Independence or Interdependence in Leadership

Independence or Interdependence in LeadershipIn a few days we will celebrate our nation’s independence and declaration of freedom.   It has me thinking about the relationship between independence and interdependence in leadership.

Which is best?

Interdependence is the reliance of all people so that the interaction is mutually beneficial. This definition suggests that leaders need to be interdependent.  An obvious behavior is the practice of leaders relying upon the support and input of others necessary for collaboration, trust, and a willingness to follow their collective vision of the future.

What about the independent leader?  Can you work independently and still be successful?  There is the position of “the buck stops here” when it comes to accountability in leadership.  However leadership authors Kouzes and Posner write in Credibility, too much support can foster dependency.  “Leaders can not be expected to be available 24 hours a day and still maintain their personal health and worth to the organization.”

While the climb to the top can be tough going for anyone.

Perhaps you are blazing a new path or following in the footsteps of those before you; how you direct, align and commit others to go for greatness will define your leadership.  Imagine your impact.

On this Fourth of July, may we all celebrate both our independence and interdependence as leaders in our work and life.

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