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.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Credit: Margaret Mead
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.
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