You are currently viewing ‘I’ over  ‘we’ – the fast burn of the lone ranger leader

‘I’ over ‘we’ – the fast burn of the lone ranger leader

Collaboration is a strength and yet once at the table, many leaders think they have to go it alone, coming up with solutions in isolation.

It comes from the perception that ‘I’ have to have ‘the answer’ rather than seeing leadership for what it is, a team effort by a body of people, all of whom have considerable experience and expertise to develop the answers together.

Instead what I’ve learned is that leadership is like a living body that needs constant energy, inputs and ideas.

We talk about leadership teams but it’s different creating a true team that acts together in the interests of the group as a collective hub.

When you are part of a collective leadership body you don’t have to be all things to all people, you just have to have the breadth in capability and trust.

If you as a member of the team are pressured there’s support, if you’re energized you can contribute at the highest levels. The focus is to maintain the collective energy of the team at optimal levels even if there is a difference between the team.

We live in a culture in which the CEO-God is alive and well. Excessive salaries and payouts have caused a decline in public trust in particular when a leader fails.

When company turnaround is achieved by cost cutting and other short term solutions results are not sustainable.

The upside of the cult of CEO is to be and be seen as the game changer who can do anything when the reality as everyone knows is that a whole team of people is running to make things happen.

It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’, you don’t have to know ahead of time and you don’t have to get there alone. And we never do.

I think moving from an ‘I’ to a ‘we’ mindset is critical for leaders.

I have written a Pink Paper with some thoughts on leadership if you’re interested in reading more you can download it here.

Rachel Kelly, CEO The Retail Collective, former global CEO of T2Tea

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