Home » Blog » The Five Dimensions of Co-Active Leadership
One-dimensional leadership models have no scope for celebrating and honoring various leadership expressions.
Communities, whether at home or at work, require a multidimensional and inclusive model to be fully successful. As a result, leadership can be a versatile structure in which everyone, regardless of their position or title, can assume leadership and shift fluidly across various aspects of leadership depending on the needs of the moment.
Multidimensionality and versatility enable us to tap into a wider pool of capital from a diverse group of influential leaders, each of whom bears responsibility in their own unique way. One-dimensional, hierarchical leadership systems, in which critical aspects are often ignored, fail to produce collaborative solutions.
The Co-Active Leadership Model has five dimensions and five distinct leadership styles. The dimensions of the Co-Active Leadership Model are intended to work together, even though it is beneficial to separate them for the sake of learning and practice. Everyone takes on all five positions at various times, moving from one to the next as the conditions and needs of the moment dictate.
This is where all leadership begins—from within. It begins with taking responsibility for who you are, knowing your values, and then leading in alignment with those values. I agree with the authors that what we need to lead is within us, but leading with a “take me as I am” approach can lead to disaster. Self-awareness is about seeing who I am in relation to those I impact and asking ourselves if this is the person I want to be. Opening our heart is not enough. The bigger question is what is motivating the heart. From “Within” we move into the other dimensions as appropriate.
Leading in front is not about being in charge. A Co-Active Leader in Front fosters a “connection with the people who are following them and stand firmly for a clear direction and purpose.” They understand too that it is not about them, it’s also about creating the space for others to step up and share their knowledge and creativity. It’s about providing guidance.
This is about service. Co-Active Leaders Behind “focus on providing whatever is needed and, through openhearted and enthusiastic participation, advance the action in a way that holds everyone together.” They are most concerned about the whole. It’s about encouraging others.
Two can be better than one. Co-Active Leaders Beside “take responsibility for their world by creating their partnership around a shared vision and intention. Supporting each other’s strength to generate a powerful synergy in which the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.” It’s about partnering with team members.
The field referred here is “the energetic field that surrounds all of life and offers us information all the time.” So Co-Active Leaders in the Field is “about expanding our attention beyond individual people to connect with the energetic field that surrounds life.” It’s about drawing on insights from beyond the rational mind. It is about sensing and connectedness.
Seeing leadership as more than top-down command, frees one to lead. Leadership in the multi-dimensional way as the authors of the book Co-active Leadership is an enriching experience for a leader’s responses and approaches to any given situation.
There are five dimensions to the Co-Active Leadership Model, as well as five different leadership styles. Even though it is useful to separate the dimensions of the Co-Active Leadership Model for the sake of learning and practise, they are meant to work together. Everyone rotates through all five positions at different times, shifting from one to the next as conditions and needs require
Although the Co-Active Leadership Model is a highly collaborative process, the first of its five dimensions focuses on the personal: leading from the inside. If we are to make the kind of deliberate, creative decisions that Co-Active Leadership demands, we should be fully present and live lives of honesty, open-heartedness, and self-awareness. Each of the four remaining dimensions work together in a comprehensive manner.
The 5 types of Co-active leadership are as follows:
Leadership coaching is a strong business management tool that enables business leaders at all levels to improve their performance by leveraging their own leadership qualities and skills.
There are five leadership dimensions to a leader’s style: awareness, vision, imagination, accountability, and action. At the individual, institutional, and social levels, all five dimensions must be considered
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