Participative Leadership

Today, without participative leadership it is very difficult – if not impossible – to stay competitive in the marketplace. You need the hearts, brains, and muscles of your entire workforce – and this type of leadership is an effective way to accomplish it.

Before I describe what “Participative” is, let me define leadership first.

In a nutshell, leadership boils down to three things:

1) Setting direction (vision & strategy)
2) Communicating such direction (organization alignment)
3) Helping people move forward (resource deployment & motivation)

In other words, the very essence of leadership is change – leaders take the initiative in order to create change.

Now, participative leadership means three different but closely interrelated things – it means . . .

1) Broad-based Leadership
2) Team Decision-Making
3) Genuine Listening

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1) Broad-based Leadership

In broad-based leadership, participative leadership means that the organization seeks, incubates, and develops leaders at all levels of the organization.

The organization is always looking for people who can initiate and create change.

These organizations know that the more leaders they have throughout the entire organization, the more effective their organization will be in not only dealing with the ever increasing pace of change, but also, the organization will be more effective at crystallizing change – hence, becoming pace-setters instead of market followers.

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2) Team Decision-Making

In team decision-making, participative leadership means that managers at all levels in the organization involve their people not only in the operational decisions but also in the strategic decisions.

The main ingredient in good decision-making is information, and in this faster and faster moving world, executives don’t have the time to learn everything and keep up-to-date about their customers, competitors, technology, etc.

They need their teams to help them solve all kinds of problems – they also need their teams to help them make key strategic decisions.

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3) Genuine Listening

In genuine listening, participative leadership means that the organization really listens to the employees’ proposals, input, initiatives, etc.

When the organization genuinely listens to the employees’ suggestions, seriously studies their feasibility, and implements the viable ideas, two things happen:

- Ownership and commitment increases among employees
- There is an unstoppable continuous improvement

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In today’s global market place, this type of leadership is a must – if you want to stay competitive.

If you want to be a trendsetter and stay ahead of the pack, participation in the true sense of the word is not an option – it is something you ought to have in the very fabric of your organization.

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If you would like your organization to learn more about participative leadership through my speaking, training, or consulting services, please, click on this link.

To learn about the skills you need to manage the performance of your direct reports, go to my Management Skills page.

To learn about the skills you need to lead the performance of your entire organization, go to my Leadership Skills page.

To learn about other useful skills, go to my More Skills page.

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