In the world of leadership you will often times hear various leadership phrases and sayings that I like to refer to as Leadership Colloquialisms. You know the phrases that every leader has come to be familiar with such as: Walk The Talk, Lead By Example, Everything Rises and Falls With Leadership, Attitude Reflects Leadership…
Let’s unpack the one of the more often spoken but rarely implemented Leadership Colloquialism known as “Leading-Up.” Leading-Up basically means that a leader challenges and exerts their leadership prowess at the next level or higher in their organization. This doesn’t mean that the leader attempts to flex their leadership muscle with their boss and tell their boss “How it is!” It simply means that a leader challenges, leads-up and ads value to the organization by being willing to push appropriate organizational envelopes and have the necessary conversations for the benefit of the organization.
Leading-Up is less about the leader being willing to lead-up and more about the leadership culture embracing the concept of leading-up. If the leading-up isn’t occurring, it’s time for the leader to take a long look in the mirror. Leading-up absolutely will not occur if the culture doesn’t embrace it. If the leader is truly willing to create a culture of leading-up and having the types of team members that are willing to lead-up they will create a win-win-win environment. Not only will the leader be challenged to grow on a consistent basis, they will have an opportunity to learn from individuals up and down the organizational chart, all while creating an environment of open communication.
If you want people to Lead-Up, create a culture that allows it. If you want people to Lead-Up, be prepared for strong opinions. If you want people to Lead-Up, don’t hire yes men and yes women, hire leaders. If you want people to Lead-Up, you better walk the talk and remember that attitude reflects leadership captain.
Share your thoughts on Leading-Up and your experiences with the ability or inability to Lead-Up!