My issues with authority (1 of 3)

authority instilled in an individual breeds expectations from othersIn the first post in this challenge series, I came up with 3 frustrations. I will start with the issues I have with authority. Giving somebody authority leads to obedience. It will lead to team members bowing down against their own judgement. I have personally experienced this on both sides of authority and am frustrated with authority and obedience. Time to turn frustration into positive energy and do something about it!

I will write 3 posts about authority. This first post will be an explanation of why I think there is an issue to begin with. The second post will contain general research about authority. The third post will hopefully provide inspiration and maybe even an answer about the issue I will describe below here.

My challenge with leadership

My challenge is about transforming myself from Agile Team Coach to Coach of whole Organizations. I have been working with and leading teams during Agile transformations. At this point I have become quite frustrated with the leadership models in the last few organizations I’ve worked with and in. As a result, I am starting a journey to find a solution. My frustrations:

pressure coming from leadershipPressure

Managers somehow always provide either too much or too little pressure on accomplishment, resulting in either bored or burned out employees. This pressure should not come from management, but from individuals themselves. Give people a great goal, the means to achieve and help them organize themselves!

creativity being killed by overruling decisionsDecisions

There is way too much debate about decisions that a team or individual can very easily make themselves. This leads to frustration of creative individuals being overruled by their “betters”. Halted creativity and initiatives will start to fester and kill the atmosphere and productivity.

team hero - a problematic leadership styleLeadership

Leadership is assigned by managers to individuals that they decide are their “favorite” sub-leaders. This authoritative method of delegation brings a team to a “Hero” model as described by Belbin, which will mostly not work. It’s not about that one individual, let leadership flow!
Update: I’ve written a trilogy on my issues with authority.

Now what?

As mentioned I feel a strong need to bring change on these points surrounding leadership. I am taking my first steps to do something about them by taking time off, no day job for me in December. I’ll use this time for 3 subjects:

  1. Studying up on leadership and alternative leadership models such as Sociocracy and Holacracy.
  2. This site, I will write blog posts at least weekly and will fill the site to become my personal card.
  3. Networking, I’d like to find a cool position where I can apply what I learn starting from Januari.

If you’d care to keep updated on what I am doing, follow me here, on LinkedIn and on Twitter.