Leadership is often seen as the job of the chosen few dictated by the org chart. Let’s move past this arcane concept and change our paradigm. Leadership isn’t for the few; leadership is for the masses. Here is why I know this to be true:
- Marine Corps boot camp taught me that even though there are rank and authority that puts structure to leadership, in the chaos and noise of a firefight the Marine in the best position to see what needs accomplishing must take the initiative, especially when a higher ranking Marine goes down.
- To be a manager/leader, you don’t have to know how to do every job expertly in a process or project. Therefore task experts need to have leadership voices on what they need/want to perform expertly and efficiently.
- Every employee has a job that they should be the expert. When execution and results are critical, stresses are high; everyone needs to lead with his or her expertise.
- Teams ideally are made up of subject-matter experts from across the credit union. If these experts have no leadership voice in the project or process, the results will be mediocre at best.
- Leadership is a learned skill that results from practice and experience. If an organization isn’t developing new leaders, the organization will eventually weaken.
Expert execution will only come from listening to the experts. This leadership model has been called “leadership from your chair.” It acknowledges that leadership is the most vital and most valuable when all experts have a voice and purpose, regardless of where they fit in the organization chart.
Does your organization have a centralized or de-centralized leadership model?
To learn more about building a consistent leadership model, check out Leading2Leadership, A Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence, available on Amazon.