How To Lead When You’re Not in Charge
13 April 2022
Leadership 102: Self-Leadership
How To Lead When You’re Not in Charge
I have learned a lot from this book. The most significant statement that stood out to me was “the first and foremost responsibility that is fully under your care is yourself. You are in charge of you. You are in charge of your attitude, your development, and your growth.” (Scroggins, 31). During my Central lessons I also found that I am living out my life for an audience of one also connected to my own thoughts about me being a leader when I am not in charge. That audience of one is God and how I live out my life matters to Him. It is what will be replayed as I enter eternity with Jesus. Following the example of Jesus is important to me so I gleaned three points that I plan on using though out the rest of the time God gives me on this Earth.
Point 1: “When you’re not in charge, there is something that wants to get into your heart and your mind and make you unhealthy” (Scroggins,78).
I need to remove passivity from how I function in my career and in my own family. I have a tendency to ignore issues until I am so upset that I just explode. Seems a bit more like being passive aggressive. I know I should speak up in the moment and not allow my emotions to build where I am making emotional decisions and not allowing myself to be an influencer. I try to grab some sense of power back and feel dejected when it doesn’t work. I have put blame on others and just given up, but the point of the book is to take responsibility for my own emotions and responses in all circumstances with people. “Avoiding the trap of sitting on your hands in resignation or throwing your hands up in frustration is crucial in leading without authority” (Scroggins, 77) The author hit home with me when he talked about how unhealthy it is to allow the bitterness of not being in charge take hold of my mind and heart. I need to choose to cultivate influence by understanding the needs of my boss and how I can help accomplish the goals that person has set out even if it is behind the scenes. No more time for self-pity, but get the job done to meet the needs of the people we are serving within the community.
Point 2: “It is your energy or attitude. A positive, can-do, forward-thinking, hope-filled attitude covers a multitude of leadership shortcomings” (Scroggins, 47).
Only I am control of my attitude. I can choose positivity. Central lessons talked about how many programs they have that start with the word hope. “Trust that where you are right now is exactly where God wants you. It’s where you’re supposed to be. If you choose to trust, it will broaden your perspective” (Scroggins, 49). Positivity can be the most powerful tool I can use because it does bring good energy to the table. The idea that even if the job seems pointless there is a way to make it happen in a positive way. Taking in how powerful Jesus could have been pushing around his authority, but how he chose humility and then on the cross he took his authority not that we avenge him but that we forgive our enemies. That is a such a freedom and builds an authentic character which I want to strive for not matter if I am in charge or not. Jesus built a unity within the small group of disciples which led to the foundation of the early church. Now I can see his plan unfolding of giving redemption to the whole world. Jesus is a great example and this author provided me my own path where “authority cultivates influence and prepares you to lead in the future” (Scroggins, 51).
Point 3: “There’s no trick to leading yourself well. It requires discipline and intentionality. Figure out where you are. Decide where you want to be. And make a plan for how you’re going to get there” (Scroggins, 39).
I found some truths I had not thought about in the book. In the New Testament, we are told to be light, holy, love, and truth. What is missing is fire because God alone is the Judge. I need to allow God to worry about the consequences. The most important point in the book is that I must learn how to lead myself so that I can live out my potential of leading others. “Spend some time praying that God will show you how you can be more trustworthy with the resources and authority he has entrusted to you” (Scroggins, 44). The author listed three ways to develop direct results in how I lead myself. The first is what I consume. What comes into my mind is what comes out of my leadership. I need to be intentional and remove those things in my life that are toxic and affect me negatively so that I can grow in my intentional leadership development. The second listed was what I attempt to do to stretch myself as a leader. Confront my insecurities. I also need to be comfortable with the mistakes I may make during my growth as that is an unending process. I liked how the author stated in one of his videos I watched, “don’t say I can’t do it, but I can’t do it now.” I can think of the big picture but break it down into smaller steps, so I am systematic in building my skills as the small details matter which builds my confidence in leadership. The third is the hardest step for me as it asked me to stretch myself by choosing who I surround myself with. I should be surrounding myself with growth minded people who will challenge me. To invest in myself is finding people willing to invest in me to grow within my leadership. Opening up and trusting others will be the most difficult part. I will need to break the comfort of my closed-off existence into the journey of growth so that I can become the best leader I can be in any circumstance.
My mind has many mixed processes whirling around, but the one step I am going to start with is changing how I think. I need to focus is developing my critical thinking process. When I think of the term critical, I think of the toxic competitive negative thoughts that celebrates my failures. But after the reading, I need to transform that into critical thinking where I search out my motivation which is my heart and mind. Then choose to not need credit but have a positive attitude while I help others to feel like winners. The bottom like is leadership starts within me. It is my mind, heart, emotions, and systematic planning of how I move forward that matters throughout this process. It seemed a bit intimidating at first, but as I work through the steps, I believe that I am ready to move forward in my intentional growth to become the best leader I can be.
Scroggins, Clay. How to Lead When You're Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority. Zondervan, 2017.