How to Lead When You're Never in Charge - Francis Ho
It is a common perception that one has to have authority over others in order to have a voice of opinion and make them do the right thing. When things don’t go our way, we often blame our superiors for not doing their job well and think the only way of changing this is for me to replace them and be the manager. But once you are in that role, you will realise there is always someone above you making the decisions, unless you work for yourself of course. This was my way of thinking until I worked in different organisations and realised the grass is not greener on the other side, and the only constant is myself. I have found that I can effectively lead by using empathy to influence behaviour change in my team and the wider company.
In this talk I will share with you my own experience of “leading” in various different organisations ranging from startups to large enterprises without any official title. I’ve found that as an individual contributor, I have often underestimated my ability to create outcomes that benefit everyone. The key factor in creating behaviour change in organisations is influence, and this talk will cover how to create influence and wield it for good. Testers often talk about empathy, and I’d like to extend our understanding of it to include how to use it to influence consensus inside our teams.
The key takeaways of this talk are:
- What it means to lead
- How to gain trust through empathy and understanding of context
- How can you lead others without any authority
- How to influence behaviour change in your organisation
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