IS YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM MADE UP OF LIONS, LAMBS, LOBSTERS OR WOLVES?
Is your leadership team made up of lions, lambs, lobsters or wolves?
Every leadership team is made up of leaders and followers. While it may be assumed that the leader is the head of the team, the only difference between leaders and followers is that leaders practice extrinsic leadership while followers exercise intrinsic leadership. Both are equal contributors to the success of the leadership enterprise. The emerging dynamics of engagement between leaders and followers plays out variously in different leadership teams.
Leaders are required to demonstrate (extrinsic) leadership by mobilizing communicating, leading and acting in a manner to show that they are giving proper direction to everyone else in the team. The leader is under constant surveillance and has the lonely job of being the person everyone should model.
Followers do not have to demonstrate their leadership capability, but they do need to decide to be loyal to the team, participate in decision making, engage in team activities and support the team to achieve its goals. Followers can decide to passively resist the achievement of goals and frustrate leadership efforts by leading themselves contrary to team expectations.
Lions exhibit a powerful leadership team organization with clear roles and responsibilities within the pride. While they have a leader, the followers benefit from collaboration. Sheep just follow each other and it is hard to determine whether there is a moral leader in the team. This is possibly why they desperately need a shepherd. Lobsters have great trouble accepting the leadership of another and spend their time pulling each other down. This is probably the reason lobsters end up getting roasted on skewers as a team. Perhaps your team is a pack of wolves working together, but infighting for dominance at the same time. In this team everyone needs to be aware of who is the boss.
Leadership teams thrive on clear roles, common goals and voluntary association Followers do not follow the leader, they follow the leadership of leaders whose values, objects and vision match their personal values, objects and vision in life. In other words followers are leaders in their own right. The leader may be first among equals or chief steward among stewards but they all depend on each other. To achieve organization goals, the leader must submit to the leadership of his followers in their specific roles and areas of expertise. The only way you can have continuous success in your leadership team is if you give your followers opportunities to lead and allow your followers to become leaders as well. When you are setting up your leadership team it is not enough to get a good leader, you need to spend time identifying suitable followers to support the leadership cause (not the leader).