Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in October, 2012

As a colleague of Nan’s, I sometimes post about titleless leaders. This week an article caught my attention, in Fast Company: Why You Need To Lead With Your Heart.

Words like kindness and compassion are generally thought of as ‘no no’s’ in today’s workplace. But they are essential qualities of a  titleless leader. They encourage natural followership and workplace results. Not quite sure? Ask yourself who you would rather follow, a person who is considerate or someone who sends those scud missle emails to the whole world at 2 am? Hmm…

Ok you say, what is it for me? A recent Gallup Study confirms “…people feel worse about their work, bosses and organizations than ever before, they reveal a remarkable 71 percent of American workers are either not engaged in their jobs–or have become actively disengaged. Clearly, all this discontent is bad for business. Gallup estimates that it’s costing $300 billion in lost productivity every year.” This is a huge issue for American businesses. This is where titleless leaders step in.

Want to be part of the solution? Here are 3 actions (continue reading →)


Last week, I conducted a workshop in Alaska on being a titleless leader. We’d planned a couple days of sightseeing before the event, so my husband and I found ourselves waiting in a long rental car line, after a five hour flight. It was early evening on a Friday, and we were anxious to get settled at the hotel and find a relaxing place for dinner.  Unfortunately that wasn’t to be anytime soon.

The single representative was struggling to resolve an issue for the woman at the front of the line. We were a few customers back, with more pouring in behind us as people made their way from the baggage claim area. Finally, the frustrated rep called for help, mentioning that she was new here.

Her boss arrived and fixed the problem she had been struggling with for 10 minutes. Barely glancing at the lengthy line, he walked back into his office, leaving an inexperienced young woman to handle everyone.

I’m amazed that someone who leads a customer focused operation would walk away from so many customers.

If he’d been a titleless leader, operating with an ego-detached attitude of contribution and service, the impressions he left would have been positive, not negative ones. A titleless leader would have:

  1. Anticipated the line might expand after a flight and been there to assist (continue reading →)