Most of the places I’ve worked doing software development have been less than ideal. There is almost always a lot of room for improvement. While this might be typical, I didn’t like it. I want to work in a field where things are better than this. But I wasn’t in charge – it wasn’t my job to make the improvements we needed. Where was the leader we needed to create a better workplace?
Let’s explore two sides to this:
“Leading from Within.” We are not in charge, but we want to help make things better.
“Leading from Without.” We don’t even have a job, but we want to make a positive impact in our field, and to find the place where we can start Leading from Within.
I believe there is a mindset and approach we can employ to take a leadership role regardless of our situation. This quote from Margaret Wheatley is a good starting point: We need leaders who put service over self, who can be steadfast through crises and failures, who want to stay present and make a difference to the people, situations, and causes they care about. Can we become a leader like this?
- The idea of leading without authority
- How to take the initiative to lead when appropriate
- Techniques and ideas for ways to influence improvements