Byron's Babbles

Leading Shoulder To Shoulder

shoulderIn Lesson #37 of The Disciplined Leader, John Manning (2015) wrote on how to advocate for your team. I call this pulling up shoulder to shoulder with your team. The best way to advocate for your team is to work right alongside of the people. This comes down to having a philosophy of a flattened hierarchy. I believe leadership must happen whenever and wherever necessary, by whomever can best provide that leadership. With this type of culture it is important to lead shoulder to shoulder with the team.

I like the flat organizational structure because the employees work in smaller teams and have more voice and power over how they work. Many exemplars of this structure can be found in the business community. The term I use here of being shoulder to shoulder comes from a teacher from another school district other than my own, who said to me, “You know, I’ve never seen an administrator who is so involved in every piece of the school like you are. It is not that you are micro-managing, you are just working ‘shoulder to shoulder with everyone.” Honestly, I took this as a huge compliment. I do believe it is important to work right next to those you lead. IMG_3003

I have always said one my most important roles is serving as a blocker. Manning (2015) called this “overcoming obstacles.” The only way to truly advocate for your team and give them the support they need is to be right on the line (using a football analogy) with them ready to block. The other real advantage to being shoulder to shoulder with your team is the opportunity to learn the micro-knowledge of the organization from those doing the important work.

How about you; are you shoulder to shoulder with your team?




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