Northouse (2016), discusses how some people are leaders because of their formal position within an organization, such as employees in upper management or executive leadership. Others are defined as leaders due to the way that group members respond to them. Leadership that relies primarily on occupying a position within an organization is assigned leadership. Examples include: team leaders, managers, department heads and administrators.
On the flip side, emergent leadership generally refers to a leading member of a collaborative group. No matter the title this person holds, they exhibit emergent leadership through their behavior. They may not be assigned to a particular position of leadership, but they emerge over a period of time.
Working in a financial institution, we have to be very vigilant by making sure items that reject on our reports are handed in a timely manner. With respect to financial trades, there is potential gain loss that could occur if we are not working together and do not make the price protection cut off for a trade. As an emergent leader and subject matter expert, I am in charge of reviewing all the reports and handling whatever needs to be escalated.
For example, there was one time where we had over 40,000 trades that rejects for one of our big clients. As soon as received the report and saw the high volume, I opened a group chat to communicated to the team, onshore and offshore in India, letting them know the issue we had and discussed how we were going to resolve it as a team. Because other people in my organization were supporting and accepting my behavior, leadership was acquired by process. However, since my manager had been the assigned leader she was in charge of making sure everything was running smoothly and as organized as possible.
Whether you are a manager, entrepreneur, business analyst or specialist, emerging and working in a collaborative environment for the purpose of completing goals and outcomes reflects positively upon your character and strengthens your bond as a team. This continual effort also benefits the organization by creating efficiency and motivated behavior to get the job done.
Northouse. P. G. (2016). Leadership Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications