March 12th, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

In my current role as a Lean consultant, I am often asking others to change their work patterns.  I don’t have the ‘authority’ to get them to change.


Often, we as leaders are asked to take on an opportunity where we don’t necessarily have the authority to make all the decisions.  This could be in a project manager role, a support role from a central function, or even as a volunteer in the comomunity.  I believe that to be successful in a role like this, there are 4 must have atributes to achieve success:

1) A disciplined process – If you are asking others to change in a systematic way, yet they see that you are not organized and bring across a haphazard approach, it will be difficult to influence others.

2) Ownership – Clearly, those you are trying to influence must know that you also are bought into the solution.  It has to be a ‘we’ approach to completing a task, rather than a finger-pointing ‘you’ approach.

3) Continuous learning – To influence others, you need to be out front in terms of understanding the topic.  You need to stay up on the most recent trends on your topic, be aware of technology, and other important nodes of communication

4) PASSION for the topic – I believe this is one of the MOST important attributes.  What is your topic?  Whether it is eliminating waste in healthcare to achieve improved quality and reducing cost for the patient, or if it is how to build a rube goldberg machine, you must display passion for the work you are looking to complete or improve.

I am sure these aren’t the only attributes.  However, if you are trying to lead others without authority and aren’t succeeding as much as you would like, ask yourself how you are doing in the 4 attributes listed above.  You may need an adjustment!

What other attributes to you feel are important?  You can share by commenting below.