Ecosystem Leadership

There is no longer any such thing as an individual contributor.

Your team no longer belongs to you. They – and you – are part of a network… an ecosystem. And that ecosystem includes many people who in no way report to you; those in other departments, vendors, research and technology partners and even customers.

To those who still think their jobs are to manage the performance of individuals one-at-a-time, the concept may seem rather shocking. But the great managers of our era have already evolved. Let me explain.

  • An extended web of people who collaborate with and depend on each other are an ecosystem. You are a leader in this ecosystem, not the leader.
  • The ecosystem can only be as productive, creative and resilient as its health and connectivity allow.
  • Empathy is the oxygen of your ecosystem. It sustains people and relationships and also acts as fuel for the fires of creativity, production and perseverance.

Thinking and behaving according to these ideas, leaders find themselves constantly referencing a very short list of recurring questions:

  • Will this action or change create greater connectivity and empowerment in our ecosystem?
  • Will the ecosystem be made stronger or weaker if we do this?
  • Have we done all we can to understand others in the ecosystem in order to make the best decision?

At first, you’ll be the one asking these questions. Then you’ll teach them to others. Then everyone is asking them… slowing down your cycle of instant tactical responses to allow for exchanges that empower and connect… that improve the long-term process, not just the immediate product.

It’s deceptively simple. It scales. It applies the smallest pods and the largest organizations.

It works. It starts with a leader. It starts with you.

I take great pride in our team and how we've adapted to serve our customers through the pandemic and into the future. If you want to have a conversation about what can be done to empower and equip your team for the next chapter of your story, please reach out.  And thanks for reading The Drift.