Share, Don’t Take the Lead is a book that offers an alternative perspective on leadership. The philosophy of shared leadership is straightforward: Leadership does not derive solely from position, authority, or hierarchy. Instead, leadership is something that can be executed by anyone who has the best knowledge or skill to undertake the leadership necessary in any given situation. Shared leadership is especially relevant, for example, in empowered teams where shared leadership can be initiated from any team member at any time, depending on the needs of the moment and the capabilities of the individuals. But the notion of shared leadership is also appropriate in a larger context. For example, an individual lower in the hierarchy can provide leadership if that person is best qualified to exercise it. Shared leadership also shows how hierarchical leaders with formal authority can use empowerment to develop leadership in others. This book tells the tales of how multiple trail blazing organizations used shared leadership to build high performance._x000D_
The notion of shared leadership seems to contradict many of the bedrock ideas of efficient management and effective organizations. A typical first reaction is, “It’ll never work here!” Yet, the organizations that “get it” and implement this new powerful approach tend to be more innovative and to out-perform their “nay-sayer” competitors. In fact, shared leadership is one of the most important ideas to hit business in recent years—our recent feature article about shared leadership in the Wall Street Journal is testimony to that. Shared leadership can provide a way for companies to increase productivity, quality, and flexibility while meeting the competitiveness challenge. Share the Lead provides new insights and information about how to push the organizational envelope to new frontiers.