There is an ongoing tension we face in leadership cultures between the paradox that exists between two structures. One structure is formal (the real organizational chart) and one informal (the people of real influence). While traditional organizational charts seem to prove where perceived power lies along a hierarchical pattern, real influence resides often with a few key stakeholders. These can often be the people at the top but most often they are those who have full capabilities in their role, strong leadership competencies on the soft side of their role, control the major influx of the revenue or momentum, and those to whom most people go for answers. They often do not have power titles and sometimes are individual contributors.
The question is, which are you? Or which would you prefer to be?