So how do you lead in a connected world? What changes do we need to make if we hope to solve many of the world’s biggest challenges? We need to change something if we hope to achieve a different result. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” The third style of contribution is my preferred way of making a difference in the world. What I call interdependent leadership.
How do we become more interdependent leaders? Let’s see if I can share several ideas today that will help us create the future we want for our children and grandchildren. Serving leaders will find this style very compatible with the way they currently lead.
To be better interdependent leaders we must shift what we think it means to be a strong leader. A serving leader by their nature is an interdependent leader. They have a more holistic view of the world. They tend to see the world in cause and effects. They are capable of working well as a leader, as well as a follower. These roles are interchangeable.
There are several key traits of this leader. These traits are not different than from our leaders in the past, but vary because they are looked at through the lens of team or community. I believe if we hope to make a difference in our world, we need to start in our families and communities. As we develop and become more comfortable in these new ways of seeing, we can expand them into our professional lives. In our interdependent world, all of us are leaders.
The first trait of an interdependent leader is they are courageous and brave. When you look at many of the world largest problems, we see a lack of courage as a foundational problem. When you go from thinking about me to we, it requires bravery to stand up against many others in society who want it done the same way it’s always been done. Legacy cultures are incredibly resilient to change.
The second trait for an interdependent leader is they are team focused. They are capable of leading, but just as capable of following the leadership of others. They are share responsibility and allow themselves, and others, to grow at their own rates. They leverage others strengths because they are comfortable in their own leadership capabilities. To achieve this requires learning new things and being curious about what is happening in the group. Interdependent leaders are much more aware of others progress and growth. They leverage the different strengths of the team members to help build fellowship among their teams.
The third trait for interdependent leader is they are confident communicators. They speak in authentic ways and are always looking for ways to improve their connection to others in their communities. When they see another person struggle, they assist them. They then help mentor them to increase both their own and the other person’s communication ability. They understand that over 90% of projects fail because of communications breakdowns.
Finally, interdependent leaders are determined to help others succeed. They have a high level of loyalty to a shared higher purpose. That being said, they make sure all their team members contribute ideas on how to continually improve their situations. They are willing to reach out for assistance when they need it. They are working to become more than just a great organization, but a true fellowship for all their team members and community.
So now we have a standard set. How do we continue to grow into this next stage of serving leadership? Don’t worry, we will discuss this in more detail over the coming months. See you next week.