Leadership is a Team Sport

In this day and age with flex organizations and continuous dynamic interactions adjusting to accelerating change, it is disappointing that so much of what is discussed in leadership today focuses on the leader in a standalone mode. One of the chapters in my book on leadership development is entitled “Leadership is a Team Sport.” That came from former Chief of Staff General Sullivan’s Rule Five in his book Hope is Not a Method: What Business Leaders Can Learn From America’s Army published back in 1996. He says, “Effective leadership is not about controlling from the top; it is about unleashing the power of people.”

Leadership is void without followers. It is not standalone but people working together and as General Sullivan says unleashing their power. Bottom line is in the end of the day teamwork, if nothing more than two people, must be created for leadership to occur. Otherwise, it is just someone pontificating off on the sidelines. When the leader starts thinking from a team perspective, better behaviors occur and the stronger the leader becomes. We really need to get more dialogue and discussion going on this broader vision of a leader.

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