Horizontal Leadership

leadership wordle

Sometime over this summer, I will collate some key blog posts and models under a header of #OpenLeadership as a tab on this site. Open Leadership is a move beyond command and control, a move beyond hierarchy.

It is not new, however, it is simply about leading in an inclusive, empowered and trusting way. As an example, a while ago Chip Conley had told me a story of getting together a group of fellow students when he was starting university some nearly 40 years ago.

This week one of those students, a certain Seth Godin, wrote about that moment. He called it Horizontal Leadership.

Horizontal leadership

(published by Seth Godin)

The first week of business school was pretty miserable for me. I had no idea if the others were feeling as underwater as I was, because I was focused on my own challenges.

And then, a few days into the semester, Chip Conley, a fellow student, put a note in my campus mailbox. To paraphrase, “I’m organizing a five-person brainstorming group, and I’m hoping you can join us.”

Chip wasn’t in charge of anything. Like me, he was one of the youngest students in the class. But he realized that the best way forward was together, so he reached out and changed the lives of four fellow travelers. By assembling a few others, he created magic, possibility and connection.

What can you organize today?


Also published on Medium.

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