Due to the extremely complex business environment, many growing organizations introduce shared leadership. The theory of shared leadership lies in optimizing human capital to provide the best possible resolution to various concerns revolving around the organization. Successful, shared leadership requires multiple conditions that must be met.
Shared leadership enables co-leaders to combine and complement their strengths in technical and soft skills, as well as to work on weaknesses by learning from each other. For example, in a technology company, co-leadership greatly assists both the business side and the technology side. This enables the business to prioritize both research and development and profit-making abilities.
In an organization that’s run 24/7, for example, co-leadership is inevitable, so leadership is always available. In an emergency situation where effective and strong leadership is undeniable, a co-leader can provide direction without having to wait during the critical hours. This way, stakeholders feel secure, and team members can focus on tasks at hand, knowing someone is reachable any time during the day or night.
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But what are the things to keep in mind for shared leadership?
Here is the list of 7 things you must be aware of:
Allow the most qualified individuals the opportunity to lead.
Unnecessary rivalries among the most qualified individuals could create unnecessary friction that can harm teamwork, and it should be done with utmost care.
Define your decision-making capacity well.
Transparency and clarity provide the necessary foundation for decision-making activities. This being said, the boundaries of each co-leader must be defined to ensure good collaboration between them.
Encourage your team members to take initiatives.
To make sure that problems are detected early, the co-leaders are required to work together to create a safe and better working environment for your team members to speak up, give feedback, and provide suggestions without being asked.
The more qualified an individual, the more freedom will be provided.
Such freedom must be based on track record and experiences either within or outside the organization, which is especially crucial for high-level leadership.
Decisions should not be second-guessed.
A culture where decisions made shouldn’t be second-guessed by team members, as co-leadership can create confusion once the individuals sharing the leadership have different views on various issues and create unnecessary tension among members.
Related: Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction
Co-leaders should portray themselves as facilitators and mentors instead of managers.
In a co-leadership, the leading individuals are “servers,” thus they help team members bond together with mutual understanding. They need to manage as well, but the managing roles can be created for individual technical managers who are the most qualified.
Follow-up reviews and evaluations are highly encouraged.
You need to ensure that co-leaders are on the same page on various issues, it is essential to give reviews and evaluations periodically. Encourage team members to provide suggestions and feedback at any time so that transparency can be upheld.
GoFounders leadership council enhances your ability to handle and maintain your shared leadership. As you already know, the benefits of shared leadership on its members and the company as a whole. Being a leader is not easy, and when you can no longer handle the workload optimally, or when the organization grows too rapidly that more brains are required, it is time to seriously consider shared leadership.