This is Part 4 of 4 of blogs detailing lessons learned during a training class I attended at GiANT Impact headquarters in Atlanta last week. The leadership training course is based on John Maxwell’s book under the same name. Today we will examine Leading Down.

If you would like to catch up on Parts 1-3 click on the links below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Leading Down

John Maxwell spends less time on this subject due to the fact that most books and corporate training programs deal directly with this top, in most cases almost exclusively.

Because 360 degree Leaders are by definition nonpositional, they lead through influence not position, power or leverage. These leaders use this approach with those under them as well as alongside and above.

The key lesson that was taught on this subject was for all of us as leaders to remember the challenges we all have in our roles leading up and leading across are the same challenges the people we are leading are facing with their relationship with us.

The key question in this relationship:

“What things can you do to help those who work for you overcome their own leadership challenges?”

  • The Tension Challenge: How can you help your team handle the pressure of being caught in the middle?
  • The Frustration Challenge: How can you help your team when faced with following an ineffective leader? (hopefully this is not you, but it could be other leaders in your organization that your team needs help navigating through)
  • The Multi-Hat Challenge: How can you help your team members that face the challenge of wearing multiple hats? What can you as their leader do to help them be successful in this role?
  • The Ego Challenge: How can you help some of your team members who might feel hidden in the middle of the pack and suffering from not feeling that they have the level of influence they desire?
  • The Fulfillment Challenge: It is common for leaders to like the front more than the middle, how can you help your team members that are especially struggling with this issue?
  • The Vision Challenge: It is more difficult to champion the vision when you didn’t create it, what can you do to enable your team members to embrace and eventually champion your vision when they did not create it?
  • The Influence Challenge: What can you do to better equip your team members lead beyond their position while recognizing it is not easy for anyone to do this?


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