Agile & Digital / Matrix Management / Virtual Teams

Leadership as a service

One of our colleagues Tony Poots talks about “leadership as a service” in some of his web seminars.

It is a concept that translates well to a remote working environment where people inevitably have more autonomy and flexibility.

A study of people working from home found that only 7% thought they were less productive because they did not have close proximity to their boss.

As we always say to remote leaders “don’t overestimate the value of your presence”. People quite like to be left alone to get on with their work provided they can get access to you when they need you.

When you have fully capable and confident people, then you can enable them to call on your leadership as a service when they need it. That does not mean you won’t keep in touch with them for other reasons, or that you will not have some information needs yourself, but it does place the onus for calling for management support on to the individual.

It means you are available when they need it, but not interrupting when they do not.

This is not something you can do until you trust that people have the capability to do the job and are aligned in the right direction.

If you plan to do this, be sure you are explicit about it with your people, and that they are comfortable with it. Also make sure you define what you need from them to feel comfortable doing this.

It is the ultimate stage of building fully autonomous people, but you do not want people to think you have just abandoned them.

Now that so many people are working from home they are getting used to higher levels of autonomy. The more autonomy you get, the more you want, so we need to be prepared for more push back around control from our people.

If your people had the choice, what leadership services would they freely choose to buy from you?

Seeing your leadership as a service is a mindset change that can help you respond to these requests in a positive way.

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