This essay will be a bit different in that I will be writing about a discovery I made in the office of a dentist I worked with. I call what I uncovered the “sub-group leader.” This leader is not the actual leader, the owner, or the person where the real power resides. Yet, they hold power over some of the staff.
Sub-group leaders are employees and usually talented at what they do and therefore have value to the real leader. In small professional offices, there is only room for one. In large organizations, they will be found at every level where employee groups work together. Whether they are a positive or a negative force depends entirely on the actual leader’s behavior and the environment they create. If that leader is weak or overbearing, it creates the ideal environment for the sub-group leader to emerge and thrive.
Suppose the real leader communicates well, nurturing and empowering their key people to an elevated level of dialogue, as would occur in as flat an organization as possible. In that environment, the sub-group leader cannot exist or will be exposed. In that situation, they will self-eliminate because they love their power and will go elsewhere seeking to be a sub-group leader once again. Why? Because being in power over others is, to many, the “aphrodisiac” they feel it is.
If relationships between the true leader and their key people, including the inner circle, exist as a pyramid with multiple levels of authority, it is almost guaranteed that a sub-group leader is running a part of the organization and being paid to do their thing.
Someone leads my staff—I think it is me that does—Maybe, maybe not?