I was challenged by a regular reader of my blog.
She is a middle manager struggling with a large company where the executive team drives everything that goes on in the organization.
Her question: how can I help my organization if I’m not the CEO?
I have two answers for her and you.
First, while you may not be the CEO, you influence your part of the organization.
By focusing on how to impact your department two things are going to happen: you’ll get a sense of accomplishment as you see progress, and your circle of influence will begin to grow as people will see what you’re doing and they may ask you to help them.
Secondly, most great leaders appreciate and need someone to tell them the “truth” about what is going on within the organization and how they can be better leaders and managers.
If you can find the courage to tell a leader what he or she needs to hear with humility and respect, you’ll be shocked at how often those leaders appreciate and even listen to your advice.
Of course, it is entirely up to them whether they accept you say, but that’s not your problem. And, in my experience, a good boss will rarely cause you any negative repercussions.
And even if there were to be a cost for speaking the truth, it is better knowing that now so you can think about finding work where leaders reward people for having the courage to make the organization better.