Monday, February 20, 2017

The open leader

OpenSource.com recently posted a great about "open leaders" and "Why we need open leaders more than ever." In brief, the article discusses how leadership changed in the Twentieth Century with globalism and teams that were geographically displaced. And this new mode of working led to a new kind of leader: the "open leader."

The article makes clear that leadership can happen at all levels of the organization. And I agree! To be most effective, you need to develop your emerging leaders so people can "lead from the balcony" or wherever they are, to provide vision and drive strategic direction. From the article:
As organizations continue becoming more open, even individuals without "leadership" titles feel empowered to drive change. These organizations remove the chains of hierarchy and untether workers to do their jobs in the ways they best see fit. History has exposed 20th century leaders' tendencies to strangle agility through unilateral decision-making and unidirectional information flows. But the new century's leader best defines an organization by the number of individuals it empowers to get something done. There's power in numbers—and, frankly, one leader cannot be in all places at all times, making all the decisions.
The article provides a list of five attributes for the new "open leader":

1. Control
"Where the leaders of old are focused on command-and-control positional power, an open leader cedes organizational control to others via new forms of organizational governance, new technologies, and other means of reducing friction, thereby enabling collective action in a more efficient manner."
2. Communication
"The open leader seeks to engage an organization by sharing information and context (as well as authority) with members of a team."
3. Trust
"Open leaders embrace uncertainty and trust their followers to do the right thing at the right time."
4. Autonomy
"Where the powerful command-and-control 20th century leader is focused on some position of power, an open leader is more interested in the actual role an individual plays within the organization."
5. Empowerment
"Open leaders are focused on granting authority to members of an organization."
How do you compare to the new "open leader"?

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