged against you.

  • Keep going and never accept ‘no’.

  • Accept and give feedback even when it’s uncomfortable.

  • In the ‘outer circles’ it is more powerful to lead with humility.

  • Are you going to lead from the front, back, middle or side?

  • Are you independent? Often crucial at the outset. Test: are you prepared to walk away?

  • Establish and protect your personal brand.

  • Don’t be in it for yourself – enjoy the achievements of others.

  • Passion inspires others – but can get in the way; be ‘multilingual’ to communicate your passion to different groups – including the media.

  • Need a genuine interest in people, the whole person; cannot pretend. Maintain relationships.

  • Need networks – people who support and encourage; and people who will tell you the truth. The best are people from outside your world but who know it.

  • Invite non-Eritreans on your Eritrean Board – i.e. include outsiders.

  • Build coalitions and conspire – takes patience and compromise but does not require consensus. Consider starting with a guiding coalition.

  • Know your galaxy: recognise the suns (light and warm), emerging stars, shooting stars (short lived), moons (fading), black holes (suck in energy).

  • Gather intelligence.

  • Avoid distractions and diversions – delegate someone to sort emotive but less important issues.

  • Be patient – and ready for the right time.

  • Get the pace right – slow down to keep people with you but never losing momentum.

  • Creativity and fun: people keep with leaders who are brave – and fun; count the laughs at meetings; the outer circles are full of people who enjoy freedom.


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