What it Means to be an Open Leader

I stumbled across this article on LinkedIn : “What is means to be an open leader”.

It states :

Being an open leader means creating the context others need to do their best work.

It’s a definition that’s close to agile and it resonates with me. The initiator, the CEO of Red Hat, states that ‘context shapes culture’.
This is the reason you, as a leader, should provide context in which the culture can grow.
The context is just a set of shared values, purpose and meaning. Which sounds nice and easy, but is hard to achieve.

To realize this “Open Company” Download the book (PDF), you need to have a nice set of soft-skills.

Open Organization Guide Leader

Soft-skills for an open leader

  • Willingness, to extend trust and share information
  • Appreciation, for transparency and collaboration whenever possible
  • Sensitivity, to the moods, emotions, and passions of the people that make up an organization
  • Knowledge, of not only what to share, but how to share it
  • Belief, that groups will consistently outperform individuals working in isolation
  • Trust, in those groups to drive necessary change

Unfortunately, quite often, these skills are missing in IT departments / companies.

Soft-skills for an open company employee too?

At Weeronline and Zoover we try to be as open as possible. The road to an open company is hard though.
Although it’s not mentioned in the article, it also requires some skills and attitudes from the employees.
In my opinion it requires the employee to be willing (and be able to) receive trust.
Receiving appreciation is hard for most people, especially if they’re not used to getting it.

The belief that working in a group, eg pair programming, is more productive and enjoyable is often not initially present.

These skills require ‘training’.
Training by trying and education.

Because of my background as a teacher and not being a pure tech-guy, I’m able to support my team on developing these skills.
And it’s a great job.

About me

I'm currently working as a delivery lead at Triodos Bank

More about me or read my articles.