What happens ‘between’ people is what really counts

There’s an excellent TED talk from Margaret Heffernan called ‘Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work’. It’s about chickens. And how teams with superstar performers don’t perform. And how teams which support each other with empathy and time do better. And how having more women helps. Take a look – it’s a fascinating 15 minutes.

Host Leadership sees the role of the leader as being about facilitating exactly this kind of environment. Bringing people together in ways where they can show their strengths, connect with others and help each other. Helpfulness trumps IQ – because these days, there is always someone, somewhere who knows the answer. It’s no longer necessary to have the logical genius to work out a new answer, it’s much more important to have the social skills to get along and ask others who know more than you.

Margaret Heffernan says ‘What happens between people really counts’. We couldn’t agree more.   That’s why even as long ago as 2002, Mark’s book The Solutions Focus had a whole chapter called Inbetween – the action is in the interaction, not in the individual. This idea is both everyday and revolutionary. In the bad old days of the 1970s, collaboration at school was called ‘cheating’. These days, it’s the key to performance at work and in life. What a turnaround.

Being a host leader helps you to build collaboration, make everyone matter and bring out the best in people. Think like a host, focus on the ‘between’ and change your workplace. Don’t manage by talent contest, lead by creating the conditions where everyone can do their most creative thinking together.

Now, watch Margaret Heffernan.

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