Friday, 12 February 2016

Why There Is No Need For Corner Offices In Liberated Leadership!

Do corner offices still exist, in the first place?

There is no doubt that over the last decade more and more companies have gone flatter, scrapping or considerably reducing hierarchy and the need for corner offices.

Let's think about the young and growing start-ups, tech companies and their founders: open plans and shared spaces are the norm, not out of reach and out of mind corner offices with their impossibly distant CEOs!

Yet for some people, leadership is still a question of job title. If you are the CEO, the MD or the top director, then you must be the leader, it is a function of the work title you carry. Honestly, I can see why this may still be the prevalent thought in the mind of many. In the past, the leader would literally guide his folks (no option to use HER as there would have been no females at the top) his wisdom, knowledge and expertise well above everyone else's. Those leaders would generally think that hardly anything could be learnt from staff in lower positions and that proximity to such staff was perhaps an unnecessary distraction.

My, how things have changed!

Nowadays, nobody has The Knowledge. People in all kinds of senior positions, including CEOs, recognise that there is a need to mix, share, absorb, understand, listen, network, question (...and the list could continue) staff below and above, peers and juniors, young and old, women and men and everyone else too. Creativity, innovation and skills belong everywhere in companies and it is absolutely critical for long term, sustainable success that these very attributes are regularly tapped into.

You could call it Liberated Leadership as it has liberated itself, and done away with, all kinds of limiting, border-focussed concepts.

Liberated leadership belong to everywhere in the company. It belongs to those that make it their mission to think and act as leaders whatever their title or whatever the desk they may be sitting on. It belongs to those who are not  worried about sharing their knowledge, expertise or skills to ensure every team can benefit from it, rather than playing their cards close to their chest for fear of losing out, or becoming weak. It belongs to those who can think beyond individual power to develop and grow their teams. 

This has many important consequences, but to me it means above all that leadership is finally open to a whole range of people - in particular I am thinking of women - who do not define themselves necessarily through their job title, nor see themselves as leaders in the most old fashioned, corner- office old fashioned, sense of the word.  As a woman I know that what interests me is to make the difference by supporting and growing, impacting and influencing others close to me and as far as possible in a domino style effect.  This is because I am, and I feel many other women are,  interested not in claiming our stake as leaders per se, but in demonstrating and acting out leadership traits that bring about positive and substantial change.

The balance has shifted and success now resides in our ability to demonstrate leadership qualities over and above the position we might be holding in the office or indeed in our families or clubs. The feeling is quite liberating, because at last we can strive for what we inherently knew and believed: that there is another model of leadership, one in which authenticity, collaboration and emotional intelligence play a critical role, are valued and used to their best effect.

What is your experience of leadership and are you ready to stake your claim in Liberated Leadership?

Alessandra is an experienced mentor, business coach, consultant and strategist. She supports individuals - especially women - and organisations in achieving their potential through customised, outcome driven interventions . You can find out more about Alessandra here and contact her by email here.



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