Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending the Coaches Training Institute Summit in Napa, California where a new leadership model was unveiled. Called “Co-Active Dimensional Leadership”, it takes a powerful stance for a new definition of leadership: Leaders are those that are responsible for their world. And, by responsible, I mean: response-able.
They are able to respond to any circumstance that comes their way. They create from what shows up, rather than react to it. The days of the lone wolf are over. It’s time for us to be in community with each other and use the resources of one another. The model has five leadership dimensions.
Lead from within
This is the starting point for all other dimensions. It starts with you. It means that you have a clear sense of who you are, you are on purpose, and living your values, walking your talk, you are living into the life you are meant to live. From this place you can choose which dimension to occupy.
Lead from the front
This is what we typically think of as leadership. When you choose to lead from the front, you have a clear stake, a clear vision or direction that you want to move yourself and the group you’re leading – “We’re going here, follow me”. The problem is, sometimes this person doesn’t know how to sit down when they’re not needed and let someone else rise up to lead.
Lead from behind
This type of leader keeps responsibility for what’s happening, while empowering and supporting others to be powerful and brilliant in their leadership. This requires the ego of the leader from the front to be dropped in order to allow others to come forward. This dimension is not about stepping away and watching from afar. This is the type of leadership you see displayed in coaches and mentors.
Lead from beside
This dimension is a beautiful dance between co-leaders, which allows you to step up and lean in together. The leaders create from one another instead of waiting for a turn to speak. You can take risks because you have a partner who has your back. Parenting is an excellent example of leading from beside.
Lead from the whole (or field)
Have you ever walked into a meeting late and had a sense that something was going on, without anyone saying what it is? It’s palpable. You have a feeling something is happening beneath the surface. Sensing what is going on in the energetic field and tapping into your intuition to read what’s going on in the space is an important place to access information. We don’t access this often because we’re so busy that we forget to pause and notice what’s going on. The field is a place to stop and give a voice to “what’s here now”.
No one role is more important than the other. For most of us, one area might feel really natural. Which one is it for you? What’s your default place? Which one is a stretch for you and needs to be developed? Where do you need to balance your leadership?
Leadership is expressed in a variety of ways. Expanding our view of leadership is paramount to be able to empower us all to step into our full potential. The wonderful thing about Co-Active Dimensional Leadership is that it applies to each and every one of us, not just the ones that stand out in the front. Everyone is a leader.