Leading Without Authority

I recently led a team building program with a corporate group that included the CEO, people from sales and from manufacturing. It was evident that this particular CEO had trust and rapport with his employees throughout different hierarchical levels. We didn’t have to do much in the way of breaking the ice; this group was comfortable with sharing and informal banter from the get go. As our musical team building activity progressed I was impressed by the CEO’s willingness to ask questions and to let people know what he didn’t know.

The Curious CEO

He was leading without being authoritative on subject matter. It was clear he was comfortable letting his employees utilize their subject matter expertise to express themselves, to do their jobs and to inform others, including the boss. This group functioned as a well-oiled machine being led by a curious and interactive CEO.

The Authority but not Authoritative!

He may have been the authority, but he was not being authoritative. That’s an important distinction. It was easy to lead this group through a fun team building activity as a true collaborative process. Everyone contributed in telling their story; as individuals, as departmental colleagues and as a corporation. The result was a vibrant exercise and a vibrant song representing shared knowledge, shared vision and shared expertise.

This sounds like more than a song to me; it sounds like the way we’d all like or organizations to be.

A team building activity increases collaboration
The CEO's in the huddle with the players
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