Leading Performance Without a Title

by Stacey Barr |

Modern-day wisdom says that nothing changes without leadership from the top. And that’s the excuse many give for not pursuing the changes they know are desperately needed. Performance measurement is one of these changes that is desperately needed, but rarely driven from the top.

Despite this modern-day wisdom, there is overwhelming evidence in support of the idea that anyone can be a leader, no matter their title or position or education or connections.

Let’s hold this to be true. Let’s explore what it might take to lead a performance measurement culture from deep within the bowels of your organisation, where right now you might be suffocating and stumbling around in the dark, waiting for the senior leadership team to open the doors and switch on the lights.

Stop waiting. Reframe your situation to this:

Lead from passion, not position.

It starts with your thoughts, words and actions.

How you think about performance measurement will affect how you feel about it and what you say and do about it. Your first step is get clear about your own beliefs and attitudes about what performance measurement is about and what a performance measurement culture is.

Then your words and actions can follow. Your words include the stories and explanations and advice and questions you reach out to others with. Your actions include how you live your philosophy of performance measurement and how you hold space and hold hands for others to try it too.

When your actions and words and thoughts are aligned and coherent, then…

You develop capability, confidence and credibility.

Capability comes from practicing performance measurement for yourself and with others, in a way that is aligned with your beliefs and attitudes and knowledge about performance measurement. It creates a very powerful personal learning feedback loop, where the results from your actions can reinform your thoughts, and your reinformed thoughts can refine your actions.

Confidence comes from practicing expressing your thoughts about performance measurement to others. This expression might be in the form of questions or advice or stories. The more you practice this, the more you reinforce your own position on performance measurement and the more authority you will feel on the subject.

Credibility comes from practicing what you preach, taking your own advice, living your process. This is role-modeling and when people observe you behaving in the same way you’re inviting them to behave, and see the tremendous results you’re getting, they can’t help but trust you.

Influence comes with practice and time.

When you continue to practice leading from your passion rather than from your position, you’ll have more and more influence. More people will notice you. More people will listen to you. More people will follow you. And that’s the result of good leadership.


If you’re a leader without a title, what are your experiences in getting influence? Please share your story and ideas and learning on the blog!

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