If you’re a Project Manager, I would bet you have found that, at times, you are required to lead in all directions, up, down and across. Doing so makes you a 360 Degree Project Manager. Even when you aren’t a project manager, I suspect that all consultants are 360-degree leaders.

I’m an avid John C. Maxwell reader, so I’m going to refer to his book “The 360 Degree Leader” in this blog. I would recommend this book to everyone. Those that consider themselves as leaders and, especially, those that don’t.

Rick W 1

Here is the table of contents; I’m sure you will gain something from it.

The seven myths of leading from the middle:

  • Myth #1 – The Position Myth: “I can’t lead if I am not at the top.”
  • Myth #2 – The Destination Myth: “When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead.”
  • Myth #3 – The Influence Myth: “If I were on top, then people would follow me.”
  • Myth #4 – The Inexperience Myth: “When I get to the top, I’ll be in control.”
  • Myth #5 – The Freedom Myth: “When I get to the top, I’ll no longer be limited.”
  • Myth #6 – The Potential Myth: “I can’t reach my potential if I’m not the top leader.”
  • Myth #7 – The All-or-Nothing Myth: If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead.”

The seven challenges 360-degree leaders face:

  • Challenge #1 – The Tension Challenge: The pressure of being caught in the middle
  • Challenge #2 – The Frustration Challenge: Following an ineffective leader
  • Challenge #3 -The Multi-Hat Challenge: One head…Many hats
  • Challenge #4 – The Ego Challenge: You’re often hidden in the middle
  • Challenge #5 – The Fulfillment Challenge: Leaders like the front more than the middle
  • Challenge #6 – The Vision Challenge: Championing the vision is more difficult when you didn’t create it
  • Challenge #7 – The Influence Challenge: Leading others beyond your position is not easy

John explains the three areas that a 360 leader must focus and the principles they must follow. Those are:

The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Up:

  • Principle #1 – Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well
  • Principle #2 – Lighten Your Leader’s Load
  • Principle #3 – Be Willing to Do What Others Won’t
  • Principle #4 – Do More Than Manage – Lead!
  • Principle #5 – Invest in Relational Chemistry
  • Principle #6 – Be Prepared Every Time You Take Your Leader’s Time
  • Principle #7 – Know When to Push and When to Back Off
  • Principle #8 – Become a Go-To Player
  • Principle #9 – Be Better Tomorrow Than You are Today

The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Across:

  • Principle #1 – Understand, Practice and Complete the Leadership Loop
  • Principle #2 – Put Completing Fellow Leaders Ahead of Competing with Them
  • Principle #3 – Be a Friend
  • Principle #4 – Avoid Office Politics
  • Principle #5 – Expand Your Circle of Acquaintances
  • Principle #6 – Let the Best Idea Win
  • Principle #7 – Don’t Pretend You’re Perfect

The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Down:

  • Principle #1 – Walk Slowly Through the Halls
  • Principle #2 – See Everyone As a “10”
  • Principle #3 – Develop Each Team Member as a Person
  • Principle #4 – Place People in Their Strength Zones
  • Principle #5 – Model the Behavior You Desire
  • Principle #6 – Transfer the Vison
  • Principle #7 – Reward for Results

And last, John writes about – The Value of 360-Degree Leaders:

  • Value #1 – A Leadership Team Is More Effective Than Just One Leader
  • Value #2 – Leaders Are Needed at Every Level of the Organization
  • Value #3 – Leading Successfully at One Level Is a Qualifier for Leading at the Next Level
  • Value #4 – Good Leaders in the Middle Make Better Leaders at the Top
  • Value #5 – 360-Degree Leaders Possess Qualities Every Organization Needs

Here at netlogx, I’ve seen these qualities in most everyone working here. These qualities are especially evident at the top. I love working under great leaders.

Start Leading – Start Influencing!