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Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership by Allan R. Cohen, David L. Bradford

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LEADER—MEMBER AMBIVALENCE

The remarkable transformation of John Sloan and his team, described in Chapter 4, illustrates the benefits of successful post-heroic leadership. Teams are able to arrive at more creative, high-quality decisions; there is greater commitment to implementation; and everything takes less time. These outcomes are the result of numerous changes in working processes:

  • Individual team members and the group as a whole can influence the unit’s most critical issues and each other to a greater extent.
  • Members have more clout with the leader.
  • The leader no longer has to hold back strong opinions or hide power since the members will push back if they disagree.
  • Disagreements are open and task related, not covert battles for dominance.
  • All have an opportunity and an obligation to contribute.
  • People hold one another accountable for performance.
  • All team members pull together.
  • Information is shared, not hidden.
  • Problems and positions are visible.
  • People can ask for help when necessary since neither leader nor members are expected to have all the answers.
  • Meetings create energy.

The positive outcomes observed at Applico are similar to those at Pharmco, which we introduced in Chapter 1. In both cases, teams developed through post-heroic leadership were able to handle problems that few managers would have thought possible. They demonstrated that sharing management responsibilities ...

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