With global expansion, inter-industry restricting and increasing numbers of merging organisations, the need for dynamic flexibility and a board base of knowledge and expertise is greater than ever.
Shared leadership, by virtual of its use of combined best leaders’ abilities, is been tested as one possible solution for meeting these challenging business needs.
What is shared leadership?
Shared leadership involves maximising all of human resources in an organisation by empowering individuals and giving them an opportunity to assume leadership positions in their areas of expertise.
With more complex markets increasing the demands on leadership, the job in many causes is simply too large for one individual.
Sharing leadership is not easy, but it is definitely possible, and in many cases, highly successful. For instance, in a company that creates user-interface for web-design, the role of chief executive officer (CEO) was too extensive for one leader. As a result, it was split into two positions with equal status and complementary skills sets and responsibilities.
After splitting the role, the leader built on a new team, hiring experts to head research and development, architecture, design and sales positions.
Using the shared leadership model gave these leaders the opportunity to focus on the areas in which they are most talented, to hire team leaders, and thus develop a successful, well-rounded and somewhat “flattened” company versus a more hierarchically structured company.
For this organisation, flattening has also meant that power, authority, and decision-making are more widely and deeply dispersed, both laterally and vertically, giving each individual an opportunity to showcase his or her prowess in certain areas of the company. It has meant deferring to others when they have more expertise. This is not always the easiest thing for leaders to do.
Here are some suggestions to share leadership and maximise talent.
Give power away to the most qualified individuals to strengthen their capabilities.
Define the limits of decision- making power.
Cultivate a climate in which people feel free to take initiative on assignments.
Don’t second guess the decision of those you have empowered to do so.
Consider yourself a resource rather than the manager.
Set appropriate follow up meetings to review progress and take corrective actions if necessary
If you do delegate more to people who are closer to the customer and allow them to take on challenging responsibilities, you will find that you have more time.
You will spend less time directing their projects and you may even develop a sense of accomplishment from achievements of your people rather than from your own direct efforts. Even better, your employees may feel they are more like partners and become more engaged ultimately paving the way to greater success for the organisation, the team, and themselves.
The best thing that an organisation can do to promote development is to give opportunity to new minds which will create new ideas to seek expansion of the institution.
Leadership in an organisation is very important. It determines the rise or fall or differentiates between a performing and non-performing institution.
Let’s take an institution that alters its chief executive every five years. In a decade the organisation will have been led by two people. These increases flexibility and chances for better performance because each new leader will introduce his/her own creativity and new ideas.
Most perform well if their talents lie within the department they are working in. I therefore urge companies to adopt sharing leadership for the sake of the unemployed lot with immense skills and talents at their disposal.
Lewis Ndichu is a young entrepreneur and the founder of easy goal entrepreneurs’ networks.