Leading Beyond the Org Chart

Published December 1, 2016

Dave, how do I decide if grounding my child includes grounding from soccer practice?
Dave, would you speak into a situation that my spouse and I are having with our blended family?
Dave, what do you think of this logical consequence plan for our son?
Dave, I have a race on Sunday, should I do this workout today?

These are all questions that people in my life have presented to me just this week. None of these questions are related to their vocations or their place on an org chart. Yet, all these questions have something in common… leadership opportunity.

All too often we associate the practice of leadership with our position, rank, status, or job. In doing so we overlook some of the most meaningful leadership opportunities we are presented with. The roles we have that do not show up on an organizational chart make up the very fabric of our society – friend, parent, mentor, neighbor. Arguably these are the most important roles in our lives.

For too many years, I applied my leadership learnings exclusively to my vocational life that clearly fit on an org chart. With just a bit of thought, transferable principles can be drawn from every great leadership teaching and prove beneficial in countless ways beyond our org chart leadership.

  • Performance management teaching helps us guide our children to making wise choices.
  • Strengths-based leadership transfers to advising a friend who is choosing a volunteer role.
  • Crucial Conversations teaching (viewed here on GLSnext) has great application to any relationship.

What leadership opportunities do you face that do not fit on an org chart?

 We all want to reach our full potential. Do not neglect to develop yourself as a leader even if (or especially if!) your influence is “outside the org chart.”

About the Author(s)
Dave Bushnell

Dave Bushnell

US Field Team Director

Global Leadership Network

After 19 years as a local church pastor, Dave Bushnell is now a US Field Team Director for Global Leadership Network, growing the GLS across 13 Western states. He traces his most impactful GLS moment back to the prompting he and his wife, Karen received at a GLS to expand their family from two children to five through international adoption.