Open leadership, on demand |

Open leadership, on demand

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Every time there's an Open Your World Forum webcast, I mark my calendar. And every time, something comes up, and I miss the webcast. Fortunately for the absent-minded among us, you can get the webcasts on demand.

(Here's where I should also admit to having a short attention span--and loving the option to fast-forward!)

So this morning, I pulled up the Charlene Li webcast, Open Leadership.

As I listened to Charlene describe the traits of an open leader--authenticity, transparency, etc.--I realized that I'm one of the rare people who has had the opportunity to work under open leadership for the majority of my career.Dell computer bursts into flames

Now, I've never been asked to blog about a product that's burst into flames. And I've never tweeted about a sale. But open leadership looks different depending on your department, your company, and your leaders.

Charlene pinpoints the central tenent of open leadership as having the confidence and humility to give up the need for control while inspiring commitment from your team to accomplish goals.

Another point that resonated with me was this:
Relationships are built upon dialog.
Relationships are saved by dialog.

So when Starbucks solicited ideas from customers, they saw an overwhelming interest in being able to swipe your Starbucks card and order your drink automatically (rather than wait in a long line of complicated orders). The company responded to this idea, which was submitted on MyStarbucks, and talked about how it could be implemented. And a little while later, they came back and explained why they couldn't make it happen right now.

MyStarbucks IDEA website

I can't help but think that the 35,000+ Starbucks customers who voted up that idea now stand in their usual lines with positive thoughts about the company, rather than grumbling about why they can't yet swipe their cards to order.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil the webcast for you. There are lots more great stories from other companies, and Charlene has plenty of sage advice for aspiring-to-be open leaders.

P.S. I didn't need to fast-forward through any of this one.

About the author

Rebecca Fernandez - Rebecca Fernandez is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat, leading projects to help the company scale its open culture. She's an Open Organization Ambassador, contributed to The Open Organization book, and maintains the Open Decision Framework. She is interested in the intersection of open source principles and practices, and how they can transform organizations for the better.