The Arena of Leadership


The Arena of Leadership

Define what are the leadership patterns that move your organization forward.

Members: 15
Latest Activity: Aug 2, 2010

For the last ten years or so, no other aspect of organizational life has been more debated than leadership. No management journal without an article on leadership, thousands of books on what should be the most effective leadership style, huge investements in leadership development. It is a no-brainer that modern leaders should be good listeners, a trustful companions of their employees, able to translate the company's vision and strategy into a message that receives a warm welcome, and much more.

The reality of organizations gives a different picture. Probably it is one of the biggest change projects an organization can have: to introduce a transformative leadership culture across all hierarchical levels that reflects 21st century values and attitudes.

There is no right or wrong leadership style. Over time, each organization develops their own style - this is part of the organization's culture. Leadership styles are often rooted in the origin of the organization, the founder's way of dealing with people and moving the organization forward. They can change significantly when new management staff comes on board and new leaders step in but you can always find traces of the roots. And also - certain organizations attract certain leaders, so it is not an easy task to change the way organizations organize their inner relationships.

Leadership is important in change processes but it is not sufficient that leadership rests on the shoulders of a few. Modern organizations encourage and seek for multiple and emerging leadership.

Questions for Deeper Exploration

  • How do we encourage and empower people to assume a leadership role?
  • Who are the change leaders in all parts of our organization?
  • What is the reputation of our leaders within the organization and beyond?
  • How do we know that our leadership model and the practice is the best for moving forward?


What tools would you use in the Arena? 1 Reply

Please add tools, links, articles etc. for organizations which want to develop their own leadership style.

Started by Holger Nauheimer. Last reply by Holger Nauheimer Mar 3, 2010.

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Comment by Holger Nauheimer on April 15, 2010 at 5:30pm
I found a great article on different leadership styles:
Leadership for innovation requires a certain leadership style – Do ... by Bernhard Schindlholzer

Comment by Lucie Newcomb on April 2, 2010 at 3:02am
Hi Johan,

Regarding your query of 28 March, are you speaking about execution/delivery in general or with respect to Change projects?

- Lucie
Comment by Johan Kjörk on March 28, 2010 at 8:33am
One important part of leadership or guidance not mentioned are the coach towards executtion and follow up.

Not in a controling fashion but however internal driven we are to express creativity and want to participate to make the vision come alive we need support to make that happen in my experience. How do you fit that dimensions into leadership or do you delegate that to manageing/managerial tasks?

Would be interessting to hear how you guys think!
Comment by Lucie Newcomb on March 28, 2010 at 3:05am
Hi Vesa,

I believe it's all those things and more. Mazlow might call it self-actualization; New Age folks, fulfilling y/our potential; and spiritual folks tend to align Enlightenment in this category. I see it mostly as a role of empowering others on many levels as one increasingly works towards self-empowerment as well.

Thanks to you and Holger for the Map!

- Lucie
Comment by Lucie Newcomb on March 28, 2010 at 2:57am
Hi Johan,

The quick way to describe Theory U is "Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Will. As Nadia's comments below imply, it's worth getting acquainted and the "Blind Spot" document link she offers is an incisive way to do so.

- Lucie
Comment by Nadia Gabriela Dresscher on March 10, 2010 at 9:52pm
Hi fellow travelers inspired on the topic of leadership. I want to share a great article on creative leadership and processes. It's an interview with leading futurist Frank Spencer (partner at Kedgeforward). He has some very inspiring and insightful thoughts on the subject

"It's time for a resurgence in creative leadership and processes"

He talks about the ' transformational factor and how thinking and acting from this natural growth dynamic in the present held by the way we think about the future can creatively transform...
Comment by Katri Kytöpuu on March 9, 2010 at 11:06am
One of my Twitterfriends led me to this article , which suggests, that instead of leaders we need builders. This idea connects nicely to the book I read about Appreciative Intelligence, where writers suggest, that successful leaders can, amongst other thing, reframe situations, recognize the talents of other people and see how the future unfolds from the present. More about Appreciative Intelligence can be read .
Comment by Holger Nauheimer on March 8, 2010 at 2:58pm
or travel guidance?
Comment by Vesa Purokuru on March 8, 2010 at 2:21pm
is it leadership? can it be guideship? or mentorship?
Comment by Johan Kjörk on March 6, 2010 at 12:44pm
How would you describe Theory U in short?

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