The One Thing Leaders Want

February 26, 2014 — 2 Comments

Leaders want dialog.

You want the ability to discuss, debate, shape and influence a decision before it is made.

The people you lead — or your teenage daughter, or the committee members at church, or the division heads of your organization — want the same thing with you.

Honest, open dialog facilitates shared leadership. Leaders want to share leadership.

This fascinated me, as when our organization restructured recently, one of the five principles guiding our efforts was “shared leadership.” Many leaders initially resisted this, claiming that the essence of leadership—at least in their culture—was having someone in charge to make the final decisions. Yet people don’t want to be led that way. They want to voice their opinions. They want to help shape overall direction. They long for the dynamic interaction among leader-followers that characterizes high performance teams. They want to be engaged in issues and decisions that they will ultimately own. They long to share leadership.

Leaders want dialog.

Read more on this topic in my book CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures.


2 responses to The One Thing Leaders Want

  1. Great post. Our team just recently started to practise more dialog over discussion. Could you give a suggestion to a book a any other resource on a topic shared leadership?

    • Hi Viktor, Thanks for interacting with the idea of dialog. I believe you would be served by my book, CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures. This specifically addresses servant leadership and shared leadership. It is available in paperback or Kindle edition on I have also made a few other posts about shared leadership that you may find helpful. Just search for “shared leadership” on my blog.

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