Superleadership is leadership that
inspires organizational success by showing followers how to lead themselves.
Major Leadership Schools
SuperLeadership is a new form of
leadership for the era of
knowledge-based enterprises distinguished by
flat organizational structures and
A super-leader is one who leads others to lead themselves through designing
and implementing the system that allows and teaches employees to be
Super-leaders help each of their
followers to develop into an effective
self-leader by providing them with
the behavioral and cognitive skills necessary to exercise self-leadership.
establish shared values,
reward, and in many other ways foster self-leadership in individuals,
"The function of leadership is to
produce more leaders, not more followers."
If superleaders are successful in providing
strategic alignment and
people, they develop followers who are productive, work independently, and
need only minimal attention from the superleader.
An important measure of a leader's
own success is the success of his or her followers. The strength of a leader
is measured by the ability to facilitate the self-leadership of others. The
first critical step towards this goal is to master self-leadership. If
leaders want to lead somebody, they must first lead themselves.
Self-Leadership – the Key to Success in the New Economy
Self-leadership is an extensive
set of strategies focused on the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that we
use to exert influence over ourselves. In the
given the rapid change, complexity, high-tech autonomous work roles and
employee empowerment in the knowledge-based enterprises, the new
organizational structures are typically run by people who demand a different
kind of culture than the old command-and-control format. Today, people are
better educated and demand from their jobs more entrusted responsibilities
and opportunities for personal growth, not just a paycheck. Talented and
employees are the prime ingredient of organizational success and they
need to be able to lead themselves.
The best organizations have a
theory and practice of leadership that subscribes to and promotes the
concept that leadership exists at all levels within the organization.
"Everyone provides leadership for those responsibilities that have been
assigned to them. For the highest performing organizations, even the
lowest-ranked staff within an organization must assume leadership and
attention to detail for their responsibilities in a manner similar to the
most senior and powerful."2
With super-leadership, followers
are treated as – and become – self-leaders.
Case in Point
General Electric (GE)
Running the mighty GE enterprise, with its
twelve major businesses,
didn't seem like a
Leadership vs. Management
He seemed more like a superleader: "I have no idea
how to produce a good TV program and just as little about how to build an
engine...My job is to chose the best people and to provide them with
dollars. That's how the game is played." Jack Welch abandoned the old
setting goals for GE's business leaders. "Now, we don't reward them
according to whether or not they reach their objectives. They're all going
to get paid on their improvement, and they know that. In bureaucratic
companies, they waste a lot of time on making budgets. They waste energy.
The world is changing quickly. We can't afford to waste time in bureaucracy.
GE is an informal company. We trust each other."4...