Informal leaders within an organization are in general the individuals considered worth of credibility by their peers and who are followed by these by virtue of the way these are actually perceived.
How can organisations benefit from informal leadersInformal leaders can indeed effectually contribute to the success of an organization and of its formal leaders. They can, for instance, help managers to achieve their objectives and lighten the workload associated with their position considerably. Acting in a different way compared to a formal leader they can, for instance, say things that a formal leaders for different reasons cannot or that whether said by a formal leader might produce a different outcome. Whether, for example, is an informal leader who says a colleague that he has made a mistake, the effects would be different than that produced by this activity being performed directly by the formal leader. An employee is likely to be more willing to accept a remark from a colleague he appreciates and trusts, rather than from a manager who acts on the basis of his formal authority and makes decisions on his pay and career prospects.
Informal leaders have the innate capabilities to influence in different ways the people who establish and maintain relationships with them and this is actually why they are essentially perceived differently.
FinallyIndividuals recognized as informal leaders do not habitually intentionally assume this role; they just "emerge" simply because others have and show great respect for them.
Longo, R., (2009), Informal leader, HR Professionals, [online].
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