The Wisdom of Teams – 23 – Leadership Redefined

(In this series of posts offering excerpts from the book, ‘The Wisdom of Teams’ by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith (Harvard Business School Press), the excerpts are in bold.)

quote from the Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu to describe his view of team leadership: “As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate. When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’
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The “CorporateTheatre” methodology experientially defines 3 levels of leadership.

The first is ‘managing’ – making people work.  Very basic and non-sustainable.

The second is ‘leading’ – making them want to work.  This is more powerfulthan the first level.

The ultimate level is ‘enabling’ – where the team becomes the leader and you become an enabler of leadership.  At this level, the designated leader defines the destination, the parameters of reaching there successfully, and the rewards.  On the journey, whoever knows that part of the journey best becomes the leader, irrespective of designation or hierarchy, and everyone else empowers the process. 
As repeatedly emphasised in this blog, this does not happen by transformingor ennobling people.  That would be a never ending challenge.  Instead it happens through transforming the environment through the 3 Pillars that support the formation and sustenance of ‘natural’ teams.

(Please refer to the various posts on the 3 Pillars posted earlier.)

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