The First Steps to Implementing a Shared Leadership Approach Within a Group or Organization

Our current era is defined by social changes, constantly emerging new information technologies and problems of increasing complexity and diversity for organizations.


Those wishing to succeed by distinguishing themselves and increasing their visibility in their domain will need to reevaluate their notion of performance by considering the potential of collective contributions that can be created by a shared and collaborative type of leadership.


The mission of changing the old concept of leadership into one that can be adapted to 21st century organizations is a necessary but difficult task for leaders and figureheads.


Here are two changes you can start to make to your own pre-conceived notions of leadership that will help you in turn to implement this approach within your team or organization.


1. Do not think of leadership as an individual process.

The principles of shared leadership go against the common idea that leadership is a privilege, an ability limited to individuals in positions of authority or who were gifted with the innate skills that pre-dispose them to become leaders.


By changing your way of thinking about the subject, you can encourage and influence others around you to begin thinking this way. These people will in turn influence others around them to consider leadership as a process of dynamic influence that involves all individual members of a team, organization or society.


2. Encourage values of respect, diversity, inclusion and collaboration amongst individuals.

The implementation of shared leadership within a team or organization requires encouraging and transmitting every individual’s values of respect regardless of their status or role within the group.


To introduce the idea of a new form of leadership, you can begin encouraging the inclusion of diverse perspectives and the collaboration of every worker implicated in the achievement of a common objective.


This can be done by increasing the amount of both formal and informal discussions amongst members of your group. Another way to create a collaborative work environment that can lead to innovation is by constantly reminding partners and collaborators of the values, norms, beliefs and execution strategies characterizing the organization and differentiating it from others.


By doing this, you remind others that they are all working towards the same end and that the combination of every individual’s resources and skills can increase the quality of the results towards achieving the mission.


Are the benefits really worth the efforts?

Some of the benefits of implementing a shared leadership approach in an organization include: an increased performance, mobilization and propensity to innovate and a better general work environment.


Another way to look at this is to consider whether any leader can afford to exclude the collective intelligence and collaboration of the greatest number of people for the achievement of their team or company’s objectives in an era where challenges are increasingly more complex and the competition is more fierce?


Edith Luc, Ph.D.


© Edith Luc. All Rights Reserved.

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