Leading Up: How to Influence When You’re Not in Charge

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What does it mean to "lead up" within an organization? How do employees in the middle of a company positively influence those above them? In this episode, Joanna Meyer talks with Brian Gray and two 5280 Fellowship alumni about the challenges and opportunities of leading from the middle. 


On the risk of leading up:

"It's not for everybody to accept. I just was in a specific time that I knew I could do it and others couldn't... I did feel like as a Christian and in my current life situation I could bring a very different perspective and a different way of leading to that situation, and so I chose to do that knowing full well that it could end my employment at that agency."

On the stewardship of leading up:

"All leadership is a stewardship opportunity. It's an opportunity to steward our gifts, our perspective, our emotional intelligence, our access to the data, and our institutional history. We steward that on behalf of the mission and the goals that we have. "

On providing solutions:

"A boss does not want to hear about how something didn't work. They already know it didn't work, and probably six other people have already told them it didn't work. I think it's super important to come with that right attitude and to have a plan. To say, "Here's something I thought of that we could do to move forward."


Learn more about the 5280 Fellowship. 

Interested in launching a Fellowship program in your community? Check out our latest initiative, CityGate.

Books about Leading Up:
Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win by Michael Useem*

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins*

Download the episode transcript.

*–Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Denver Institute when you shop at smile.amazon.com.