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September 19, 2012

Engage Leaders At All Levels: The 6th Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

by Dr Rob Pennington

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the sixth in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 6th Key: Engage Leaders At All Levels

Leaders are not necessarily people who hold a position of authority, they are people who make such an impact that others choose to respond to them. A strategy or an initiative may be well planned out on paper, but if these natural leaders are not engaged they are the very people who could inhibit success.

Leaders exist at all levels of the organization. Leaders who are on the front lines “excel at seeing things through fresh eyes and at challenging the status quo. They are energetic and seem able to run through, or around, obstacles” (John Kotter*). If these potential leaders are not given the opportunity to invest their energy in contributing, they may invest their energy in leading a resistance movement simply because they feel that their concerns are not understood and respected.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.

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