I was recently in a seminar about leadership and in the middle of the day, I had a revelation. The theory behind being an effective leader and leading a high-performance team is based on almost the exact same theory as Web 2.0. I’ve created a series of posts revealing ‘The Leadership Secrets of Web 2.0’, which details some of the core tenets behind Web 2.0 theory and how they apply in real life situations as the leader of a team.
Secret #1: Give Up Control – The Power of One Vs. Many.
On The Web: Wisdom of the crowd (crowdsourcing) CAME from the web. The web discovered the massive power, knowledge, and efficiency that results from letting go of control and trusting the community to help solve problems and come up with better ideas. This is core concept of the Open Source movement and projects like Wikipedia – turn over the keys to the community and let them drive. After all, a few million brains are almost certainly more powerful than just yours.
As A Leader: The wisdom of the crowd is almost always greater than the wisdom of the leader, too. Many leaders’ natural instincts tend towards control – they’ve likely reached ‘leader’ status because they have experience, they’re smart, and they’re good at solving problems and producing results. So it’s often very tough for a leader to actively give up control over an idea, a project, or a problem and place that responsibility entirely with his or her team.
The reason why you have to give up control is this:
If you are the person solving your team’s problems and simply forcing them to execute your solutions, then you are a Manager.
If you are a person who sees your job as making your team work more effectively, growing their strength, earning their trust, and engaging their passion, you are a Leader.
It’s not about you. It’s about your team.
So learn from the web. Tell your team the desired outcome and then… give up control. Hand over the keys. Take a leap of faith. Put that faith in your team. Prepare to be blown away.
In what other ways can Web 2.0 provide leadership models? Let me know in the comments!
(This is the first in a series of posts about Web 2.0 Leadership Lessons.)
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