In their article “Are You A Collaborative Leader?” (Harvard Business Review, July 2011) Herminia Ibarra and Morten Hansen define Collaborative Leadership as the “capacity to engage people and groups outside one’s formal control and inspire them to work toward common goals – despite difference in convictions, cultural values and operating norms.” These authors differentiate a “Consensus-based” leadership style where all parties in a small group have equal authority, from the Collaborative style where the people leading the collaborative effort have clear authority to make final decisions. Their point is that Collaborative Leaders retain a strong role in directing teams. They maintain organizational agility by forming and disbanding teams as opportunities come and go. Collaborative leaders also pay close attention to the composition of the team and don’t hesitate to keep the team fresh by adding or changing players.
It’s no secret that humans are an extremely social species. In The Psychology of Leadership, David Messick explains, “Allowing people to be a member of a group is to permit them to share vicarious pleasures of others’ successes. We all experience a satisfaction when the strangers who represent our team are victorious over the strangers who are their team….But the underlying psychology remains the same. People want to belong, and good leaders provide inclusion” (p. 86). Isn’t it a thrill when your department meets a stretch goal, your favorite sports team makes the playoffs, or a political candidate who you back wins an election? Feeling involved, even if only from afar, simply feels good.
A recent blog post in Harvard Business Review caught my attention… “Are you the boss you need to be?”
I thought (aloud, of course), “Well, THAT is a great question.” I’m always looking for ways to improve my leadership skills.
Early in my career, without any formal management or leadership training, I was promoted to a management role. After college, I never had any formal training on leadership. Crazy? Not really. Continue reading “Are YOU the best leader you can be?” »