There’s a growing urgency for everyone to step up and lead up, down, and across all levels of our organizations today. It’s a theme I am hearing a lot more these days. Here’s some powerful research and perspectives on this topic I pulled together in writing my new book, Growing @ the Speed of Change.

Our only chance for contributing is to quit waiting and wondering and do something. We serve ourselves and others best when we do not wait. Initiate, with the organization and all involved people in mind. No, we are not in charge but we can act. No, we are not formally designated leaders. But we can lead.”
Geoffrey M. Bellman, Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge

Everybody can lead at every level; there are no excuses. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the front line or the top line….do you excite and motivate people? Do you bring excellence and vision…everybody should be good at leading, whatever their level in the hierarchy.”
Michael Useem, director of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of many articles and books on leadership.

Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.”
Jim Rohn, (born 1930), American entrepreneur, author, and professional speaker

There is a set of skills and capabilities that are useful at the lowest levels; you exert it through your peers and in team settings (Wharton management professor Anne Cummings says.) Leadership in the lower ranks can involve everything from prioritizing tasks and managing time to getting people to accomplish goals and resolving conflicts. Such commonplace actions are important because they help an organization at any level meet its goals.
“Why Everyone in an Enterprise Can – and Should – Be a Leader,” Special Report on Leadership in collaboration with McKinsey Quarterly

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself but each one of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (1917 –1963), 35th President of the United States.