According to Boyd (2018), emergent leadership is the ability to steer things in the right direction without the formal authority to do so. These leaders are known to share a common trait: the ability to influence. This influence isn’t due to the individual’s hierarchy within the organization, but their ability to motivate those around them. In today’s Thrive, we will explore the role of Emergent Leaders in the Workplace and not only how you can be one, but also how you can encourage others to be one.
Do you want to get inspiring and growth-oriented messages to fuel your learning and be your best self? Click below to get the bi-weekly Thrive in Five messages sent directly to your inbox!
So What is an Emergent Leader?
Emergent leaders are typically perceived as highly influential since they possess knowledge in areas their teammates may require. Emergent leaders are informal leaders. When emergent leaders see a problem, they take the lead on finding a solution and step back once the problem is solved.
Organizations such as Google seek out emergent leadership as a key trait in their recruitment process. Google believes emergent leaders improve team dynamics as it keeps members in check, by knowing when and how to exercise one’s power.
As a manager, a teammate or co-worker who sees potential in a peer, here are a few ways you can leverage emergent leaders in the workplace:
Give these leaders space. By allowing them to engage in on-the-job learning, you promote experimentation and room for going above and beyond.
Provide them with mentally stimulating challenges that promote growth. It is crucial to foster a space that prevents the leader from seeking out external opportunities and helping them develop faster than they would elsewhere.
Help the leaders network and connect their work to the big picture. They will value their work most if it connects to their ultimate vision.
Apply the Five
Now that you’ve got some tips in your toolkit, let’s see how you can utilize emergent leader skills in the workplace!
- Read the 5 Key Traits of an Emergent Leader
- Ask your teammates, managers and peers to give you feedback on the five areas
- Identify the traits you are good at and those you can improve
- Leverage your traits in the workplace!
Apply your skills to achieve your highest potential, create room for growth and success on a personal and professional scale!
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Erin Kelly!
Maybe it’s from growing up in the Midwest, but I am not at all comfortable being in the spotlight. You’ll never catch me acting in a play or singing karaoke, but I love being a part of a team. Growing up playing softball, I hit in the #3 spot which meant I was supposed to keep the inning going so the clean-up hitter (usually the best hitter on the team) could come to the plate and hopefully score some runs. That type of role is my favorite—it doesn’t always mean a lot of glory, but it helps the team.
When I started at Evans 2 years ago, I came from an international relations background and was completely new to consulting. At first, I was worried about doing things the wrong way or stepping on someone’s toes, but I soon realized that being a consultant means that there are endless opportunities to help the client and there’s not necessarily a hierarchy—we’re all working to help our client the best we can.
I learned that one of the best ways to help the client is to connect with colleagues, learn about what they’re doing, and see how all the work fits together. Working in silos can only fix so much—in order to help with the bigger picture, it’s important to look at the entire team and connect the dots. There is always more than enough work to go around and you don’t need to wait for the client or team leader to tell you what to do. There are no clean-up hitters when it comes to consulting – we’re all working to help the team and the client!
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley, Mahi Chopra and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)