Print Icon

Not displaying correctly? View in Browser

Information and Resources for Your Business and Life

Inspiration, Tools & Tips!                                               JUNE 2021


My New Book is Published!!!

Disciple Me” is a companion to the readers’ step-by-step journey to understand how to connect with God authentically as a Christian. It is a chronicle of the journey the reader embarks upon, hoping at the end the journey they will have a stronger walk with the Lord. The overall theme and fundamental idea is to develop disciples of Christ. Here, the author leads readers to explore, through questions and answers, the cry of the heart to understand how to choose Christianity. The book allows the reader to go at her/his own pace to understand what the requirements of Christianity are and what they are not.

For more information and to purchase your copy, Click Here


The Informal Leader

Working for the Leadership and the Company?

Many people are looked to as leaders within a church, ministry, company or department even if they aren't officially part of the management team. Managers, supervisors, executives or any others with formal power and title within an organization can reap huge benefits from cultivating and developing these existing leaders in their work units. On the other hand, informal leaders can work against the formal leaders in the organization. Which direction will the informal leader take? Cultivating leadership skills and offering a variety of resources that co-workers can explore to further hone these techniques can help them choose to support not tear down.

Welcome back. Did you evaluate your online presence to make sure it is working for you? What type of first impression are you making? Do you have the tools in place to communicate who you are and what your mission is, clearly.  Are the people who are looking for you able to find you? As pointed out in the introduction, the informal leader can take one of two paths in the organization. 
This month we will discuss how to encourage and empower the leader who chooses to support leadership. In July, we will discuss how to encourage and empower the leader who uses influence for personal gain whether it helps the company or not. In August we will look at the possibility of you being the informal leader. Identifying what to do in your company, and/or your ministry also what to do if you are the informal leader. 

As I do every month, thanks to everyone who reached out. I get more and more excited as I see what God is doing with and in my business. It is an honor and a pleasure to give you tips and help you learn from my successes and failures. Please stay subscribed to receive more information, success stories, tips, freebies and much more.

While it’s unlikely that hierarchical leadership will disappear from our long-standing organizational models, there will always be informal leaders in any situation where people work together. The middle layer of management is being supported by a variety of different individuals fulfilling roles as project, product, and team leaders. Their titles don’t say “manager,” but their job says, “tons of responsibility and no authority."

These Informal Leaders are the ones busy getting work done with the support of others by identifying resources, building coalitions and cutting through the organizational red tape that slows many functional leaders to a “protect my turf” crawl. 

Informal Leaders are often on a mission to change the world and improve their organizations for the better. They are organizational and initiative focused zealots with the passion and confidence necessary for success. 

Formal leaders should cultivate a company culture that endorses and supports the Informal Leader. The need for speed, flexibility and adaptability has never been greater, and the better your people are at managing functional boundaries to “get stuff done,” the better your odds of success.

There are three different situations involving the development of an informal leader. I recommend two of them and the third I do not.
  • First – The informal leader already exists, and there is a desire to assist that person to become more successful in that role.
  • Second – The informal leader already exists, and you desire to groom her/him to take on the responsibilities and role of a formal leader (i.e., a kind of succession planning in anticipation of a future promotion).
  • Third (the one that is probably unwise) - The informal leader does not exist and you want to develop someone. This kind of attempt is likely to fail. Informal leaders are not “created” by authorization, or by training, or by the intervention of formal leaders. They “occur” in other ways, most notably because the informal leader comes to be respected by his or her peers based on his or her performance, demeanor and attitude. Trying to create one when one does not already exist gives the feel of manipulation and possibly favoritism and creates the opposite of what an informal leader needs to thrive. It’s more likely that attempting to develop and create an informal leader will cause that person to be seen as a “pawn of management”.
* If you desire to promote an informal leader into a formal position, you should:
  • Recognize that not all informal leaders want formal power and authority, and that developing leadership skills systematically may actually undermine that person’s ability to lead informally.
  • Understand that grooming for promotion to a formal leadership role is probably best done informally, and through a mentoring and communication process with the informal leader and with the consent of that person. 
* Remember that one element that gives informal leaders the ability to lead (and inspire) is their perceived independence from the formal authority structure. Perception is very important. If you want to develop informal leaders, the process needs to be subtle and gradual and non-intrusive, or the risk is that the informal leader will lose his or her informal influence.

* It may be best to offer the opportunity for an informal leader to learn more about how to become a more effective leader than to push that opportunity. Let the person decide. Many informal leaders don’t really want to be in the spotlight, or don’t see themselves as leaders, and will see management attempts to “help” as negative or intrusive. So, offer opportunities and communicate.

Providing a graduated and increasing amount of authority may seem to be a good way to develop informal leaders. This can work. However, if management appoints the person as captain, it can alter the relationship of that person with his or her peers. It’s better to have the choice of who will be “captain” decided by the team members, rather than make a management appointment. The captain then is more likely to be perceived as “one of us” rather than “one of them”.

One of the biggest influences on the development of informal leadership is the existence of proper role models. That means that if you are a formal leader (CEO, VP, manager, etc.), informal leaders will learn about leadership from watching how you behave, how you treat others, and how you communicate. How you lead from your formal position is not only the prime source for learning about effective leadership, but will also identify poor leadership strategies. Based on what they see, informal leaders can be your ally or may turn against you. 

If you are in a position of formal authority, you need to be extremely careful what development process you use. Give control over the method to the informal leader. Be aware that doing too much may sacrifice the informal leaders’ ability to lead informally. Remain aware that informal leaders magnify your behavior as a leader. They learn what is (and is not) effective leadership by observing you, and making their own decisions.

A list of the types of informal leaders is available in the Freebie Section.



Business Application


From the discussion, as a business owner, there was information on what an informal leader is and why you should take advantage of the leadership. Here are some ideas for cultivating Informal Leaders in your organization:


Ministry Application

The idea of informal leaders takes on a whole new meaning within a church or ministry environment. As God leads the pastor/servant leader, he or she leads the congregation. However, there is instruction in the Bible 




Personal Application 

As a team member, you take part in identifying the informal leader. You help decide what person you want to have informal power and authority. Are you following because everyone else is, or is that person an excellent leader?  


Pamela Russell Ministry Information

Prayer Line 

Name:  “At God’s Door” 

Number: 951-981-7721, no passcode is needed.  

Time: 5:30- 6:00 a.m. EST, but you can logon as early as 5:20 a.m. 

Days: Sun-Sat, including holidays 

Online information about the prayer line 

You can submit a prayer request here.   

The devotional we are using for the prayer line is  “Teach My Hands to War”.  You can access the entire year. 

Please come and share with us.




This month's freebie is a list of the types of informal leaders. 


" Dear Pam, You are “A God Send”. I want to thank you for consulting with the Loop Restaurants to create our Chaplain’s Program manual, handbook and employee /franchisee hand out. We distributed the finished product at our recent Franchise Conference. The Chaplain’s program now is provided as a system. By formalizing the program, our franchisees perceive more value in offering the Chaplain’s program as an addition to our existing employee assistance program. Again, thanks so much.


Would you like to submit a review and be featured in the next newsletter?

Please click here. You will find a list of  business review sites. Click the name of the site where you want to leave a review. You can place your review on one or as many as you like. Each review will help me so much, so I am thanking you in advance. If you want to leave a review for a site that is not listed, please contact me and let me know which site.


An informal leader has a significant amount of influence within an organization. Co-workers view the informal leader as someone worth listening to because of their perceived experience and reputation. The informal leader does not hold any position of formal authority or power over their co-workers. Choosing to follow their lead can influence the decisions of others. It is important for informal leaders to understand the great value that they bring to an organization and how they can be a valuable asset to the formal leaders of an organization.


If you have questions or need any assistance, email us.  You can also call us @ 904-830-0737. You can also set up a free consultation

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

- Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr.


MORE From Business Development 

1. Give your people room to run beyond your boundaries. 
You should encourage them to run. Don’t create artificial or turf barriers. Everyone will succeed if you encourage your team to create value and build coalitions across the organization.

2. Use your role as a formal leader broker alliances with peers. 
This can pave the way for people and teams to tackle the big issues of the day. Actively encourage teams to work to solve problems across boundaries and you will support the development of an Informal Leader culture. Those with passion and skills will grab these initiatives.

3. Recognize that great project management has two components: the tools of the trade and people concerns. 
You can be mechanically sound and still fail. Invest in strengthening people skills to improve your chances of success. Don’t assume that people know how to collaborate. Provide resources and coaching to teach teams and Informal Leaders how to succeed.

4. Change at the top to promote growth across the organization. 
Current leaders need to learn what effective sponsorship means to working teams. Those, at the top of the ladder, need to model the right behaviors, consistently, for cross-functional and Informal Leader success. 

5. Design developmental assignments that make informal leadership roles attractive. 
Ensure assignments challenge individuals to form relationships and guide groups towards problem resolution at a faster pace. Ensure an ample flow of feedback from participants and stakeholders, and provide a reasonable blend of skills development in areas such as: communication, negotiation, critical thinking and facilitation.

6. Engage Informal Leaders in the strategy processes of the firm. 
Too often, the people driving progress are being told what to do without asking for input. This can devalue their understanding of talent, organizational capabilities and their tremendous insights and lessons learned along the way.

7. Create diversity. 
Far too many organizations create “project managers” out of just their technical professionals. Often these same organizations can end up with a project management culture that is mechanically excellent but truly weak on the soft people side of the equation. Draw from and build informal leaders in all areas of the organization.

A list of the types of informal leaders is available in the Freebie Section


If you have questions or need any assistance, email us.  You can also call us @ 904-830-0737. You can also set up a free consultation

MORE From Ministry Development

that deals with those who show themselves faithful. It takes the grace of God to support and guide those who exhibit informal leadership.

1. Allow Informal Leaders to raise troublesome questions. 
Leaders without titles and positions can vocalize the questions everyone is thinking. Some questions are so difficult that if top leaders began posing them, people might question the viability of the organization. 

2. Allow Informal Leaders to focus on one issue. 
The pastor/servant leader typically deals with several issues within an organization at one time; such is the nature of the position. He/She is concerned about ministries, membership, cash flow, evangelism, and ministry reach. An individual with informal authority, however, is free to focus on more nuanced and narrow issues, or even a singular issue.

3. Do not confine Informal Leaders to the formal leadership hierarchies and protocols. 
Formal authority, by design, has a hierarchy with an expected protocol. A leader with informal authority, however, is not and should not be, bound by the structure of a formal authority system. She/He should be able to address a concern with anyone in leadership.

4. Informal authority allows leaders the flexibility not to be a figurehead for all people in the organization. 
The pastor/servant leader, ministry leaders Top leaders with formal authority must act on behalf of all people within an organization. They represent the people. They speak on behalf of the people. Leaders with informal authority do not have to act as figureheads. Unlike formal leaders, informal leaders can offend some and play favorites with others to accomplish a goal.

A list of the types of informal leaders is available in the Freebie Section



If you have questions or need any assistance, email us.  You can also call us @ 904-830-0737. You can also set up a free consultation

MORE From Personal Development

Whichever answer is accurate for you, here are some tips on working with an existing informal leader.

  • Build a working relationship with Informal Leader as you understand motivation/outcome from project experience.

  • Listen to the feedback from the other team members regarding the Informal Leader’s leadership style. Be aware if adjustments are made when needed.

  • Recognize when the Informal Leader is trying to build team unity, instill loyalty and create trust in team members.

  • Don’t undermine what the Informal Leader is trying to accomplish unless you intend to do more.

A list of the types of informal leaders is available in the Freebie Section

If you have questions or need any assistance, email us. You can also call us @ 904-830-0737. You can also set up a free consultation.


(904) 830 0737   |