Leading Without Authority with Keith Ferrazzi

With his first two books, Never Eat Alone and Who’s got Your Back, Keith Ferrazzi taught us the importance of building collaborative relationships. In his latest book, Leading Without Authority, Ferrazzi reinvents the art of collaboration to break down silos, transform teams, and improve overall performance of individuals. He explains that in a world of constant innovation and the unrelenting need for agility, dealing with a complex chain of command can be paralyzing.

The new world of work requires new rules, says Ferrazzi, and proposes a new workplace operating system he calls co-elevation. He argues that you don’t need a formal title and direct reports to be a true leader; you just need to learn how to turn colleagues into teammates who will work with you toward a shared mission. The main idea is to care about other people’s success and development as much as you care about your own. The beauty lies in being able to work outside traditional org chart structures to get the right people on the team and to co-elevate—go higher together.

Here are Ferrazzi’s eight new work rules for leading without authority through co-elevation.

Rule One: Who’s Your Team? No longer composed of people from only one department, teams in the new work world are made up of everyone inside and outside the organization who will help you achieve the goal. You must be proactive about developing authentic relationships with these people.

Rule Two: Accept That it’s All on You. Leadership is not something bestowed upon you. It is everyone’s responsibility to do whatever it takes to create value for the team and the organization.

Rule Three: Earn Permission to Lead. Instead of persuading people to get on board, learn how to serve, share, and care in order to earn the right to invite team members to join the project. Vulnerability is the key to building connection and commitment.

Rule Four: Create Deeper, Richer, More Collaborative Partnerships. Don’t turn to collaboration only when you can’t do the job alone. Understand that collaboration and partnership are essential for creating transformational ideas and completing projects.

Rule Five: Co-Development. It’s time to take responsibility for your own development. Look to teammates for candid feedback about the skills you need to develop—then offer the same service to them.

Rule Six: Praise and Celebrate. Never underestimate the power of praising performance, showing gratitude, and celebrating success.

Rule Seven: Co-Elevate the Tribe. Don’t ignore the team member who isn’t totally on board yet. Enlist the help of others on the team to elevate that team member to improve their contribution. The goal is to cross the finish line together.

Rule Eight: Join the Movement. Once you’ve put your co-elevation skills to the test, teach others to do the same. Help this become a movement that drives corporate culture.

If you’ve read Keith Ferrazzi’s other books, you know how vulnerable, honest, and open he is. He continues that path in Leading Without Authority through personal stories and real-life examples of people who put his principles into practice. Not only is this book entertaining to read, it offers practical advice you can apply on the job immediately. This might be the most important book you read this year!

To hear host Chad Gordon interview Keith Ferrazzi, listen to the LeaderChat podcast and subscribe today. For more information about Keith Ferrazzi, go to www.keithferrazzi.com. To access the handout mentioned in the podcast, go to www.keithferrazzi.com/leaderchat.

Leave a Reply