Leadership is essentially about managing social identity: effective leadership makes members want to belong. Team cohesion lets members do their best for the team and outperform their own expectations.
Unlike ‘traditional’ leadership models, we see leadership not as a suite of innate talents or personal trades, but as a process to be facilitated. In addition to the leader’s own professional qualities, leadership is about supporting the team.
Our leadership training works from the idea that once we identify with a group our actions are no longer informed by just own feelings, beliefs and goals. Belonging makes us tune our actions to the group’s expectation. A sense of membership also means that our expectations of and confidence in our group are higher than for people not seen as ‘one of us’. Trust and effective cooperation are a consequence of (rather than a prerequisite for) group cohesion. Based on the identity theory* we conclude that effective leadership is essentially about forming a cohesive group or team.
Leadership should therefore facilitate the group process. The leader is ‘other-centered’, talking and thinking in terms and ‘we’ and communicating a vision recognised and owned by members. Her efforts are continuously directed to strengthening the group’s identity. Moreover, together with her team, she keeps spotting opportunities how members can use and develop their full potential.
In our leadership training participants are introduced to the competencies necessary to increase social identity of groups. For effective implementation, a follow-up coaching program is part of the training.
* Tajfal & Turner, 1979; Turner e.al. 1987, 1994; Haslam, 2001; Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2011
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscle; but today it means getting along with people.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.
– Casey Stengel
These were not just leadership lessons. They were lessons for life.
Great training. Henning is slightly provocative, but always respectful.