Everything in our world is, or will be, connected. In this interdependent new reality, what does leadership need to look like to succeed and thrive?

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) has been asking this question — and finding answers through action research and development practices. We believe that new ways of learning and working are needed to foster leadership in an interdependent world, based on three essential principles:

Principle 1: Interdependent leadership requires an evolution in leadership thought.Leadership isn’t about individual heroic leaders. Leadership is a social process that createsdirection, alignment, and commitment (DAC) among people who share work.

Principle 2: Leadership cultures must advance. Every organization and community has a dominant leadership culture that is dependent, independent or interdependent.Interdependent cultures are most capable of dealing with complexity, ambiguity and change. Slowing down to power up is the learning discipline that drives the leadership culture.

Principle 3: Interdependent leadership is needed within and across four levels: society, organization, group and individual. Four “practical arts” allow us to work effectively across these levels: dialogue, creating headroom, boundary spanning and inside-out development.

Learn more in a chapter entitled “Developing Interdependent Leadership” written by CCL authors Charles J. Palus, John B. McGuire and Chris Ernst in The Handbook for Teaching Leadership, edited by Harvard Business School leadership faculty.

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