Success factor: Co-leadership

Personal leadership, feeling empowered to take initiative, is one of the key factors for achieving an integrated and sustainable outcome.

The success strategy: Take initiative. We inspire others by example to engage and to interact towards an integrated and sustainable outcome. We can discuss this factor using the following success markers: Feel empowered, Take the lead, Group focus, Social interaction and Generative mindset


Feel empowered
We feel strong and empowered to do what is necessary for achieving the collective goal
krachtig en bevoegd

Recent surveys show that 34% of the professionals feels empowered but almost the same number feels not.  Feeling empowered is a prerequisite for taking the lead and working in a flow. (Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)

Individual improvement

Empowerment originates from two sources:

  • internal: feeling inspired, motivated and energized from an internal feeling or mindset
  • external: getting permission, appreciation, energy or inspiration from others

Review your inner sources with questions such as:

  • How do I motivate myself?
  • What do I feel responsible for?

Review and balance with your external source:

  • Who inspires me?
  • What is my formal task or responsibility?

Focus on increasing your circle of influence.

Team improvement

Create clear defintions of tasks, roles and responsibilities for all team members. Balance autonomy among team members in accordance with the level of competence.

Also define and sustain a group responsibility: We, as a team, feel responsible for…

Other interventions
  • Emphasize interdependencies during the discussion of topics
  • Give positive feedback when people take the lead

Use methods for :

  • Defining work packages
  • Visualizing interdependencies
Take the lead
If it is necessary each of us takes a leading role
initiatief nemen

Who takes the lead when challenging situations require action? In Agile teams there  is only one answer to this question: The first person who is aware of it. Especially in complex or dynamic environments it is important to take initiative in order to minimize risks and sustain a natural workflow. (Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)

Individual improvement

Taking the lead is a form of connected leadership. It is not about function or role. It simply means that you are the first individual taking action in order to anticipate or react to challenging situations, such as uncertainty, risks or issues that block achieving the team objective.

Three competences are a prerequisite for taking the lead: calm alertness, forward thinking and swift deliberate action.

This requires overview (who, what/when), insight (what is the proper action) and a clear line of sight (objective and blocking issues).

Team improvement

Make sure all team members share a common view on the next steps, interdependencies and cohesion of the deliverables of the group.

Know your communication and decision flow

Stimulate ‘pacing en leading’ and communicate that this a part of the group culture.

Other interventions

Use the a2Results® Team app at regular interval and discusss team development.

Stimulate transparancy, interaction and openness.

Group focus
We focus the group attention on what matters most (direction)

Most teams struggle with obtaining a group focus. There are at least two important blockers: In most cases it boils down to different perceptions about the results, the importance of certain tasks and the workflow. Another blocker is the personal need or desire to work autonomously. (Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)

Individual improvement
  1. Organize yourself. Know what is important and what actions to take in order to get results that matter;
  2. Align with others to get a clear and shared line of sight for future work and actions;
  3. Think stepwise. Scale ambition and timeframe to avoid loosing focus;
  4. Check the feasibility of your individual steps before committing to it.
Team improvement
  1. Find together: the most concrete and valuable results for the next 2-4 weeks;
  2. Get a group estimate which activities have the highest contribution to achieving these results;
  3. Formulate the group focus and evaluate if all team members feel this is feasible in relation to possible other individual tasks;
  4. Adjust group focus.
Other interventions
  • Create a backlog with activities that are out of scope for the current group focus;
  • Use MoSCoW (must have, should have, could have, would have);
  • Start meetings with repeating the bigger picture and the reason for the current group focus.
Social interaction
We encourage useful interaction between people

Success is a joint effort and social interaction is the key. 29% of the professionals in this survey feel this interaction is stimulated in teams and 25% feels it is not. Many seem to prefer single autonomous work above alignment en interaction. In dynamic, multidisciplinary or complex environments however social interaction is a prerequisite for team synergy and agility. (Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)

Individual improvement

An egocentric approach to the day to day work challenges might not stimulate social interaction. Interaction starts with a centered open mind and the ability to connect to perception and feelings of others. It is easier to stimulate positive interaction when you find time to connect with others and work with a mindset of interdependency. Finding and organizing the right time and place is one of the stimulating factors.

Awareness questions:

  • What is a possible outcome when working together on this action or topic?
  • Which people or interactions do stimulate and energize me?
  • Which possibilities might arise by interacting with others?
Team improvement
  • Pair up for complex topics and actions
  • Create an overview of all people involved in the team objective. Which persons need to interact more in order to get a better, faster and more sustainable outcome?
Other interventions
  • Identify task interdependencies and stimulate interaction to minimize risks.

Use methods for:

  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Initiating projects
  • Setting up roles and responsibilities
Generative mindset
We align inspirations and ambitions into a collective mindset
Elkaar versterken

A generative mindset creates more possibilities than one single person can imagine. Sustainable succes is the result of people that are driven to align their inspiration and ambition into a collectieve mindset. 45% of the professionals in the survey feels that team members lack the commitment to do so. In settings which need creativity or problem solving capabilities a collective mindset might spark when team members built on each other and try to find the common ground that embraces the differences. (Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)v

Individual improvement

Create your personal conditions  for a generative mindset:

  • Make sure you are balanced and in a good condition;
  • Find an overarching purpose and objective that inspires you;
  • Value the importance of good working relationships;
  • Focus on useful settings and tasks to work together.
Team improvement
  • Express and discuss inspirations;
  • Focus on finding connections between perceptions, inspirations and personal goals;
  • Find the triple win: self, team, others;
  • Talk about the ‘why’ and the ‘for whom’ of the team and align with personal inspiration and ambition.
Other interventions
  • Create a team profile of drives and thinking styles by using tools like Mindsonar®
  • Find moments to align on team mission, vision, ambition and roles.