By John Worne

There are lots of different forms of leadership; what works is often situational and dependent on context. 

The stereotype – even the default expectation – is dominant, alpha, decisive and driving: ‘big trousers’ leadership. But today’s world is often too complex for too much of that.

The leadership that a Specialist-Generalist brings may not have the instant authority of the ‘top dog’. 

For example COOs have different mandates and permissions than CEOs. A CEO can legitimately set out to focus on what they’re best at – a COO usually has to cover and catch it all. 

So I like what Sheryl Sandberg – herself a COO – had to say about Dean Nohria’s inclusive shift in the Harvard Business School’s definition of leadership: 

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure the impact lasts in your absence.”

I can happily sign up for this. Big trousers are old school. 

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