A New Style of Leading in Business

Recently one of my clients was anxiously anticipating a change at his work. A new manager was coming to town and the renewal of the lease on the building was due. My client didn’t know who the new manager was going to be, but he did know that he didn’t want to step up and be it. He loved the work he did and didn’t want to have the life of a manager. He also really liked the fact that his office was close to home. One of his deepest values was his family. So the idea that a new manager was going to come into the business and maybe move the office a couple of towns away, disturbed him.

At first he thought that he’d just have to hope that the situation would resolve the way he wanted. When I asked if he wanted to take a passive stance, he decided that he didn’t. He then made up his mind that he was going to tell the new manager that he would handle the re-location issue.

Hearing that, I asked him if he wanted to take that aggressive stance. He sighed. “What else can I do?”

I asked if he treated the decisions that had to be made in his family life passively. Did his wife just make all the choices and he went along with everything she said? He laughed. “No.”

I asked, “How well would it go if you came home and told your wife what you were going to do?”

He chuckled and said, “Not very well.”

“So how do you handle it?” I asked.

“We decide together.”

New Style of Leading

Learning how to meet your business situations through creating co-leading with other people is a huge skill that can serve many in business. What is co-leading? Co-leading is when you create an alliance with another person at your job and together work to create an outcome that most of the time is much better than what could be created by just one person. When you co-lead, you don’t take the superior position nor the inferior position. Instead, co-leading is where there is mutual respect, and you approach each other on an equal footing.

My client loved the idea of approaching his manager in a co-leading style and was more than willing to give it a try. He could see how taking this style of leading, not only in this one situation but in a lot of others, would really help serve him. He loved how it felt better than taking a passive role, or being a victim. Also, co-leading felt much better than taking a more aggressive role that might strain his relationship with the manager from the start.

The Art of Co-Leading

The art of co-leading takes work and effort. Chances are the better your relationship is with your significant other, the more likely you will be able to take that skill to the workplace. There is not just one way to co-lead. There is a lot of room for your personality and skill to come into play. The most important part of co-leading, though, is to treat each person in the relationship as an equal and to move forward to a common goal. It is much easier to for the co-leading to unfold if the common goal is in place.

If you really want to see change happen, and other people are involved, consider leading with a co-leading style.

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