When we think of leaders, we often think of strong Type-A personalities that can motivate change and lead with a commanding presence. What is overlooked however, is the behind the scene players that are often taking on valuable leadership responsibilities without the spotlight or recognition. While many organizations look for these strong type-A’s to fill their management and executive roles, they’re ignoring how other personalities are contributing to the growth and success of an organization. After all, it’s these hidden leaders that are a driving force for accomplishments at the front lines of your business.
Last year, Scott K. Edinger and Laurie Sain published a book entitled The Hidden Leader, which speaks to this concept of spotting leaders within your organization beyond the traditional executive team. They list four key traits in a leader: demonstrating integrity, leading through relationships, focusing on results and remaining customer focused. In a collaboration heavy organization such as ours, we find the ability to lead through relationships to be critical — it’s one of the first traits we look at whether hiring externally or promoting from within. This trait allows the hidden leader to build trust with a strong base of people that are on board with their ideas and are willing to help.
When looking at your own organization, there are three key steps that will help you find, support and recognize these hidden leaders.
Looking beyond the more obvious traits of a ‘leader’ will be the first stepping-stone to harnessing these hidden leaders.