Some people believe they can’t make a difference in their organization unless they’re in charge. They think that unless they’re the CEO of the company, or the superintendent of a school, or the president of their club, they’re not empowered to do those things that would really make their organization great.
Jim Collins is a professor at the Stanford Business School who’s written several books about the workings and leadership behind great companies. His website has several articles and MP3s in which he discusses his work. Here are two pieces I found addressing the question of whether or not you really need to be in charge to create greatness.
“For many people, the first question that occurs is, ‘But how do I persuade my CEO to get it?’ My answer: Don’t worry about that… each of us can create a pocket of greatness. Each of us can take our own area of work and influence and can concentrate on moving it from good to great. It doesn’t really matter whether all the CEOs get it. It only matters that you and I do. Now, it’s time to get to work.”
“Take responsibility to make great what you can make great. And let others do it in the areas that they can make. And if the whole company doesn’t do it, you can’t change that. But you can take responsibility for your area.”