In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Rebuilding Companies as Communities, Henry Mintzberg talks about a concept of his called communityship. So what is communityship?
Leadership is the ability of a person through their social influence to enlist the aid and support of others towards the achievement of common goals.
Put simply; it is something that a person, typically called a leader, does. They exhibit leadership. Most people have this ability to one degree or another.
Anyone who has a sphere of influence can be considered a leader.
Credit: Daniel Goleman
So what is this strange concept that Henry Mintzberg calls communityship? With communityship, we are not talking about a single person but a group of people – a community. And it’s a bit like leadership.
I’d define it like this:
Communityship is a process of social influence in which everyone in a community exercises leadership to one degree or another and works together towards the achievement of common goals.
You might say it’s about distributed leadership. As Mintzberg makes clear, communityship does not replace leadership – you still need individual leadership but not quite as much of it and certainly not the old command and control type of leadership.
This page is part of an online book on Conversational Leadership that I am in the process of writing.
Access is currently restricted.
You can learn more on the