What’s your view of leadership? If you’re like most people, you have an underlying belief that leaders should be out in front of the line, leading the way.
The Hierarchical View of Leadership
In the traditional, hierarchical view, senior leaders are at the top of the organization and ensure the organization fulfills its mission effectively.
There are differing views about how leaders should behave – the best leadership style. For example, you might think leaders should be directive or participative or both depending on the situation.
Although Steve Jobs, Hilary Clinton, Ronald Regan, Sheryl Sandberg, and Howard Schultz have very different leadership styles, they all have one important thing in common – their role as a leader is to stand in front of their organization . . . → Read More: Emergent Leadership Topples the Pyramid
If you are tired of “trickle-down” change, consider using a collaborative change process where a large slice of your organization comes together for real conversation and to make decisions about your collective future in real-time.
This kind of high-involvement process was used by Southern New England Telephone to prepare for deregulation and the emergence of competition. It was used by Jackson Hole Ski Resort to reconsider their strategic direction. It was used when the Boston Gardens closed and they opened the new Fleet Center building. It was used by the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center when they opened under new management.
It has been used by hundreds of other organizations, where leaders understood that the attempt to hold onto power at the top of . . . → Read More: Try Collaborative Change for a Change
Often the words collaboration, coordination, and cooperation are used to describe effective teamwork. But they are not the same, and when we use these words interchangeably, we dilute their meaning and diminish the potential for creating powerful, collaborative workplaces.
Collaboration has been a big word in the news lately, most recently due to Marissa Mayer’s explanation of her decision to bring Yahoo employees back to the office: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.”
Mayer’s belief that we work together better when we have real relationships, and that it is easier to build relationships when you have face-to-face contact is not unfounded. Coordination and cooperation is essential for effective and efficient . . . → Read More: Let’s Stop Confusing Cooperation and Teamwork with Collaboration
Polarization keeps us apart, disconnected. Polarization keeps us from finding creative solutions that benefit all.
There is no winning in polarization. There is only “win-lose.”
Leadership is about bringing people together, unifying around a common vision. It is about creating community.
“Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it.” ~Warren Bennis
Unifying people against a common enemy is an immoral use of power. This is what Hitler did — he led his people right over a cliff.
When we are filled with hatred and disrespect, we can only square off in opposite camps. We might negotiate agreements, but each side walks away feeling like they lost more than they gained.
. . . → Read More: Collaboration Is the Remedy for Polarization
Collaborative leaders create communities where people unite around a common purpose and values, working collaboratively to accomplish a shared vision that makes a powerful and positive impact.
Their job is to champion the vision, provide resources and remove roadblocks. How do they do this? Some of these 12 behaviors could describe any leader. But when you look at them altogether, a pattern emerges that is quite different from traditional leaders.
1. Flatten things.
They flatten the traditional hierarchical chain of command and create networks. They also flatten compensation structures so the difference in pay-scale between the top and bottom is not astronomical.
2. Allow leadership to emerge.
They let go of the need to be in control because they trust in the . . . → Read More: 12 Things Collaborative Leaders Do
Are you a collaborative leader?
Collaborative leaders understand that organizations are networks of relationships and that relationships are the glue that holds them together.
Anyone can be collaborative leader — no matter whether you are the president, a mid-level manager or a front-line supervisor.. or in a large corporation a small business, a non-profit, or a school.
Collaborative leaders create communities, whether they lead the entire organization or a team within the organization.
Collaboration is not an option – it is an imperative.
If you are in any doubt that collaborative leadership is an imperative, and not just a fad, take a look at any of these 22 articles in the Harvard Business Review series on collaboration.
Or even better yet, watch this . . . → Read More: 8 Things Collaborative Leaders Know