The concept of distributed leadership entails leadership that extends horizontally, vertically and every place in-between within an organization. Leadership begins with the individual, and the model of leadership becomes a collective construct.
Leadership is developed and practiced at the individual level with self-leadership and self-efficacy development techniques. Shared leadership becomes the model of leadership at the team level, with a functional leadership model acting as the oversight of the teams.
Functional leadership views the leader-team relationship as opposed to most leadership models that see the leader-follower dyad. Functional leadership, also called boundary spanners, operate in the boundaries between teams and between teams and multiteam systems. Their roles and responsibilities include providing resources, fostering interactions, coordination of activities, and alignment of goals, to name only a few. At the executive level or the C-suite, leadership can remain in its traditional hierarchical structure if desired.
Research has shown that many team-based structures and multiteam systems have functioned well using a hybrid style of leadership. A hybrid or blended leadership model is embedded in The Flow System™. This hybrid leadership model incorporates components of the following leadership theories that have been shown to work well with team-based organizational structures and for complex environments: strategic leadership, instrumental leadership, and global leadership.
The intention is not for every organization to implement all three leadership models at their executive level but to implement the components from each leadership theory that meets the needs of the organization in a way that best supports the team-based structures previously outlined. The needs of one organization will be different from another, and each organization needs to identify which characteristics and components of leadership are best for their organizational needs.
The distributed leadership helix of The Flow System™ provides a process that continually revives leaders throughout an organization, allowing the collective leadership to emerge within an organization that is capable of making bold and disruptive moves across an industry.
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