On a recent flight on ANA (All Nippon Airlines) from Tokyo to Hong Kong,’ I was pleasantly surprised that on the seatback monitors there was an option to watch the view from cameras placed at the front of the airplane. I was intrigued with that view as the captain navigated through the airport tarmac to the runway and then through takeoff and vice versa watching the view as we landed in Hong Kong.
I have longed for such a view and wonder why other airlines do not have the capacity to allow passengers access to them. A quick Google search, however, did yield that other international carriers and several charter airlines do use this technology; but it was the first time for me.
While enjoying this new view of what is going on in front it got me to think about how leaders often times lead from the front without providing access to their view and vision. As I think back to the many individuals who led organizations I worked for I believe most asked me to trust her/him rather than sharing their view and engaging me as part of a collaborative team. Upon reflection I think this was also true of many of my teachers, asking us students to follow their lead and directions with a focus on compliance rather than fostering a sense of relevancy and collaborative understanding.
I believe effective leaders need to not only have a view of the near and long-term future but to share that view with their colleagues and constituents.
Such a leader changes the focus from compliance to shared leadership a concept shared by my colleague Peter DeWitt in his blogs (Finding Common Ground in Education Week) and books on collaborative leadership.
I acknowledge that shared leadership requires personal attributes and the courage to effectively engage others, traits that are often lacking in today’s leaders. Thus, we need to seek and become leaders that have and share a view of where our organization is headed and nurture others to understand and inform our collaborative work strategies to achieve anticipated outcomes and impacts.
Then, similar to my experience viewing the pilot navigating take off, the flight and landing, we will truly feel we are a critical part of the organization and our role is to collaborate rather than simply comply.