You are called to lead laterally all the time. You may need to negotiate the division of tasks with a colleague. You may need to align on strategy with another department. Or you have an idea that can help the business, but a different team needs to implement it.
Leading your peers feels a lot harder than leading your direct reports. Many executives struggle to effectively influence across the organization.
Greta Thunberg opened up my eyes to what is possible in terms of leading without authority. A 16-year old influenced a million students to join her on the streets on her quest for a better planet. Imagine what we could all do if we became better at leading our peers.
To understand how can executives lead laterally, I turned to Petros Oratis, one of the world’s experts on the topic. Oratis has been doing extensive research, including his doctoral thesis, on lateral leadership. He is also the co-founder of Lateral Space, a lateral leadership consultancy.
This is a controversial idea. I had a lot of heated debates with friends about this over the holidays. But, I had to share it. Success feels easy when you are on the right track. The challenge is getting there and staying there. What do you think?
How can you motivate your team when times are difficult? For one, you need to resist your urge to micromanage. Also, you may need to ask your employees to work less rather than more. Bruce Daisley, Twitter’s EMEA VP and best-selling author of The Joy of Work, has done a lot of research on this topic. He shared refreshing, counterintuitive insights about modern leadership in our discussion captured in this article.