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Becoming a Holistic Leader: Participating

May 6, 2011

We’re now in the midst of talking what Holistic Leadership represents. Today I’m talking about Participating, and sharing with you highlights from that chapter in my ebook. Be sure to download the ebook, which is of course FREE. And take a moment to share a comment….Jim

It doesn’t matter what expression is used: shared leadership, participatory leadership, post-heroic leadership or roving leadership. The point is that this component of Holistic Leadership is critical to helping organizations create learning cultures that are based on the five enabling elements:

 Power-sharing
 Inclusion
 Enrolling/Aligning
 Collaboration
 Commitment

Much has been written on participatory leadership. In both the private and public sectors, it’s often espoused by senior management as how people should work together. However, what’s said publicly is often not practiced. This applies not just to management but staff as well.

Modeling the desired behaviors that accompany this form of leadership is fundamental to its eventual success. Network leaders, for example, must practice the enabling elements contained in this Holistic Leadership component. As staff, these leaders need to learn how to collaborate and how to find common ground when conflict arises. People need to take ownership of their actions and not necessarily expect management to come riding to the rescue whenever conflict among staff members breaks out.

Some time ago, I read an article that talked about the tacit collusion in which employees frequently engage to protect their functional boundaries. People follow unspoken norms with respect to staying out of one another’s jobs. When these norms are not followed, conflict typically emerges. The consequence is the cementing of behaviors and practices in organizations. When a major change initiative is introduced, senior management becomes frustrated by the rigid silos that have been erected among functional groups, and which in turn contribute to resistance to the change effort.

Participating is an important component of Holistic Leadership because it provides the conduit to unleashing the potential of people. Again, this is important to those in senior and front-line managerial positions, and also to those who seek to play informal leadership roles.

For an example of a corporate leader who excels at Participating read the following leadership vignette….

Click here to download my new Holistic Leadership eBook, 2nd Edition

Visit my e-Books, Resources and Services pages.

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