LEADER'S DIGEST #1 - Host Leadership

This is an archived issue of the now-discontinued Leader’s Digest newsletter. See the archive for an overview of all issues

Welcome to the 1st edition of Leader’s Digest and let’s dive right in:

“I’m Not a Servant - I’m a Host! A New Metaphor for Leadership in Agile?” http://www.infoq.com/articles/host-leadership-agile

The concept of servant leadership is quite well known, not the least because it’s regularly mentioned in the context of agile software development. For some people servant leadership is almost synonymous to how scrum masters and product owners can apprehend the leadership aspects of their role.

However, even as servant leadership is helpful for accentuating that leading does not necessarily need authority, and can even be harmed by it, the metaphor of a leader as a servant has distinct shortcomings.

In this week’s link Pierluigi Pugliese gives a broad and very practical overview of Host Leadership. An alternative metaphor for leadership, which of course is applicable way beyond Agile.

The article explains Host Leadership, as developed by Marc McKergow and Helen Bailey, and how it is a powerful and effective metaphor when looking for guidance as a leader in modern teams and environments.

As a host we all have duties and responsibilities: from setting up a good environment for our guests to be part of the event together with them and help them having a good time. However, hosts have also some rights: deciding who comes and who does not come, setting some rules and boundaries and ensuring people respect them. At the same time, the host relies on the guests to “be part of the event” and be active in it.

Even though the article is quite long, reading it fully is time well spent. Not only because of the very well explained six roles and four positions of a host, which serve as practical guidelines for choosing a contextual appropriate attitude and style of leadership in day-to-day situations.

Happy reading!

That said: I’m be happy to hear your thoughts on the article, this newsletter or both. Just hit reply and let me know.

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Cheers, Benjamin