Summary of How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge

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7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Clay Scroggins, the lead pastor at the North Point Community Church in the Atlanta, Georgia, suburb of Alpharetta, offers insight from a faith-based point of view into how to become a leader, even from a position without any particular rank. He explains how to cultivate influence in order to leverage authority, and teaches that building influence requires a broad perspective, willingness to serve and hard work. Scroggins presents practical strategies for nonleaders to become good followers, seize opportunities, and apply their knowledge and expertise to every problem so they may become leaders. In this bestseller aimed primarily at an American evangelical audience (other readers may also be intrigued by the pastor’s message of servant leadership or may struggle with his parochial, vernacular style), Scroggins expresses his belief that God has a plan for everyone. He preaches that God put the boss in place for a reason and that with faith and hope, hard workers can ascend to similar leadership positions. The essential ingredient for leadership, Scroggins maintains, is humility. Great leaders recognize that their job is to serve, not to be served.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to cultivate influence, the hallmark of a great leader;
  • Why future leaders must have a strong identity, a positive attitude and must first be good followers; and
  • How to resist passivity, embrace risk and challenge the status quo while maintaining respect and love for your superiors.

About the Author

Clay Scroggins is the lead pastor of North Point Community Church, the original and largest campus of North Point Ministries, the largest church in America. He holds a doctorate with an emphasis in online church from Dallas Theological Seminary.



Leading Without Authority 

So-called positional authority is a myth. Leaders aren’t the only ones who can transform a company. A lack of opportunity doesn’t constrain you; only your perception that you lack opportunity limits you. In a progressive firm, your capacity to lead is bound only by your willingness to take on challenges. Don’t make excuses or blame others. Understand whatever authority is available to you, and use it to solve problems and cultivate influence.

Leading without authority is a special skill that requires self-awareness and a strong identity, but it doesn’t require an executive title. Great leaders don’t need important titles to cultivate influence. Some of the greatest leaders in history – such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi – didn’t have fancy titles. Real leaders don’t need to remind their staff who’s in charge. Leaders should inspire their employees, not oppress them. If you wait for an opportunity to lead, it won’t happen. Take initiative at every step of your career to demonstrate your leadership...

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