Shared Leadership in Project Management: benefits and techniques for developing it

the shared leadership

Shared leadership in project management may not seem like a convenient solution; however, it is not. Let’s see together in this article what benefits could be gained from shared leadership and what are the best techniques to achieve it.

With global expansion, restructuring within each sector, the growing number of organizations merging, the need for dynamic flexibility, and broad knowledge and skills base is more significant than ever before.

Shared leadership, which means using the best-combined capabilities of leaders in this type of scenario, is considered a viable solution to meet these challenging business needs.

What is shared leadership exactly?

Shared leadership involves maximizing all human resources in an organization by empowering individuals and giving them the opportunity to take leadership positions in their areas of expertise.

With increasingly complex markets requiring more excellent leadership, project management work can sometimes become too extensive for an individual.

Shared leadership is not simple, but it is certainly possible and, in many cases, very successful.

Using the shared leadership model gives leaders the opportunity to focus on the areas where they are most talented, to hire team leaders, and then develop a project – and the organization in general – towards success.

Several organizations in different industries have realized that a properly formulated and executed leadership strategy can strongly influence the performance of a project or organization, elevating its results to exceptional levels.

Why implement shared leadership

Here are some of the benefits that can derive from shared leadership practice :

  • The act of sharing leadership promotes innovative and committed behavior among team members.
  • Shared leadership positively transforms the composition of verticalized companies, re-integrating teams.
  • Individuals in the organization create bonds of interdependence through the exercise of shared leadership, supporting teamwork.
  • Freedom and speech during the performance of shared activities increase levels of satisfaction and identification of the company among its members.
  • The example of positive behavior and proactivity of shared leadership motivates team members even more.
  • Successful results achieved through shared leadership lead to recognition of the participatory nature of each employee’s contribution, making teams actively desire the growth of the company.

Here are some tips to share leadership and maximize talent.

  • Giving power to the most qualified people to strengthen their skills.
  • Define the limits of decision-making power.
  • Support an environment in which people feel free to take initiatives.
  • Offer qualified people discretion and autonomy over their tasks and resources and encourage them to use these tools.
  • For leaders: consider yourself an asset rather than the manager.
  • Arrange appropriate follow-up meetings to review progress and take corrective action if necessary.

Empowering the people closest to the customer and allowing them to take responsibility means more time for leaders.

Even better, employees and team members can feel more involved in the project, paving the way for greater success for the organization, the team, and themselves.

shared leadership

What is the ideal moment to implement shared leadership?

Interest in the study of alternative models to one of absolute leadership, including shared leadership, has grown significantly in recent years, changing the way organizations are managed and organized.

In today’s ever-changing environment, understanding how organizations can achieve more innovative results is critical to ensure their continued survival and competitiveness.

It is, therefore, ideal to adopt a shared leadership format, especially if the organization is large and has multiple business lines and sectors.

Through shared leadership, activities will become easier to separate, manage, and coordinate.

Here are some suggestions for implementing a shared leadership model:

  • Always keep partners and team(s) updated on new ideas.
  • Never insist on implementing immediate changes without discussing the need for such changes with partners and colleagues.
  • Enabling partners and team members to interact freely by enabling them to take the initiative.
  • Consider shared leadership as an organizational method, exercising a more convivial type of leadership.

Here are the aspects on which to focus in the case of shared leadership:

  • Avoid situations where the use of power leads to difficulties or outcomes detrimental to other members and teams.
  • Not matching the control of leadership with the ability to achieve results.
  • Be aware and therefore avoid the risks associated with excessive accumulation of power.
  • Acting with self-control to prevent or suppress the desire to exercise control beyond what is strictly necessary.

Ultimately, for a long time, leadership models have been based on concepts such as “One lead and the others obey.”

This type of model is focused on one-person leadership and is mainly used in organizations with rigid hierarchies.

In the modern marketplace, this model is still used but is increasingly being replaced by others, such as shared leadership.

It is, therefore, crucial for an organization to know what is meant by shared leadership and what are the methods to apply it in the best possible way.


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