Viral leadership

Bad isn’t the enemy of good. Bland is. Yet it seems as if many businesses actively cultivate mediocrity. They show few signs of, and little ambition for, distinctiveness.

The executive team is (or should be) the model for attitudes and behaviours for the whole business. A strong, effective leadership team acts as a powerful role model for the rest of the organisation. Likewise, a weak leadership team creates its own imitators. The idea of viral leadership is that, if the leadership team is powerful enough, it will have such a beneficial impact on the organisation that little else will need to be done. This alone will create self-propelled change – it will act as a beneficial infection.

There are a number of characteristics that promote powerful teams. These include for example, the ability to relish apparent contradictions, and use them like the poles in a motor to energise the team. Powerful teams develop a high degree of trust within the team. Most importantly, in the words of a friend and colleague of mine, on issues that matter you can’t get a cigarette paper between them.

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