Reading list: collaborative leadership

Here are a few great articles I’ve read recently on different models of leadership that follow the tenet ‘the responsibility of a leader is to create more leaders’, instead of thinking about a leader as someone who’s always at the front of the pack, making decisions & admitting no wrong.

  • Leadership in the age of complexity: moving from leader as hero to leader as host. This 2002 interview with Margaret Wheatley is also an interesting read.
  • On humility and being wrong: a great Forbes piece on finding a more authentic kind of leadership, where everyone at every level in an organization is a leader, and where total honesty is crucial
  • Do you want the good news first? Thomas Friedman on how to be a great leader, you “‘have to think of yourself not as a designer but as a gardener” — seeding, nurturing, inspiring, cultivating the ideas coming from below, and then making sure people execute them’.

And a couple nice little examples of collective leadership in action:


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About lizmcdowell

I am a strategist, facilitator, social entrepreneur, campaigner and occasional tetra-pak wallet-maker. Learn more about me at

2 responses to “Reading list: collaborative leadership”

  1. Daniel Miller says :

    I just discovered your blog today and really like it. Thanks for sharing this reading list. My favourite leadership article ever is “The Art of Chaordic Leadership” by Dee Hock ( It fits the theme of your reading list very well.

    Daniel Miller

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