This blog is an excerpt from Kathleen Schafer’s upcoming book Living the Leadership Choice. Join the Leadership Connection community to receive updates and exclusive content.
“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” – Unknown
Making progress toward achieving a goal is an essential component of effective leadership. No man or woman is an island, and no goal is accomplished alone. Teamwork is vital to success, and in order to create effective teams, each participant must play a leadership role in the process of change. When you bring a new understanding of leadership to the group dynamic, things immediately begin to shift.
People have been socialized to stake out their territory, protect their turf, and create fiefdoms of power all in the pursuit of exercising their leadership. Unfortunately, this approach only creates animosity, discomfort, and chaos amongst the group. How many examples can you think of where a noble goal was left unmet simply because the team members were unable to get past their warped understanding of leadership and created such havoc that nothing was accomplished?
By making the leadership choice as you begin the group process, you have made an important leadership move by offering a new paradigm for how the group works together. Through the identification of the various talents and skills at the table and the willingness to allow those with the necessary tools to lead at the appropriate time, you have unleashed the power of the team and the result may surprise you!
Leading and being the best of who you are in every moment is the way to reach goals and inspire each member of the team to bring their best to the table.
So for today consider these questions: How do you typically participate in a team? What talents and skills do you like to bring? Do you allow them to be utilized in the best possible way? How can you be more effective as a leader on a team? And with your answers, look for new ways to engage in the teams in which you work, live, and play. By choosing to fully participate, you will see interesting results that will inspire others and may even surprise you!
Kathleen Schafer is founding principal of Leadership Connection and author of Living the Leadership Choice (release December 2011). Connect with Kathleen on Twitter and read her blog at leadershipconnection.net.