Dr Mark McKergow (United Kingdom)

Great engagement is the key to truly successful leadership, and the secret to moving forward is knowing when to step back. It is no longer about being the hero, the one that has to make everything happen. There is another way: be the host.

The art of leading was never easy – and it seems to be getting harder all the time. Communication is faster, connection is greater, markets are global, and whatever action we take is part of a great onrushing whirl of conversation and innovation.

In this world, what does it mean to lead? People can get all the information they need (apparently from whatever perspective they want) at the touch of a button and interact with whomever they want. So, the classical view of a leader as someone who issues information and direction is obsolete.

Leadership seems to put the focus on the leader.  I think this is a mistake. Leading is about a relationship – between the leader and the others. It takes two to have a relationship – but the leader is only one person. So the key is building relationships – at work, in the community, in society, at home – to engage others. This engagement is the key ingredient that leads to increased performance and results.

Source: iCN Issue 11 (Executive Coaching); pages 25-26

About Dr Mark McKergow

Dr Mark McKergow is the co-author of Host: Six new roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities and movements, published on 6 October 2014.  , @thehostleader.