43 To Lead without Authority, Know How to Herd Cats

Do you know how to run a committee in a way that gets things done? Or to direct a work group when you don’t really have a manager’s authority? Much of the work getting done today comes from fostering collaboration among people who don’t share identical goals. But whether you’re brainstorming a start-up with entrepreneurial pals, chairing a committee, or serving as counsel to a blue ribbon panel, leading folks who don’t report to you can be frustrating. It can be like herding cats.

A person who is adept at leading across functional, political, and organizational lines is my friend and longtime mentee Sherry Little. In 2009, Sherry became a founding partner of Spartan Solutions, L.L.C., a company ...

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