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How to Lead When You're Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority
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How to Lead When You're Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,488 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Are you letting your lack of authority paralyze you?

One of the greatest myths of leadership is that you must be in charge in order to lead. Great leaders don't buy it. Great leaders lead with or without the authority and learn to unleash their influence wherever they are.

With practical wisdom and humor, Clay Scroggins will help you nurture your vision and cultivate influen
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Zondervan (first published 2017)
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3.87  · 
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 ·  1,488 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-dev
I am not Christian. By any means. I grew up protestant, but that ended quickly--like age 7. I don't believe in organized religion by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in spirituality.

I also have read an ungodly amount of self-dev books. It's part of my job to listen to them. The vast majority of them are useless regurgitations of stale patriarchal concepts.

Those two things being said, this is a great book. It is very Christian, and Mr. Scroggins--who is some kind of pastor at a hu
Jason Barmer
There are some good insights in this book about having influence in your workplace even when you aren't the one calling all the shots. My most significant takeaway from this read was that when we see problems that need solutions, we should drive for those solutions, even if we aren't sure we have all the authority we need to make it happen. Collaborate with others, build the case, and be humble about it because we might just learn something valuable in the process.

With that said, there are a few
Erik Madsen
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
You’ll enjoy this book if you’re looking for the intersection of repetitive explanations, management cliches and God’s plan.

I wasn’t looking for that.
Kelsey Grissom
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Few things are more obnoxious to me than a writer who spends the entire book trying to be cute.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess, honestly, I should have known, or at least looked at the publisher and realized this was going to extra religious. Pastor Clay Scroggins made sure that every one paragraph contained mention of the divine. He also uses his own experience as leader of his Congregation, giving the entire work a very campy vibe, with the occasion pop culture reference tossed into the mix (Beyonce included). It is not that what this leader has to say, in between the passages of the Bible, isn't solid advice. ...more
Steve Carr
I might be guilty of rating this too low. I went into it knowing only the title, so I don't think I had unrealistic expectations. But this is an important topic, especially as motivated millenials explore how to interact with their superiors. I'm just not sure it delivered as it should.

While there were some "hidden-gem" observations here, the book felt like it was sewn together from patches of sermons and small group studies. It was far more "church-centric" than I expected it to be.

Again, per
Wendy Walters DeMent
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After listening to the webcast of "How to Lead When You're Not in Charge," I could not wait to read the book. I was not disappointed. Important take aways include that you are in charge of you and that no one can lead you until your first learn how to lead yourself. You can't wait around for the authority to lead, because authority is largely irrelevant. Influence is the currency of leadership.

I found this book to be very inspiring, while at the same time instructing how to be effective at lead
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
"Oh those poor animals on Mr. Jones's Manor Farm. They work all day and don't get any respect. In fact, it's like they exist solely to strive for him"

This book would've been perfect for Snowball.


Personal Note: The book in itself is not a four star book. The style is fairly colloquial and the content is not very novel. It received four stars because this book helped me sort through all the B.S. lies I tell myself to feel good about my own passivity.
Shorel Kleinert
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book that covers many of the mistakes we make when we take a passive, "afflicted" view on life and work. Rather, we should take ownership and work like a boss. Never going against what the leadership says, but rather working to accomplish their end visions. There were a lot of *ouch* moments in this book for me, but hey that's what reading should do, eh?

You don't need to be a leader to act like a leader.

He asked, “So if you didn’t like the outline, why wouldn’t you just change it to
Costen Warner
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book for me at a crucial time in my career. My favorite point from Scroggins was taking the initiative to lead yourself before you ask to lead others. Also liked his tips on trying to critique ideas without critiquing the people behind those ideas.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Sam
Sibling's Day gift from my brother, Sam.
Overall, two things stick out:
1. You have the power to raise or lower the voices in your head. You need to be aware of the people who speak into your life and moderate those voices accordingly. The things you think about yourself heavily influence what you do and who you become.
2. A cheerful heart and happy attitude towards work goes a long way.

I appreciated this work overall but did not find it too mind blowing. It has good lessons, though, and useful
I really enjoyed the lessons and approach of this book. The author is accessible and while sometimes trying a little too hard to sound cool, does a good job of being a voice of authority without talking down. I also appreciate the emphasis on being better where you are, rather than being about moving up the chain of command.

The most pleasant surprise for me was the strong Christian slant to the book (I found it in the business books section). Because the author is a lead pastor, he uses the Gos
George P.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My friend Carter McDaniels reviewed this book for, but I thought I'd give my two-cents' worth too:

“Influence always outpaces authority,” writes Clay Scroggins. “And leaders who consistently leverage their authority are far less effective in the long term than leaders who leverage their influence.” Scroggins identifies four behaviors that will help readers leverage their influence: lead yourself, choose positivity, think critically and reject passivity. He also gives sage ad
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Casual read for people in their early twenties, plain and simple. Although while reading this I have found some motivation to persevere in my line of work, most of the time it was likely to predict what the next advise will be like. No offense, but 15 quid is a rather expensive price for such modest amount of "meat" in the book.

At some point author mentions mental issues that make it harder to control his temper, adding that there is a biological explanation for that. Few chapters earlier the sa
Christopher Litsinger
I choose to read this book with someone I mentor, who is in a technical role, but working to influence their organization. This was a huge mistake. I feel betrayed by this book.
First of all, this book was written by a Pastor. I don't have a problem with that, but it turns out that this book is really about church leadership. I tried hard to keep an open mind and look for general principles that apply, and I found a few -- but there are hard rules espoused in this book that essentially start with
Mark Manderson
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some great practical knowledge.
Top takeaways are:
Our behaviours flow from our identity.
The most important conversation you have each day is the ongoing one you have with yourself! 
Discover what has shaped your identity by writing out a timeline of earliest memory to present of the 5 highest highs and 5 lowest lows of your life (then realize how this has defined you up to now.)
What you believe about why you are on Earth will deeply affect the opportunities you see before you.
Great leaders maintai
Oct 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnotfinish
I got about a third of the way through this before I had enough. It's not the Christian POV - I love inspirational books and books with a Christian perspective. However, this one was annoying. I found it repetitive, too 'cutesy', and misleading. It's not a leadership book - if you want a leadership book, I recommend John Maxwell. The only folks that are likely to profit from reading might be those in charge of churches; otherwise, look elsewhere.
Nathan Farley
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for every intern in every organization. Period
Ashley Chowdhury
Probably the best book I have read on leadership. Challenging but practical.
David Lasley
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are so many leadership books out there, but most are targeted toward those heading up their organizations or in significant places of influence. In Scroggin’s book, the intended audience is anyone who ISN’T in charge. It’s a brilliant concept because truthfully it applies to all of us. Even CEO’s, lead ministers, etc are accountable to someone- maybe a board of directors, for example.
Lindsey and I have both said we wish we had this book when we first were hired in our organization. The ch
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the most helpful leadership book I've come across. It's just an absolute must for anyone who ultimately answers to someone else, but has vision, passion, and drive to make things better in their organization (or even in their family). Clay outlines practical and convicting areas of behavior and thought-life everyone should be paying attention to– especially those of us who want to grow and protect our influence. For anyone who wants to be a better leader or simply a better human, this re ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was not quite what I was expecting, but in the best way possible. In an attitude-challenging, kick-in-the-pants kind of way. Half of the pages are covered in hi-lighter marks and quotes from each chapter have been regularly copied out onto the white board in my office. I think it was written with younger professionals (especially those in ministry, as the author is) in mind, but Scroggins' principles certainly apply across (and up) the board. For me, this is a keeper and will be a re-r ...more
Niels Andersen
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I didn't do a lot of research about this one. The title and description sounded interesting enough to buy it. That's on me.

Basically the author uses biblical examples and his own experience as a minister at various American church networks to give advice. The tone is chirpy and trying hard to be cute but I couldn't finish it.
Erik Rostad
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timely book that reframes what it means to be a leader. Hint: it's not about authority. Rather, leadership is about influence and you can begin gaining influence today. But influence doesn't come by force or manipulation, it comes through service. It comes by loving others as you love yourself. And love means wanting what is best for someone else.
Owen Hughes
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Clay really explains clearly the importance of leading up and leveraging your influence when you lack authority. A great understanding that you don’t need to be ‘the guy’ in charge to lead and change things. So many great tips and ways to leverage where you are right now. Will be applying a lot of things from this book to my life and work in Ministry.
Lauren Brookshire
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on leadership I’ve ever read. Will reference it often. Super encouraging and thought-provoking.
Ross Slough
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Some great practical tips and advice for leadership character building. Not life changing but easy and fun to read.
Tara Balma
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It nice to hear that being in leadership will not always be perfect. As a person who has not served in ministry in a very long time, this was such a refreshing reminder what ministry is about. I will definitely be adding this book to my personal collection.
Joshua Skjoldal
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Great tips for those leading but not in charge. A must read for those who lack authority but desire to have influence.
Amanda Woods
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must for anyone wanting to go next level!
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Clay Scroggins is lead pastor of North Point Community Church (NPCC), where he provides visionary and directional leadership for the local church staff and congregation in Alpharetta, Georgia. As the original and largest campus of North Point Ministries, ranked by Outreach Magazine in 2014 as the largest church in America, NPCC averages over 12,000 people in attendance.

Clay works for Andy Stanley

“Remember, leadership is the ability to motivate people to work harder, longer, and smarter, because the vision of the end goal has been painted so clearly.” 3 likes
“Influence always outpaces authority.” 3 likes
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