Holistic Leadership

Teams are a vehicle for getting something done.  The term “teamwork” is tossed about, but you can’t fully appreciate its meaning until something is accomplished.

In my experience, when a group of people identify with a shared direction, there is a sense of commitment that can generate extraordinary results in unexpected ways. When they produce exceptional results the individual members grow more rapidly.

Leadership and teamwork start with dialogue — the capacity of members to put assumptions on hold and enter into a genuine “thinking together”.  In the Greek definition, dia-logos means free-flowing.  Dialogue allows a group to discover insights not within reach individually.  The intelligence of the team exceeds the intelligence of the individuals.  A team has the capacity to develop extraordinary results through their collaborative action.

The Principle of Holistic Leadership

Holistic Leadership blends strong leadership with teamwork and sets the tone for team behaviors and attitudes.

The principle of holistic leadership is always at play on high functioning teams. This approach means looking from the perspective of the entire team and in some cases the entire organization.  Practicing the holistic leadership role is one of the greatest challenges for team members.  If you walk across the bridge from being responsible for a role to one of holistic leadership, you move the team forward—even if they don’t report to you.

These are examples of attitudes that are not typical of holistic leaders:

I’ll just wait it out – another change or restructure will come eventually. 
Working for our shared success is not in my best interests.
I have not been given permission to be a leader.
If I worry about the team, my own needs will not be met.
If I want to get ahead, I have to watch out for myself.

The approach of the holistic leader is evidenced when people operate from this paradigm:

If it is not working, what can I do?
If this were my money, would I spend it in this way?
How can I best serve my team or organization? 
Who or what needs my support?
How can I act to demonstrate the kind of team we want to build?

Holistic leaders support others and celebrate their successes.  They are willing to challenge and to change when necessary.  They give up the temptation to complain and blame.  Holistic leaders work with others to create an environment in which positive change happens and results are produced.

Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.