Having experienced a gratifying read, I’d like to share with you some solid research done on Interactive leadership by renowned gentlemen like David H. Burnham, the co-author of the McKinsey Award-winning Harvard Business Review article, “Power Is the Great Motivator,” noted psychologist Dr. David C. McClelland, Boris Groysberg, economist and Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Michael Slind, writer, editor, and communication consultant.
Through their valuable research work in “Inside the Mind of the World Class Leader” and Leadership is a Conversation”, the authors have clearly showed the evolution of leadership styles over the last two decades. The current data shows that a new way of thinking is driving success in today’s complex organizational environment.
The command-and-control approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable. Globalization, new technologies, and changes in how companies create value and interact with customers have sharply reduced the efficacy of a purely directive, top-down model of leadership. Traditional corporate communication must give way to a process that is more dynamic and more sophisticated. Most important, that process must be conversational or interactive.
Interactive leadership involves leaders’ engaging followers to increase their understanding of tasks and goals. It is a style of leading that engages employees in understanding tasks and goals so they can be effective contributors to achieving them. Interactive leaders demonstrate their willingness to engage others in a variety of ways, including group decision making, building trust through openness and transparency, and being visible and accessible to followers.
Successful organizations are built by effective leaders – leaders who produce outstanding results and high levels of morale. Are such leaders born or made? Is successful leadership a matter of personality, behavior or luck? Is the making of a leader mysterious or predictable? These questions have driven organizations to allocate time and money attempting to learn, for example, “Who will be successful in a particular position?” “How can a good individual contributor be successful on a team?” “How do we deal with a leader who is failing?”
Most of the description of the Institutional Leader still rings true with leaders today. In fact, their research shows that many of the leaders reported very similar beliefs and values, and many led groups whose results were considered acceptable to their organizations.
However, business leaders are well aware of the wide gap between “acceptable” and “outstanding” performance; this gap can be crucial in competitively distinguishing the winners from the also-rans.
“InterActive Leaders” consistently deliver top-quartile business results and high employee morale by changing their paradigm of leadership—leadership is not something we do to others, but something we do with others. Through this lens, leaders see the people they lead as the source of power and an ultimate font of ideas, solutions and possibilities. They realize that results do not energize people; rather, energized people drive results.
I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on the type of leadership that you follow. Thanks for your time!