Becoming a Sourcing Leader Without the Fancy Job Title

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Jan 3, 2019

Have you ever been told “You are ahead of your time” or my favorite “You’re a diamond in the rough.” Some may think these comments are compliments, I however never felt they were compliments, but was a polite way to tell us that they have no clue how to handle someone who is creative and someone who thinks outside the box. Most of us researchers/sourcers are very innovative, who think outside the LinkedIn box, love to discover and engage with the tools of the internet.

I can undoubtedly get stuck in a negative vibe towards that type of thinking OR I can seek out what inspires me to be the leader. With technology and constant conversations of being authentic and more human, we need to have more leaders who don’t need the title “manager.”

We can all be leaders, some people are born to lead, and some people can grow into amazing leaders. No matter which industry or company you belong, leading others can be pretty challenging, especially when you are not “the boss.”

The good thing, however, is that, as an individual contributor, you can become an excellent leader by acquiring suitable skills, behaviors, and influence. There are ways that you can become an influential leader and gain respect without the title of a “leader.”

Ability to Effectively Plan and Organize Their Work

Effective individual contributors are sufficient at managing their time and the time of others.

Also, they effectively handle multiple demands and competing deadlines. They excel at identifying goals, make plans, provide timeframes and manage their progress without much oversight by management.

Those that plan and organize well demonstrates the following:

  • Effectively manage their own time as well as the time of others.
  • Develop plans in anticipation of possible problems brings solutions.
  • Use technology to track and steer work progressively effectively.
  • Effectively manages projects/demands and completing projects.

Strong Interpersonal Communication

Individual contributors who work hard in making relationships work, listen and are continually working on building their rapport with others. They can share their thoughts and ideas, present concise information, and they ensure that they are understood and open to constructive criticism with good intent. They are also good at sharing information with others to improve overall work progress and build a library of knowledge.

Those that have effective interpersonal skills will demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Readily share useful information and knowledge with others.
  • Consistently close the information loop by making sure they understood others and that others understood them.
  • Are truthful, appreciative, and constructive in the communication messages.

Excel at Collaboration

Individual contributors who collaborate effectively can maintain a healthy working relationship with others. They complete their own assigned work for team projects in a timely and responsible manner and directly contribute to reaching the team goals.

Those that do this well will demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Help others in the completion of their tasks to support the team’s goals.
  • Build and maintains strong, trusting, and cooperative working relationships with others.
  • Proactively collaborate in meeting and informal interactions.

Deliver Consistent Results

Individual contributors who are competent in delivering results assume personal responsibility for achieving outcomes and work effectively with little direction. Meaning, they are dependable and responsible.

Those that do this well will demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Work on the right tasks by ensuring they know their given clear deliverables.
  • Finish what they start.
  • Assume personal responsibility for achieving results.


Being an effective individual contributor is unquestionably learnable and achievable without titles such as “lead” OR “manager” etc. In our industry, we need to look beyond what titles we hold and keep in mind with expanded roles of individual contributors in many companies; it is becoming more and more vital to hire competent individuals that can handle more significant positions and be more self-directed.

The challenge for the staffing industry is to find and develop the people who have the knack of understanding your company’s core values ahead of time, as well as the values that are needed to be productive within your teams.

I recently read one of my favorite authors, Brene´ Brown’s, book “Dare to Lead.” If you are an individual contributor, team lead, manager, VP, head, you should take the time and read this book. As she states “You want to own your own destiny, don’t wait for others, its time to grab onto it and start leading!”

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