Invisible Leaders

The invisible leaders.  You may not know who they are, you may not know what they do, but they are there.  They are quietly working on cultivating peace within the ranks of your employees.

They are the ones that will be listening to their peers who are experiencing problem regardless of if it is personal or professional by nature.  They are the ones that will sense when one of their peers needs to take a walk before they show their cracks to others.  Their presence is not noticed while they are in the midst of others but there will be a sense that something is not quite right when they are gone.   You will not necessarily ever piece together what exactly has changed because they try to keep as discrete as possible.

They most likely will not have a fancy title and they may not be too high on your pay scale but their contribution is priceless.  They are the glue on teams.  They are the cheerleaders.  They are the fearless that are not afraid to speak the truth.  As a matter of fact, that is when you notice them most.  You see, the invisible leader stays quiet until there is a need to speak up.  When they do it will take you by surprise.  You will challenge “who are they to talk like that” without ever giving credence to what they have said.

These types of leaders are critical to the business machine.  They are few in number and dwindling quickly.  Their feeling of success is not comprised of money or title and for many reasons that is why they go undetected.  Their feeling of success comes from lifting up those around them, helping a fellow co-worker off the ledge, consoling them when they just got a bad review.   Their success comes from knowing that their value does not end with the tasks that they complete.

Their success comes from knowing the workplace is a better place by having them a part of it because they acknowledge others value along the way.

These types of leaders do not want to rise in the ranks because it gets them away from the frontline with the people that they want to help and work with.  They also want to have balance in their lives to spend time with their family and friends.  They want to be able to help out at the school when their child has a field trip.  They want to be available for their parent who needs to get to the doctor and would prefer not going alone.

These types of leaders are invisible and like it that way.  How do I know?  I am one of them.


Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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  1. Thank you, Raissa for sharing your article in the middle of one of the worst years this country has ever experienced. There are as you suggest many different leaders that exist or can exist in almost any given organization. It always seemed that person took people under their wings to help in any way they can or just somebody that can hold everybody together. Leaders that are appointed seem to be managerial or authoritative in nature. Through your words and through your art you always show a keen understanding of the human condition. In case you are not aware days before Dennis went on his hiatus, I informed him that I was leaving the group. With that, I left a goodbye message on the BC360 Facebook page and subsequently removed myself. While I made some nice friendships it was the friendships I established with you Larry Tyler, Johnny Johnson, Sandy Chernoff, Joanne Victoria, and Bharat Maths that were the most special. I still you your stunning artwork on LinkedIn. I wish all good things for all of you. Take care, Stay Safe, and Be well.

  2. We are all leaders in our own way whether we are out there showing the way or as you have so beautifully shared being there and leading from a place of love and concern. We are all leading our own life by being true to ourself too xxoo

  3. Raissa, Thank you for shining a light on an important part of any team- the Silent Leaders. They are indeed special and we seldom realize the importance of their work until they are transferred somewhere else and the whole company suddenly realizes just how important they were to work-place harmony and productivity.

  4. Thanks for good the post, Raissa – every now and then I encourage the ‘invisible leaders’ to step out in their comfort areas. What ever suites their talents best. It is sometimes good for others to take note of what the ‘invisible leadership skills’ are all about and why we need them in the organizations.

  5. Do you know why every word of this is true? Because you have just told my story. I identified with all of it, but this brought back memories.

    Their feeling of success comes from lifting up those around them, helping a fellow co-worker off the ledge, consoling them when they just got a bad review. Their success comes from knowing that their value does not end with the tasks that they complete.

  6. “They are the glue on teams. They are the cheerleaders.” That’s perfect, Raissa! I can think of a couple of friends that description fits, even if I never thought about it before. One always seems to finish odds and ends things that others don’t even see; the other smooths relationships out in a way that is almost not noticeable, except for the results. We would all be much poorer without those two.

    Excellent ideas here, so thanks!

  7. This is great. It warms my heart. Why do people feel they need a leader in their life? It floors me when people tell me they are a leader. I had someone message me on LinkedIn telling me he was a Leader and could teach me how to lead my store to success. Why would he even assume that I needed his help. The myth of creating Mass amounts of Leaders is fading away as people understand they own what they do in life. I don’t need to follow or to Lead I just need to be as I am.