You don’t glob all the mustard or ketchup on one part of your hot dog, do you? No, you distribute it all over. And that’s exactly how leading should happen in an organization.
[Tweet “Distributed leadership is a high-quality, high-ingenuity interaction between people that leads to creative-solution making. @davefleming360”]
Who doesn’t want more of that? Well, to get it, you’ll need these three action based qualities embedded in everyone.
1) People must be ALIGNED around organizational priorities and values. Alignment is different from raw agreement or forced compliance. Alignment is about a shared view that creates cohesion of effort and emotional engagement.
2) People must be PROACTIVE in the execution of their responsibilities. If people don’t take initiative, you can’t distribute leadership because they’re not interested in doing more than the bare minimum. And doing the bare minimum is not a leader mentality.
3) People must be COLLABORATIVE in their approach to problem-solving and solution-making. Distributed leadership de-emphasizes a top-down approach to decision-making and power-sharing. Downstream leaders work to solve problems and seize opportunities without a constant need for upstream guidance. This requires upstream leaders to allow downstream leaders space to act. It also requires downstream leaders to respect the limits of their authority—knowing when to include upstream leaders in order to protect the organization and/or enhance execution.
If you want leaders everywhere, foster aligned, proactive and collaborative people.