Concepts for Successful Network Leadership



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Dominic Kyle Taylor

TuesdayApr 18 at 2:12pm

The article “Collaborative Governance Concepts for Successful Network Leadership” gave insight to the differences in the style of leadership required for hierarchal and network-level. This biggest difference lies in the amount of power that each leader possesses. Silva states hierarchical mangers are focused on “scheduling, assigning, and coordinating work”. With this, they have the power to hire, fire, reward, and punish employees because the manager is responsible for the employee’s output. On a networking level, Silva states managers focus on “people-oriented behaviors, such as motivating personnel, creating trust, treating others as equals, maintaining a close-knit group…” In my opinion some of these qualities could be interchangeable and important for managers in both scenarios to have, but I will focus of the managers in a hierarchy and how it can skew the ideas of how smaller companies should operate. I read an article a while back and it focused on the managerial styles of massive companies. They spoke about how Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk all operated (or operate in Musk’s case) like a dictatorship. They were demanding, set ridiculous deadlines, made majority of the decisions, and were extremely innovative in their ideas all the same (Wadhwa). This works very well when the company is bringing in billions of dollars and have generational leaders. Many other smaller companies may try to emulate this, and it can cause some troubles such as over worked employees, bottle neck decision making, and a fearful work environment. (Wadhwa) This could cause a smaller company to bottom out. If they are in need to help in some way, they may look to join a collaborative governance group. This style of management won’t allow for effective networking because of the autocratic habits and culture. A good manager should be able to operate a hierarchical system, while also possessing the skills to be an effective manager or player in a networking system. With little research done on leadership in networking makes it hard to say what qualities or mechanisms work best, but there is plenty of research on all aspects of hierarchical management structures. This made me wonder how effective / would it be more practical for a non-profit to operate within a hierarchical leadership structure?



Ronan James Mcbrearty

WednesdayApr 19 at 6:46pm

Manage Discussion Entry

Module seven, with a focus on leadership and network strengthening provides a lot of good resources and principles that are applicable in practice. One thing that I saw across many of the sources was the importance of effective communication and the balance of power when dealing with anything from internal/external conflicts to determining what success looks like and next-steps organizationally. This often manifests as collaborative empowerment and collaborative listening, which provides a sense of transparency within a network of competing-yet-intertwined interests. Chapter 10 of  Collaborative Governance provides 10 key competencies that individual leaders within collaborative governance networks could use to improve results in real-world applications. I found this pretty insightful as it gives advice for a wide array of topics/situations one may encounter.


One ‘critique’ would be that, despite the fact that collaborative listening and decision making is often hailed as unbiased and fair in theory, while in practice it would seem that often times the party operating from the position of power pushes through their interests regardless of what others in a collaborative network is advocating for. While participating in a collaborative network with BLDG Memphis, an outside consultant based in San Francisco preached one thing in terms of collaborative decision making and practiced another. Their explanation was that due to the lack of consensus, decisions had to be made. Despite this being valid after some reflection/hindsight, but this shows that sometimes collaborative listening/decision making can be inefficient.

Have you been involved in anything like that? Where the initiator/representative ends up ‘doing’ everything?

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