Deborah Ancona, Elaine Backman and Kate Isaacs make powerful observations in their article, Nimble Leadership, in the July issue of the Harvard Business Review. They get to critical issues which lie at the heart of the tension between the traditional view of leadership and a newer, more flexible model.
They posit “leadership” should rest with the person best positioned to exercise it, rather than with the manager who has been assigned that role by the organisation. It also opens up leadership to the personal decision of individuals: people can choose to step into leadership as they experience situations which require leadership. This aligns with the co-active leadership model which also holds that you show up as a leader whenever you take responsibility for your world.
It also aligns with the co-active model of leadership which frames leadership as situational and functional. Ancona et al. identify “entrepreneurial leaders, enabling leaders and architecting leaders” as specific expressions of leadership which exist at different levels of organisations AND that allow the organisations they have studied to become self-managing to a surprising degree. Read on to discover how this has occurred.