Shared leadership, as opposed to traditional leadership
styles with a small number of leaders at the top, distributes responsibilities
among team members. Discover more about leadership styles.
What Exactly Is Shared Leadership?
A shared leadership model distributes leadership
responsibilities and decision-making power throughout an organization so that
team members can help lead each other to success. This style, also known as
distributed leadership, contrasts sharply with vertical leadership, which
assigns a small number of team leadersâ€”sometimes as few as one personâ€”to manage
the rest of the team.
While shared leadership is not as traditional and rigidly
hierarchical as vertical leadership, it can still be somewhat hierarchical.
However, shared power relationships are more prevalent at each level than in
top-down structures where one person leads many others.
Shared Leadership Characteristics
Team members have the following responsibilities under
A shared vision: In shared leadership, teams understand the
organization's common objectives and values, as well as the projects and tasks
they carry out.
Coaching: Team coaching is an essential component of shared
leadership. Teams can work out problems as well as opportunities for leadership development in a workshop setting. This can include providing others with the
tools they need to succeed within this model, as well as brainstorming
solutions to problems with cohesion and identifying issues with leadership
practices or processes.
Recognition: While shared leadership focuses on the unit,
you should still recognize individuals for their accomplishments. This promotes
teamwork by recognizing and appreciating each other's strengths. Finally, this
has the potential to improve team performance.
Teamwork: Teamwork is emphasized in this shared leadership
model. Increase team process transparency so that everyone has access to the
Trust and honesty: To maximize team effectiveness, everyone
must develop trust with one another so that decision-making can result in
honest, engaging, encouraging, and empowering interactions. Every team member
should believe they can contribute.
The Benefits of Shared Leadership
This model has several advantages. According to research,
the shared leadership approach is related to team effectiveness. Individual
empowerment can be increased through shared leadership. Workers can step up for
opportunities that align with their own skill set because they share the varied
and widespread demands of leadership. This leadership style can also contribute
to better self-management among teams because employees have a clear
understanding of their purpose and goals.
The Drawbacks of Shared Leadership
This style of leadership has drawbacks, such as the fact
that groups may take longer to reach a decision than a single individual or
formal leader would. Furthermore, understanding accountability may be more
difficult. You may need to specify whether each task has a specific owner or
owners, or if everyone shares equal responsibility.
If you haven't already implemented shared leadership, it may
take some time to get it going. Finally, shared leadership may not be
appropriate for every team.