One seemingly unchanging phenomena in the world of business based hierarchy is that of leaders and followers. Both leaders and followers play an equal role in perpetuating the myth that some people know better than others how things should be done.
The leaders can often times relish their position of having people come to them for all the answers, or in dictating mandates, or in the fabricated feeling that they are somehow in control.
Followers quite often relish not having to take responsibility for making the tough decisions, not having to take the fall if the ideas don’t work and being able to associate themselves with a successful team when the ideas do work.
Is it not that ideas succeed and fail based on team efforts, efforts comprised of thousands of tiny decisions being made by a web of people pushing a vision forward? Do we ask ourselves each time we turn a corner, “I wonder how so and so would want me to handle this?” I think not, we act based on instincts and our sense of connection with the greater vision.
So who or what then is really in charge? Could it be our mission statement? Could it be the ‘boss?’ Could it be the shareholders? Or could it be our individual connection with a unified vision, a vision that has been shaped, formed and interpreted by a diverse team of diverse people? And could it be that our part to play is in following our own instincts and sense of integrity?
I’ve found that the most successful efforts are those with the greatest degree of diffused ownership, in which each player on the team feels a sense of empowerment and autonomy to individually interpret the collective vision, to make decisions and act according to that interpretation with a minimal amount of outside control.