How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #28)

How to Lead When You're Not in Charge Clay Scroggins  notes by Kingston S. Lim

Below are my personal notes of How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books.


  • Leaders who consistently leverage their positional authority to lead are far less effective long term than leaders who leverage their influence

Ambition and Leadership

  • You were created with ambition because you have the drive to create, contribute and influence things around you
    • That influence is cultivated by building relationships
  • Give space for people to thrive through time, attention, care and kind correction
  • The way to lead is to serve, give to them and they are more inclined to give back

Leading Yourself

  • Your greatest responsibility as a leader is to lead yourself
  • You need to own your own desires and ambitions, no one can lead you any further than you’re leading yourself
    • Determine your own personal vision for your future, know what you want for yourself, if you can’t figure that out, how can you help others when you can’t even help yourself
  • With the small choices you make when no one else is looking, you are proving to yourself your future ability to lead others
  • Self-Leadership Principle #1: Model Followership
    • Become a leader when not in charge is modelling what it means to be a follower
    • Other followers will gradually follow your example
  • Self Leadership Principle #2: Monitor Your Heart and Behavior
    • There is feedback all around you that can make you better, seek it, analyze it objectively and use it to your advantage

Employee Satisfaction and Engagement:

  • Satisfaction of employees is directly related to their ability to see how what they do fis into the big picture
  • A strong sense of ownership and making a crucial few connections between their job and how it drive results directly relates to morale

Thinking Critically

  • Stop thinking as an employee, start thinking as an owner
    • Owners care more deeply as their future depends on the organization
    • Remember that if you want to lead, you have to be invested
  • Put your reputation on the line based on the success of the organization
  • Instead of being critical, think critically
    • People who are critical want you to lose, they’re motivated to tear something down
    • Being critical means pointing out something wrong with you to make me feel better about myself
    • Critical thinkers, on the other hand, want you to win. They’re motivated to make something better
    • Critical people are often selfish self servers and perceived as such, they alienate potential followers, critical thinkers are building something bigger, and encouraging others to follow suit
  • Stop giving others a grade and start lending them a hand
    • When communicating a critical thought, do so with a helping hand, not a grading tone. Assure them that you’re on their side
    • Realize that people are creatures of emotions that don’t like being judged, present yourself as a friend
    • Always present a solution to problems you raise, only bringing up the problem leads to the perception that you are the problem
      • Be known as a value add, a problem solver

Rejecting Passivity

  • Passivity is letting others make decision for you and disengaging from the organization
  • You have to be willing to add responsibilities to you current role. If you’re idle, a great first step is to look around for things on one else is addressing
    • Clean out the closet: the things that need to be done, but no one wants to do. Find a solution for it. 

Challenging Decisions:

  • Any change to the present system will be perceived as a criticism of past leadership
  • Great leaders challenge with the best motives, the unselfish ones of improving what is being done. 
  • Great leaders are keenly aware of what the boss is most interested in
  • Know the macro problem the boss is trying to solve, and seek another way to solve it
  • Great leaders challenge quietly, but aren’t silent
    • Build relationships with management as they can back your ideas and lend credibility, don’t challenge loudly as it may be perceived as an affront to the boss’ capabilities
  • Champion publicly, Challenge privately
    • If your boss has an idea you agree with, openly support it as it builds the relationship and their support base, challenging privately allows the boss to save face
  • Great leaders know how to lead when they have the authority because they’ve been leading long before they were ever given the position

If these brief notes, peaked your interest in How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge, you can check it out on Amazon here.

And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.


All Previous Entries:

The Magic of Thinking Big: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #1

Millionaire Fastlane: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #2

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #3

30 Lessons for Living: Tried & True Advice from the Wisest Americans: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #4

Awaken the Giant Within: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #5

The End of Jobs: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #6

Slipstream Time Hacking: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #7

Think and Grow Rich: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #8

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #9

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #10

The Obstacle is the Way: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #11

Meditations: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #12

Why Loyalty Matters: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #13

Walden: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #14

Self Reliance and Other Essays: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #15

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #16

Letters From A Stoic: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #17

On the Shortness of Life: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #18

Principles Life & Work: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #19

As A Man Thinketh: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #20

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements without Giving In (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #21)

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #22)

Man’s Search for Meaning: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #23)

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #24)

Unlimited Memory: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #25)

The One Thing: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #26)

You Are Not Your Brain: The 4 Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #27)


One thought on “How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #28)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s