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Leading Up

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

I was sitting in a leadership training class, and the group was talking about how to lead and inspire their teams. We were discussing the characteristics that make a great leader and how to become more effective as leaders.

But then the conversation took a turn. One of the participants asked the instructor, “This is all good, but how do I get my boss to embrace these concepts and philosophies?”

It hit me. To be a great leader, you have to lead your people and inspire them, but the bigger challenge we face as leaders is to Lead Up!

What do I mean by Lead Up? Leading Up is figuring out how to get your leader on board with what you are trying to do. What happens when your boss is not in agreement with where you want to go? When you are pushed in a different direction by management than where you truly think you should be headed?

I’ve talked previously about a Navy submarine captain who vowed to never give an order again but rather to give intent to his team and let them make the decisions. Sounds simple enough. But the genius in this approach was getting his commander to agree to this new idea of leadership.

As you continue on your leadership journey, remember that the most important person you will lead will likely be your boss!

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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