Responsible and shared leadership

Leadership can be found at any level of an organization. This means that you don’t have to be a manager to be a leader. To make this work it must be possible in an organization to lead one another. Recent research shows that this can take place when there is enough diversity and commonality.

Diverse teams are more successful and innovative than homogeneous teams, as diverse teams are better at managing opportunities and threats to create success in a more sustainable way. Commonality is important because team members who are holding the same attitudes, arguments, feelings or beliefs can work successful together. This successful cooperation is built on the belief that team members that lead each other can show their weaknesses, whereby these weaknessses do not make a member weak. On the contrary, it allows delegating responsibilities to others who have those abilities, in order to achieve the common goal.

Although the theory is helpful in understanding that leadership can be found at any level of organizations with enough diversity and commonality, I am interested in personal experiences or opinions from readers about this concept of shared leadership.


Norbert Bol


Cismas, S. C., Dona, I., & Andreiasu, G. I. (2016). Responsible Leadership. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 221, 111-118.

Drescher, G., & Garbers, Y. (2016). Shared leadership and commonality: A policy-capturing study. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(2), 200-217.

Photo credit: Create-Learning Team Building & Leadershipvia / CC BY

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