Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in July, 2012

As a colleague of Nan’s, I periodically post here about titleless leaders, and watching the Olympics got me thinking.

For the past few weeks, my daughter and I have been anxiously awaiting the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Hearing, the common phrase of “All eyes will be on London as the Olympics begin,” makes us pause in front of the TV. I do not have any athletic talent and balance is a skill I struggle with even on a good day. So, I’m amazed with the incredible skill of all these athletes, especially the gymnasts.

As these exceptional athletes come together in one place and I learn of their different backgrounds and personal stories, I am aware of something we do have in common – two titleless leader behaviors: determination and discipline. (continue reading →)


I heard recently from someone who just finished The Titleless Leader, and was describing several changes in the workplace that troubled him. No longer was his organization a trusting and collaborative place to work. After layoffs and multiple reorganizations, the culture he enjoyed before had been crushed.

So what’s a titleless leader to do? He posed two questions:

“What are the strategies to lead people and survive in this environment?”

“How does a titleless leader affect change and avert this madness?”

I hear similar comments often in my work. Here are a few places where titleless leaders can start their thinking:

  • Define what it means to you to “survive in this environment” – i.e. what will it “look like” if you survive?  Without that self-understanding of what you’re looking to do, it’s hard to (continue reading →)


There are powerful shifts changing the workplace that include:

1. How people see work and their leaders has been altered by The Great Recession
2. We’ve entered an era of distrust
3. The way we get information and do our work has dramatically changed

Most people are unprepared for the shifting trends at work. What about you? What skills do you have today?  What skills do you need tomorrow?

There are several. You’ll find a few of the needed skills listed in an article I wrote for Great Leadership, called 5 Essential Skills for Contemporary Leaders

But there’s one that’s a must have – being a titleless leader. Knowing how to build influence and lead others, no matter your role, is now a necessity.


I’m Beth Pelkofsky, a colleague of Nan Russell’s at MountainWorks Communications, and periodically I’ll be posting here about titleless leaders.This is my first one.

The other day, I happened to be watching my favorite morning show. I was half-listening as I made my breakfast. Then, I heard the story of “The Bad News Bears.” I stopped to listen and I thought, Wow! These two teenagers are awesome titleless leaders. Why?

  • They willingly shared their passion and gifts to a sport they love
  • They saw an opportunity to serve and they made it happen
  • They made it personal for the team
  • They were well-intentioned
  • They are inspiring to their team, parents and community.

Today’s workplaces are filled with frustration, distrust and cynicism. People are searching for leaders they can trust which isn’t about title or authority. It’s about taking your words seriously and aligning your words with your actions.

Titleless leaders are everywhere and all ages. Check out what these two young teenagers did.