Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shared Leadership

How many of us ever think about our "mental models" of leadership?

I have heard some people say, "To be a leader, you need followers." That seems to make sense on the surface, but does it make deep, sustainable sense. If one "leads by example", my intuition is that one follows one's heart and, some day, others will see the value of the leader's work.

In my mind's eye, I never pictured walking at the head of the pack. I always pictured walking arm-in-arm.

What do you picture?

What if everyone is a leader in her or his own unique area of expertise? That's what makes sense to me. If everyone is a leader, how can we keep track of everyone? Who is the "go to" person for our wants, needs and desires?

My best guess, today, is that every day is a blank canvas, and each day all any one of us can do is the best we can to engage others and be engaged ourselves. There so many learning opportunities and playful negotiations in front of us.

Just to admit that we don't know what to expect, and sense that it is sure to be an adventure, is a great place to begin.

Shared and flexible leadership might look like a field of wheat rippling under tender breezes, or white caps in the turquoise Mediterranian dancing in the sun light. I have imagined a room full of partner less dancing where you catch one person's eye and playfully dance, and then another pair of eyes and another.


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