New Model of Leadership: Command, Connection and Collaboration

What has changed?

Communication is essential in any organisation.

You may have heard about how the marathon come about because of the heroics of Pheidippides, who ran to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC).  Homing pigeons and other animals  were also used to deliver messages in both peaceful and volatile situations. I’m not sure about chickens being used though. 🙂

So, although the medium of delivery is different, one underlying factor remains the same, and that is, the information that results from an event should be relayed to those who need to analysis it, fast. And the faster this information can be delivered, the better it is.

Now, communication becomes all the more important in this new informational age whereby news, gets published and transmitted faster than you can scream, “Eureka!” In fact, before you can finish screaming, “Eureka”, the twitter message that you sent would have reached all 1000 of your followers. That’s superfast.

The rise of social media therefore helped to create a new model of leadership which revolves around better and effective communication.

In my previous post, Old Model of Leadership: Command and Control, the command headquarters (HQ) or management body, dictates a very centralized approach in nearly every situation. The command HQ demanded to know the full picture before any action can be taken.

In the New Model of Leadership which is about Command, Connection and Collaboration, the command HQ is still very important. The difference is that in the course of building a team, and organization, they have allowed empowerment such as connection and collaboration, to reside and take root in every planning phase. Communication flow increases with empowerment because you no longer have to wait for instructions before you can act.

Empowerment acts like a force multiplier. And a force multiplier refers to a factor that dramatically increases (hence “multiplies”) the effectiveness of an item or group. Therefore empowerment towards training, morale, decision-making, sales, have a multiplier effect.

From this formula, Command x Connection x Collaboration, it clearly differs from the linear formula of the old leadership model. In addition, the Command, Connection and Collaboration leadership model is also the cornerstone of all successful business organisations.

Command x Connect X Collaborate Leadership Model

In the above picture,  even though there are hot spots sprouting everywhere, the empowered teams are able to handle the respective hot spots (challenges, events, activities). At the same time, even though the command HQ is still overseeing every activity, the teams are able to learn from each other and proceed with what they were tasked to do.

  • Do you find such a leadership model familiar?
  • Is your organisation behaving in this way?
  • With an empowered team, do you think that the probability of success is higher?
  • Do you know the intricacies within the C3 formula?

What is Connection?

Connection is about the rapport you have with your team. I must emphasize that connection is like the cement between the bricks of your house. Those of you who play in team sports may understand this factor about Connection. In football game, this could mean the winger knowing when the striker wants the ball to be positioned, and delivers a beautiful lob just in front of the striker’s feet. The striker may or may not score, but to achieve such level of pass speaks deeply about the level of connection they have for each other.

My father who also played competitive water polo in his younger days, told me that he had a team-mate who wore thick spectacles. However when swimming towards the goal mouth, this team-mate could call out for the ball to be passed to him, and without even turning to look, receive the ball, and shoot!

  • What does connection mean to you?

What is Collaboration?

Collaboration is when groups of people come together and a synergy is formed to create positive results. I have always advocated that different people with different skill sets get together for a more effective team. And if there are 2 or more people with the same skill set, then it is best for either one to come with a solution to use their comparative advantage rather than their absolute advantage.

Look at your hand.

They are made up of fingers of different lengths. Lose your thumb, and it becomes so much harder to wear your pants. Similarly, a team can only collaborate best when there are unique individuals who have the been aligned to the common vision of the command HQ.

The more a team works together on projects, the more efficient they become.

  • What does collaboration mean to you?

In summary, the new model of leadership is about quality and fast communication between the leader, and the empowered team.

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