One of the key concepts that any good community organizer knows is that people who are “formal” leaders (presidents, pastors, CEO’s) may not really be the genuine leaders who have a following and influence. Those genuine leaders might include a custodian, a quiet teacher, and/or other people who have the confidence and respect of others — in other words, a following. During my nineteen year community organizing career, for example, one way I used to identify which leaders I should approach was by standing on the top of church’s steps after services and looking to see who was at the center of various “clumps” of people chatting.

This new article in the Harvard Business Review says basically the same thing, though it takes the author six pages to say it.

However, what’s really important about it are these two images that go along with it. They vividly demonstrate the importance of looking behind formal leaders:

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change.