Leadership in 5D

Most of us think leadership is one dimensional: top-down, bottom-up, or sideways.

In their book, Co-Active Leadership, Karen and Henry Kimsey-House propose a five dimensional leadership model: leader within, leader in front, leader behind, leader beside, and leader in the field.

I’ll shed some light about these dimensions in a future post. For now, let’s discuss Karen and Henry’s definition of leadership that sets up the entire model.

Leadership is a choice, and it begins with one’s willingness to be responsible for what is happening in one’s world.

Let’s think about the implications of this statement.

  1. No title is necessary.
    • The use of “one’s” implies leadership applies to each individual. The world doesn’t care about titles or positions. It just moves whether we act on it or not.
  2. It implies consequences.
    • A choice is only necessary when there are options with their respective values and consequences.
    • We can choose to respond or react to our world; with both options having their respective price.
  3. There is no room for excuses
    • Our choice to be responsible for what’s happening in our world implies prior awareness on the consequences.
    • To use an example, consider the way we drive our car during rush hour. We can’t blame others for how we drive the car because we are the ones driving it!

What’s your interpretation of this definition of leadership?

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For more details about this 5D model, check out the sample chapter. And don’t forget to check back in the next few days for my take of the five dimensions.




What is your experience with this concept?

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