Chapter 17 — Sharing Leadership

This competency enables the learner to:

About Sharing Leadership

Candidate Graduation at the end of summer camp.

Sharing Leadership translates on one level into "styles" of leadership. Depending on the job and the group, certain ways for the leader to work with the group will be more appropriate than others. It also identifies some of the generic roles groups have that can be distributed among all members.

Sharing leadership is a key function of a leader. The ability to extend herself, to accomplish jobs greater than one person alone can handle, is one of the key elements of our society's success today. Never has a society been so productive.

Models for Leadership

Sharing leadership is key to the White Stag philosophy of leadership because it overtly promotes the distribution of the functions of the leader among the group. This aspect of management (shared problem-solving and decision-making) is an increasingly prevalent aspect of management worldwide.

Competitive styles of leadership are less and less responsive to complex society today. Participative or cooperative styles of interaction are the key to our future.

An individuals' style in interacting with others is an outward sign of the substance within. With experience, we can really tell a lot about people's capabilities by looking at them; but it is better to watch them in action. How does a good leader behave when the group is confronted with the need for decision?

Sharing Leadership and Participative Management

Contextual leadership describes a method of leadership that is in relative to the needs of the members. There are a a number of models for participative management or leadership advocated by different authors. One of these is Situational Leadership as described by Dr. Paul Hershey.

Contextual leadership bascially means is that there is no one best way to lead in every situation. It suggests that effective leadership varies with the maturity level — that is, members willingness and ability to lead or follow— within a group.

The White Stag JLT program has historically referred to five styles of leadership: Telling, Selling, Consulting, Delegating, and Joining.

Sharing Leadership is a style of participative management. Participative management concepts have been around for many years. For example:

The key idea is that empowered individual swill feel better about their contributions and be more productive.

These styles of leadership are appropriate depending on the task, the situation, and the group. The talented leader uses the most appropriate style. They are described on the next few pages in order from most to least authoritarian.

Polar Model of Leadership

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