Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
In our vision, we move away from the hierarchical leadership model in which the leader directs and steers the team from a hierarchical position. Our research findings have taught us that the most successful teams are characterised by team members who get the necessary support to take initiative and who are actively involved in identifying team goals and implementing them in practice.
Importantly, we consciously do not choose for a model of self-managing teams given that formal leaders have an important function in installing and coordinating a structure of shared leadership. Rather, we adopt a hybrid model which relies on the guidance of the formal leaders, but also provides the necessary space for the leadership potential in the team to grow and flourish.
Leading Insights aims to help you with implementing an effective structure of shared leadership.
Importantly, working with different leadership roles allows us to capture the diversity in the existing talents in the team; some people excel in establishing and coordinating strategical initiatives, while others are indispensable for a good atmosphere in the team, and others flourish in their communication to external partners. Each of these talents is essential for a good team functioning. Hence, it is crucial that the right team members are appointed to take the lead in successfully managing each of these aspects.
To ensure that the appointed leaders also have a necessary support base within the team, our leadership analysis relies on the qualities that team members ascribe to each other. As such, we capture an evidence-based snapshot of the otherwise invisible leadership network that is decisive for your team's functioning. The result is a crystal clear view on the key leaders in your team.
The results provide you with the key insights needed to appoint the right leaders. By harnessing the talents in your team, you will then be able to unlock its true potential.
After implementing a structure of shared leadership, it is important to further develop the leadership potential of the appointed leaders. Scientific research has pointed to the importance of identity leadership. The most successful leaders appeared to be those that succeeded in creating a shared sense of 'we' and 'us' ─ a shared social identity ─ in their teams. In these teams, team members feel strongly connected to their team. Moreover, they think and act in favour of the team's interests (in terms of 'we' and 'us') rather than out of their personal interests (in terms of 'I' and 'me').
This strong team identity in turn leads to an improved team functioning, characterised by enhanced teamwork, improved team resilience when confronted with challenges, as well as enhanced team performance. In addition, research also highlighted a strong link with team members' well-being and their satisfaction at work. Finally, experiencing a shared sense of 'us' emerged as a strong predictor of team members' health and also provided a powerful buffer against burnout.
Based on these insights, we developed a program in which leaders learn how to cultivate this shared sense of 'we' and 'us'. During several workshops, we guide leaders together with their team through the process of discovering the content of the team's shared social identity and afterwards also bringing it alive in practice. This process does not only improve the leadership quality of the leaders, but also generates a catalyst to enhance the team's functioning and the well-being of its team members.
Visualising, harnessing, and further developing the leadership potential in the team does not only lead to a better performance, but also enhances the well-being of the team members. Our leadership assessment and leadership program assist leaders and their teams throughout this process with the aim of generating the intended outcomes.
Although leaders sometimes fear that by choosing for shared leadership, their status as a leader or their authority would diminish, this idea was rejected by our recent research findings. In contrast, leaders who opt for shared leadership are perceived as better leaders by their team members. Let this inspire you to start the transition process in your team.
By relying on scientifically-based evidence, we hope that our assessments and development programs can contribute in a sustainable way to better functioning and healthier teams!