This is an excellent article in the Leadership Blog that rather had the punch line of the title buried in the body of the article.
My experience has been that leaders will assert themselves in meetings or in how they manage their groups, but the article makes the case that there are hidden leaders in your organization that you might not be aware of.
The point of the article was that hidden leaders demonstrate leadership through four key attributes:
1. They lead through relationships. They get along with others and value others, interacting well with others.
2. Focus on results. The hidden leader maintains a wide perspective and acts with independent initiative. They use the end to define the means, which can mean working outside strict procedures and processes to get results. Unorthodox comes to mind.
3. Remains Customer Purposed. This is different than customer service; it is an awareness of how an action in a specific job affects the customer.
4. Demonstrate Integrity. This was actually the first one listed, but you can see from the others that hidden leaders would act with integrity. They will be focused on the welfare of everyone, not just themselves and/or their team.
The article goes on to say that flatter organizations are more likely to have hidden leaders, but I should think, based on my own experience and that of our larger clients, that larger organizations are more likely to have them, but recognition might be more problematic.
So, here’s a little thinking for you over the weekend or this afternoon: who in your organization fits these characteristics.