There are stories behind every community member, program and insight we uncover, and here is where you’ll find them. Read on to learn more about how we think, what we’re up to and what drives us.
Shared Leadership: Commentary by Rachael
The concept of shared leadership, which involves maximizing all human resources in an organization by distributing responsibilities and empowering individuals, gives individuals an opportunity to take leadership positions in their areas of expertise and share in the accountability and rewards.
I found that this organizational model would be particularly beneficial for smaller organizations that are doing a lot with limited resources. Often times, following a traditional hierarchical model of staffing and organizational leadership can weaken efficiencies and effectiveness. When staff is small, they need to share almost all of what gets done, or at least have working knowledge of how it gets done. By diffusing knowledge, communications, and responsibility, you can continue to strengthen the organization, build capacity and become a true team; and in turn, retain and award dedicated employees while welcoming new talent and fresh perspectives.
There are many different methods and practices that can define a shared leadership model. Such methods may include transparency in all communications and access to information, allowing all staff members to have input in important decisions. Another method would be to share responsibilities in all development efforts so that everyone can build key relationships for the organization. Shared leadership can even include a model where top leaders in an organization share executive duties by having separate internal and external focuses—and this is really what we are doing here at the Alliance.
Fostering a culture of collaboration through a shared leadership approach can produce great results. Leadership is not about control; it’s about influence. An organization with strong leadership has great influence. I believe we will strengthen and grow the Alliance by sharing it.
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