Much of engaging leadership in 21st century resembles being a host – rather than a hero who provides all the answers. A good host finds a purpose to connect people, invites those who could contribute and/or benefit from the engagement, provides a welcoming yet creative space, and then joins in the conversation, while all the time paying attention on meta level: what is happening, what is missing, how engaged people are, where and when to gently intervene if needed.
What are some practices that support the ‘hero to host’ shift?
- Shared clarity of purpose and principles: why are we in this (organization, team, group, community) together?
- Leading by hosting
- Inviting – rather than coercing (use the 'pull power’ of invitation – rather than ‘push’ approaches)
- Creating inspiring spaces: physical, psychological, conversational
- Hosting core conversations that foster aliveness in people and teams
- Offering transformative questions (rather than answers)
- Knowing when to step forward – and when to step back & invite others to shine
- Intervening when necessary to keep direction, focus and engagement
- Celebrating milestones, transitions, endings, successes