How do you lead across, in a system designed to breed competition? The military promotion system is an up or out system.
All officers compete for a limited number of slots; therefore, you are always competing with your peers. So why would you help someone who is your direct competition?
I asked myself that question many times during the early years of my career. I did not receive an answer to my question, until I went to a three-month course on how to be an effective staff officer. More on this later…
This post is the fifth in a series about leadership based on John Maxwell’s book The 360 Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. In this post, we will discuss the principles 360° Leaders Practice to Lead-Across.
Creating opportunities to help your peers be successful gain the mid-level leader influence and credibility. John Maxwell’s seven principles you can practice to lead across are:
#1: Understand, Practice, and Complete the Leadership Loop
#2: Put Completing Fellow Leaders Ahead of Competing with Them
#3: Be a Friend
#4: Avoid Office Politics
#5: Expand Your Circle of Acquaintances
#6: Let the Best Idea Win
#7: Don’t Pretend You’re Perfect
Great leaders don’t use people so that they can win. They lead people so that they all can win together” (p. 167).
While competition is a natural desire, winning at all costs will cost the mid-level leader when it come to their peers. The purpose of the 360° Leader is to add value to the organization through a collaborative spirit. In addition, 360° Leaders avoid office politics, stay away from petty arguments, ask for advice, and never let personality overshadow purpose.
Follow me. I’ll walk with you”
– John C. Maxwell
This is the motto of the 360° Leader who can lead-across the organization.
The next post will examine the Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Down. Until then, spend some time this week practicing one principle to lead across.
So why would I help my competition? Because helping others expands my influence, which makes me a better leader.
Dr. Kim Moore
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