secret > Leading Without Authority. How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration

Which are the important things that this book tell us
Urged by the revolution taking place in our reality, even the concept of leadership that has worked in the organizational world that we all know is by now getting tired. You are not a leader for the position you occupy. The fourth industrial revolution, says Ferrazzi, best-selling author and entrepreneur, requires leadership that pushes everyone who works in an organization to innovate, invest and create value. And this book, compared to many others dedicated to the leaders, helps all types of collaborators – from managers to technicians, salespeople and so on – to discover and grow their own leadership, while striving to develop others’ one. And to do this he coined a new term, co-elevation, and brings readers into a multiplicity of worlds and situations, drawn from his more than ten years personal experience as a coach for important companies, such as General Motors Dropbox, Uber, Zoom. Co-elevation is the process that transforms professional relationships into a partnership that everyone can benefit from. It is certainly not easy, and often we just complain about what is happening around us, about how difficult it is to reach the objectives, without really doing something to reach the load of the problem and look for a solution together with the others. Co-elevation pushes us to look beyond: beyond the boundaries of the role, taking on more responsibility and also the risk of facing rejection; beyond the boundaries of the team, of traditional silos, recognizing as colleagues all those who in some way can hinder or help achieve their own mission and that of the company; beyond the boundaries of role expectations, because it transforms every employee of the company into a teammate, a coach, a person with whom proactively dealing with problems, enhancing the ability to provide solutions, growing.

Co-elevation is a mission-driven approach to collaborating on problem solving through fluid partnership and mutual accountability: when we co-elevate, we work with more positive energy, generate more innovative ideas, and act faster.

When we drive without authority, we take into consideration all the people who can be instrumental in achieving our goals. And we enlist them as members of our team. It is a unique opportunity to put aside the limits imposed by the resources we control and instead consider the impact we want to achieve. 

No matter what your role in the organization is, the way to be a leader is to start doing it. Now. Do the work before it’s assigned to you. This is a choice that is totally in your hands. And the way to start is to accept that you can do it. 

I want to live in a world that respects the value of diversity, recognizing that co-creating across so many different perspectives produces the most powerful solutions to the problems we face, where caring candor is a normal expectation, where avoidance of conflict, lies and lies told out of courtesy have no place in a relationship of mutual respect. I deeply believe that the partial trust people use to protect their fragile egos and positions of power will have no place in the radically interdependent and transparent world that is being born. 

Structure and contents of the book
The book is conceived as a “kit of resources”: for each of the rules of co-elevation, it offers a large number of very detailed examples, many quotes of how the organizations with which the author has worked have lived the experience, some research data, many practical and concrete suggestions on how to deal with the numerous pitfalls encountered on the path of an approach so distant from the usual organizational experience. 

After a brief introduction, the exploration of the key rules begins directly: 

  • Expanding the concept of team membership to anyone in the organization who can help us achieve our mission 
  • Accepting leadership as everyone’s responsibility 
  • Earning permission to act on co-elevation 
  • Creating deeper, richer and more collaborative relationships 
  • Developing with others through honest feedback and real commitment
  •  Recognizing and celebrating successes (and more) Feeling responsible towards the colleague who is in difficulty

At the end of each chapter, there is a very clear synthesis of the topic dealt with, which compares the rule of the old and outdated way of working with the new rule proposed and makes it even easier to follow the path. 

The rules proposed in this book may, at first glance, appear simple, perhaps even a little trivial, also because it is now scientifically recognized that our body, and in particular our brain, is wired for sociality. But we all know how difficult it is to bring this knowledge into everyday life and find the right behaviours to act to build authentic and productive professional relationships. The value of Leading without authority lies in the ability to bring these indications to the level of reality, to narrate them with true stories – or in any case plausible, and in which it is easy to recognize oneself -, stories of difficulty and success. What the reader will find there is the help of translating each suggestion into concrete and daily actions, into broad and rich dialogues, into examples of emails to inspire them to build their own approach. It is therefore a practical book, which makes us want to try, perhaps at some point a little emphatic with respect to our culture, but useful at all levels: 

  • for those who do not have a managerial responsibility to pass from the logic of “It is not my responsibility” to that of “It is the responsibility of all of us and of each of us”;
  • for the managerial level to overcome the still widespread power of silos 
  • for the executives to hear testimonies of how an agile and collaborative environment manages to affect results, through the right use of the mental and emotional resources of all collaborators.

 A message to be grasped.