Patton's Picks from the PMA Library: Leading Without Authority

October 2020

"Leading Without Authority" by Keith Ferrazzi 

If you're looking for book recommendations in the productivity and professional development genre, Patton offers a weekly summary of some of the essential and emerging titles from the PMA Library.

Ferrazzi's newest title, Leading Without Authority, is a guide to developing collaborative strategies to help you succeed. Like his genre-defining classic, Never Eat Alone, a title which elevates the importance of maintaining relationships with others and being generous with your talents, his new book focuses on uplifting those around you. His new term, co-elevation,  is the overarching theme of the book: which is the ability to elevate a cause even without direct authority.


1. Impact defines power. Position does not define power: it is your impact on your colleagues that really defines your power within your organization. Your team is not limited to direct reports; expand your reach to everyone you need to succeed, all the while improving your relationships, your presence among your peers, and your impact in the workplace. Be sure to monitor the way your impact those around you, but also take notice of how those around you impact you. Ferrazzi's notion of "Co-development" addresses the need to uplift those around you as well as yourself, and that coaching and professional development can come from anyone, not just your boss. 

2. Develop your R.A.P. Ferrazzi advises readers to form Relationship Action Plans for each of your key work relationships. Coming up with these plans, and being able to register your impact on others by noting them for resentment (negative) to co-elevation (great) is a valuable way to keep track of where you stand among your community at work. 

3. Take the initiative. Be a leader regardless of the authority bestowed upon you. Don't wait for the assignment, practice leadership as needed. Each person has the right to lead by serving, caring and sharing with others. Create a culture of co-elevation; he believes the concept can lift nonprofits in particular by advancing the efforts of those around you to impact the sector at large. 

Keith Ferrazzi is the author of the bestsellers Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone. Ferrazzi has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Fast Company. He was the youngest person to make partner and hold the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte Consulting, where he raised Deloitte's brand recognition from lowest to a primary position, spurring the highest growth rate in the industry.