Leadership as curating workplace communities

This is a photo of my international team enjoying a night out in London. We had gotten lost and were looking for the closest tube station. It occurred to me when I saw it today that if my leadership style is to lead from the front, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take this fab image!

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I’ve always taken pride in leading by hanging back at a respectable distance (figuratively) so that I can make sure that everyone is alright; trusting my team to be the creative, knowlege’able and purposeful people that they are. It occurred to me that this photo is a cameo of how my job as a leader is to create a nurturing space for people to organise themselves – a key element of which is to engender a culture that emphasises mutuality and collaboration.

The idea of leadership as curating workplace communities is predicated on the notion that organising is about coordinating joint activities and AUTHOR’ising people to act autonomously based on their strengths and local/relevant knowledge. This leads to team agility in the face of complex situations and commitment because people are more likely to own what they make together. The word curate comes from the Latin ‘to care for’.

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