Thoughts on Leadership: Are You Looking Up?

Perspective matters. A big part of pushing yourself and growing as a leader, lies in the ability to shift your perspective and consider things from a different angle. Leaders like to view things from the top down, from a place of control, but what about looking up?

Leaders are constantly thinking about their organizational chart asking themselves questions like the following:

  1. How do I find the right talent?
  2. Who do I need to hire next?
  3. Where should I look for candidates?
  4. What qualities do I want my top leaders to embody?

And all of these questions are valid and important.  If one wanted to visualize these questions about the organization using an organizational chart, one might create something like this:  

In other words, the focus for most leaders is on team members that are “below” them on the organizational chart.  We look to hire team members who who report to us and fill a need or fix a challenge that we are facing.  For my entire career, I have identified gaps and sought to fill them with Team Members as displayed above. 

What if your next team member/partner is “above” you in the organizational chart?  

Have you ever considered that the next best move is for you to find someone to lead YOU?  For most entrepreneurs, this goes completely against our grain.  I mean…we chose a lifestyle that was far removed from reporting to someone else.  But what if hiring someone above you on the organizational chart took your business to the next level?  

Would you be willing to “report” to someone if it 10x’d your business?  In 2010, I was running a successful real estate brokerage in St. Louis—and I was keeping 100% of my commissions.  The challenge?  I didn’t know what I didn’t know!  When I read Gary Keller’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, it became clear that I needed guidance —I needed systems, I needed broker support, I needed coaching.  Effectively, I fired myself as my broker/manager/coach and hired someone “above” me on the organizational chart.  This move enabled me to take my business to the next level.  And despite now having to split my commission, I greatly increased the size of my business and make far more “net” money than before.  

So as you look to 2022, consider who you need to hire to fall in “below” you on the org chart.  But, also, think about looking up?  Is there a situation where you may need to find someone to report to?

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