A Changing Leadership Landscape


Are you noticing how the leadership landscape is changing?

We live in times of high connectivity and rapid change. For the most part, Control & Command styles of leadership are fading. Collaborative & Conversational styles of leadership are appearing. There is a Leadership Shift taking place and it is a good one. I like it.

Consider the great community leaders that come to mind for you. Chances are they all lead great communities. However the greatness of those communities are not likely the result of a leader who is a skilled command & control leader. Rather, the leaders of great communities tend to be great at sharing ownership with others in the work of shaping their communities and organizing how they function as a healthy community. They are the kind of leaders that have developed the skills necessary to facilitate collaboration within the communities they lead. They are the kind of leaders that know how to cultivate engagement of all the meaningful goals and purposes of the organizations they lead. They know how to do ‘dialogue’.

What you notice about these communities is that they are great at generating the kinds of ideas and innovations necessary to stay on track with their mission or purpose in the midst of rapid change.

It’s better together

I am part of the Vineyard movement and I am very hopeful because of the shifts that I see on the leadership landscape. At the global conference in Columbus this summer the clarion call ‘It’s better together’ resonated with everyone I spoke to. It is a courageous call to pursue unity through embracing diversity. It is a call to place collaboration at the core of all that we do. It is a call for leaders to develop the necessary skill sets to facilitate collaboration in our communities.

Someone who is effective at facilitating collaboration is someone who prioritizes their efforts towards building trust strategies. Collaboration is only possible when there is mutual trust among those involved in the various decision making processes.

Building trust strategies requires humility. It requires courage. It also requires curiousity and a sincere interest in others. Building trust strategies always involves asking good questions and listening attentively to the responses.

In fact, leaders who are skilled at establishing trust are always asking the kinds of questions that surprise people. Most people are surprised when a leader sincerely wants (needs) to know what the person thinks about an issue that is foremost on the leader’s mind.

So here a four thoughts that come to mind if you are thinking about making the shift towards the new Collaborative style of leadership.

  1. A collaborative leader is one who leads. Great communities need Leaders. They need leaders who, if cut, bleed vision. The vision that captures the mission and purpose of your community.
  2. A collaborative leader takes the time that is necessary to know their people. They are sincerely interested in the priorities and passions of the people in their community. They take time to attentively listen to their responses to questions such as, “Why do you do what you do?” or “How did you get started doing what you do?” They aren’t looking for faults. They are looking for ways to celebrate the passions and strengths of the people in their community.
  3. A collaborative leader asks questions they don’t know the answer to. They will ask anyone. No matter what role that person serves in. They carry a mindset that every person is a potential source for a needed perspective that is required for making a good decision. Collaborative leaders know how to practice ‘here and now’ humility with anyone.
  4. A collaborative leader doesn’t take themselves too seriously. They seek opinions from others and listen intently to what is shared. And they habitually appreciate others. They readily share ownership of great ideas and innovations. They like to brag on their people.

A collaborative leader knows their community and their community knows them. They share ownership in what they are doing together.

It’s better that way. It’s the better way. It’s better together.

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