Project Management

Find the Hidden Leader

Scott Edinger and Laurie Sain

How does an organization ensure that its corporate culture recognizes, supports and enables high integrity? An important step is to identify the “hidden” leaders who help facilitate solutions on project and programs. Here are some examples of how they can be found.

Whenever one meets a hidden leader, the integrity is obvious in the leader’s conversations, suggestions, responses, and actions. While hidden leaders display integrity in all their activities, sometimes much of their work is done in solitude or within a small group. This can make it difficult for those uninvolved in the team to see the leader’s integrity in action.

The challenge for managers is observing visible evidence of integrity when the hidden leader is not in the immediate vicinity. In many cases, the manager must watch and listen for this evidence in the comments, responses, and actions of others — those who depend on hidden leaders in the organization and know the leaders’ integrity can be depended on in the toughest situations.

For example, Scott was helping a boutique training firm develop and implement a cohesive strategy, part of which was a new training program created by the firm’s owners. They were very proud of it and planned tomake it their keystone product. A number of the employees in the firm had privately confided in Scott that they felt the program, as …


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"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

- Chinese Proverb