Leadership is a Group Activity
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Solo leaders are destined to fail. The stories of solitary successful leaders are myths. Modern business media sources relate how individuals have transformed companies and industries, but this is not true. Sure, top leaders are needed; however, they are the not sole contributors to success.

Leadership is a group activity. The world is moving too fast and is too complicated to be successfully navigated alone. When you dig deep into a success story it always involves a team of dedicated, hardworking, and talented leaders, along with many others who come together to get outstanding results. Unfortunately, this is not what attracts the headlines, but it should.

Let me give you a more recent example. MACNY is leading a successful state-wide implementation of manufacturing and technology-based apprenticeships. In 18 months, we have helped dozens of companies launch over 100 apprenticeships. Statewide, over twice that have launched. Currently, we are a national leader in our unique approach. How was this done so well and so quickly with limited resources? Group leadership action was at the heart of the effort. We could tell it as a sole-leader success story, but it would be inaccurate. There are certainly many individuals who stand out as important to the effort, however, each of them would say they were a part of a team of leaders and individuals all working together to gain rapid and sustainable growth.

Think back to your successful experiences at work and in the community. What kind of leadership activity was needed? Who needed to act? Was there just one leader? I can’t think of a single successful endeavor that had just one leader shouldering the effort. And yet, I can think of countless team efforts that resulted in amazing outcomes.

So where does the individual leader come in? He or she must either form or become a part of a team of committed leaders. I believe that we are all called to be leaders – every one of us. Together we can achieve remarkable outcomes on a routine basis. When we do, we create sustainable growth. I have seen organizations and groups achieve this type of joint leadership—it shows in their results. It’s humbling and exciting when it occurs.

Become a leader focused on leading within a team and you can expect amazing, sustainable results!

If you’re interested in learning more about the apprenticeship program mentioned above or solving your skilled worker shortage, contact Martha Ponge at [email protected] to get connected to our workforce development team.