Evolve & empower – from leading followers to creating context for co-producers

By Declan Noone


Facing into 2018, what can you do as a leader to help you and others achieve their potential in the coming 12 months. There are always opportunities to evolve, to take a step forward in enabling you to achieve your personal and team goals, as well as, enabling others to achieve theirs.


Realistically, one barrier to your own ability to continuously perform at peak levels remains the constant flow of competing demands on your time. The need to multitask throughout the day, across a variety of issues and ongoing projects which vary to a greater or lesser extent in complexity. Complex systems, processes, structures and demands. As organisations grow and extent beyond initial geographical borders and markets, challenges become more complex and their solutions do to. Leaders are expected to either lead or participate in projects that have a direct impact on their organisations.


Consequently, how do you as a leader ensure you invest the appropriate amount of time and energy on those high value projects? The outcome of which may impact your professional development. Once key change you can embrace to positively impact your performance in 2018 is that of a change in mind-set.


Leader – Follower:


The traditional leadership mind-set is that of ‘leader – follower’. This however places the onus on the leader to be either physically or virtually present a significant amount of time. You are expected to provide clear tasks, deadlines, keep regularly updated and involved in practically all aspects. All of which is time consuming not to mention it naturally tends to encourage micro-management. As we know from engagement levels across the EU, micro-management has a destructive impact on employee engagement levels. So avoiding micro-management is important to developing a positive and generative workplace.


Leader – Co-producer


Therefore, in the modern workplace, leaders need to adopt a change in mind-set and migrate towards a ‘leader – co-producer’ mind-set.  Why is this important? Well, acknowledging in your own mind that your team members are co-producers in the delivery of a product, service or project underscores your conscious awareness of the value they bring to the table. It is a recognition of their shared skills and experience, the quality of their work, their commitment and the success achieved to date. Evolving from the more fixed and traditional mind-set to this more positive and progressive mind-set enables a sea change in how your team operates and functions. By acknowledging the value they have, you as a leader, will afford them the opportunity to continue to master their field of work; to work with greater autonomy and further reinforce the quality of the relationships both within and external to the team.


Mastery builds confidence and a desire for continuous improvement and involvement in new and complex challenges. Greater autonomy reflects your belief in them while also reducing the volume of time you spend supervising workloads. Strong relationships build resilience and a strong team work ethic. Consequently, while you are still expected to provide clear tasks, the time requirement for supervision of work is diminished thereby enabling you to focus on those strategically important projects while also generating a positive and generative workplace.


Empowering your co-producers: to master their work; to build a capacity to work with greater autonomy; to build relationships that they can rely on for support, will ultimately empower you to focus more of your time on your own professional development and strategically important projects.


We at Serrano 99 work with our clients to help build and develop leaders that embrace the challenge faced by creating the right context. We seek to educate positive and mindful leaders in the fundamentals of positive leadership, using our Knowing, Doing, Being approach to leadership development while focusing on: Mindware; Behavioural Fitness; Mindfulness; Positive Communication; and Behavioural Decision Making.

Posted on January 10, 2018 in Insights, Positive Leadership

Share the Story

About the Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top