Leadership is not about hierarchy

SPASA New South Wales & ACT

By Spiros Dassakis
Wednesday, 11 January, 2017



Leadership is not about hierarchy

Nothing shapes and sustains credibility like a leader who leads by example. It’s no secret that actions speak louder than words, particularly when your philosophies and behaviour can motivate your employees to do their best or their worst work.

Some managers lead from the front while others prefer leading from behind. Leading from the front requires taking the initiative, being decisive, leading by example and being entirely accountable. When you lead from behind, you generally step back from the action while allowing others to control the process and share ownership and accountability of outcomes.

A company’s leadership structure generally standardises how workflow, accountability and authority work together. Traditional hierarchical leadership employs a top-down structure with a powerbase that filters down to the company’s lower management levels.

A hierarchy is a logical structure in which the power belongs to the position rather than the individual, while a company without a hierarchy is decentralised across a flat organisation, providing employees with a higher level of responsibility and accountability for their work.

For a company to grow, its employees also must grow. The way for leaders to improve the working ethos of their team is to commit to a greater challenge themselves. By setting the example of notable discipline and displaying a higher level of drive, a leader encourages employees who report to them to adopt a greater standard as well. It’s contagious!

The evolution of the modern workplace is changing to embrace new leadership cultures. In future, successful leaders may need to shape their organisations to be more responsive, flexible and less hierarchical to better manage, organise and deliver internal and external value.

To exploit the power of their employees, leaders must be dedicated to building a supportive culture under an effective organisational structure with practical employee processes.

Leaders have always been required to actively develop, engage and motivate employees. Organisations that do not foster or invest in proactively developing their talent pool or lack the right employees with skills in the right areas are more prone to unforeseen changes.

Whatever your management style, leadership is not about a job title or where you sit within the company’s hierarchy — it’s about being unselfish and fostering relationships to enable you and the organisation to achieve its outcomes.

In a modern business world, it is unwise to have your leadership team sit in one place for too long.

Comments welcome: spiros@spasa.org.au.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Boggy

Related Articles

SPASA Australia acquires Pool+Spa brand

SPASA Australia has acquired the Pool+Spa magazine and website from UM Media Co. to...

2019 SPASA Australia National Leadership Convention

Head to Adelaide this August for the SPASA Australia 2019 Leadership Convention, featuing...

Five must-have apps for trades on the road

With the speed at which business is moving, the office and business set-up of the past is being...


  • All content Copyright © 2020 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd