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What’s the most challenging aspect of leading your peers?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What’s the most challenging aspect of leading your peers?

  • Doing so without appearing to be bossy: 47.68%
  • Getting them to respect my position: 11.64%
  • Separating friendships from the work we have to do: 22.9%
  • Feeling insecure relative to my peers’ strong skills: 4.63%
  • It’s not challenging at all — I excel at it: 13.14%

Avoid being bossy. Leading peers can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. It seems the biggest challenges folks face are separating friendships from leadership and leading the team without appearing bossy. Finding strategies to avoid appearing bossy is a critical component of successfully leading a group of your peers. Involving others, ceding authority and appealing to professionalism are solid techniques for getting the results you need without harming friendships in the process. For those of you who believe you excel at leading your peers, I encourage you to seek a 360-degree feedback picture — things aren’t always as rosy as one might believe.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”