Leader, It’s Time To Jump
Traditional leadership is challenged. Getting people onboard, setting the sails, and steering the ship safely to a determined destination has been a successful metaphor for many years. On one side managing resources, on the other directing people. Clear roles and responsibilities, captain and crew, leader and follower. All in good order. These days could soon be over.
Tech and web have changed the game. New opportunities, demands and priorities disrupt old patterns and create new conditions. We can work from anywhere and are not as often in the office as we used to. Here, in the early days of digitalized business and hybrid work, there seem to be more systems to manage than people to lead. We are increasingly self-led and no longer dependent on a boss or locked in an organizational grid.
New ways of leading are evolving. Fast-paced start-ups and agile companies have no or little enthusiasm for classical leadership. It is perceived as both complicated and boring. Too much talk and too little action. When the top guys engage in local decisions, things tend to slow down. The future requires something less controlling and more liberating.
From ship to space
The leadership metaphor is linear. The aim is to generate value by following the planned route of the project. Moving from A to B as smooth as possible. The focus is on progress, performance and achievement. The leader has the decision power. There is a logic of command and control in which tasks are delegated, not responsibilities. The rule is to keep the course and speed if nothing else is decided. The world of my leadership.
The metaphor of leaderspace is circular. It is like breathing, the universal movement of in and out, contraction and expansion. Power is distributed, and everyone plays a role in sustaining the space. Mutual trust and psychological safety characterize the atmosphere. No negative stories or hidden agendas limit the flow of information and exchange of knowledge. The world of our leaderspace.
The two worlds are different in structure and culture. To leave leadership and jump into leaderspace is a bold move. It takes courage to replace the known with the unknown and swap…