The participative leadership style has been one of the fundamental components of leaders for thousands of years. You can even find participative leadership in the Old Testament of the Bible in the book of Nehemiah. Serving as the king’s aide, Nehemiah requested to bring his people back to Jerusalem. Granted approval, he rolled up his sleeves and helped that initial convoy rebuild the walls of their city, encouraging others to follow by the work that he was doing. Here are 5 famous examples of this team building leadership style.
1. Donald Trump
Trump build a business empire by being more of a director than an authoritarian. He facilitates ideas and encourages others to share information freely so that the best decision can be made instead of one that has a personal bias. He considers the opinions of others into every decision, factors the various outcomes that may occur, and works to increase the collective mind in any choice so that everyone has some skin in the game.
2. Jack Stahl
Serving as the President of Coca-Cola and then as the CEO of Revlon, Stahl learned early on that working with others was the way to go. He had delegated a project that came back as incomplete and ended up staying up all night to fix the issues. Learning that delegation also meant oversight to get a complete job done, he brought companies to higher profitability through his ability to work with the fine details of any job, go hands-on with his knowledge, but also step back when it became necessary.
3. Bob Diamond
Margaret Thatcher might be one of the more controversial figures in British political history, but she did set up Bob Diamond for a lot of success with her deregulated financial markets. He took calculated risks and worked directly with others while being both aggressive and cautious to build Barclay’s into a global financial giant. Even when there was a massive crunch of credit and banks were failing left and right, Barclay’s didn’t need a government bailout at all. It even took over US assets at the time as well to continue growing.
4. James Parker
In order to be a participative leader, you must be able to put the needs of the workers above your own needs on a consistent basis. At Southwest Airlines, that’s exactly what Parker has done. A great example of this occurred after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. With all airlines grounded, Southwest employees took their customers out bowling, to the movies, and had them involved with other activities to help pass the time. When other airlines were cutting staff, Parker started profit sharing instead.
5. Jim Lentz
The risk of rolling up your sleeves to get dirty is that sometimes you get filthy and stuck in the mud. Lentz showed that the best leaders will guide their team directly through the mud to minimize damage and come out on the other side. After millions of Toyota vehicles were recalled because of bad brakes, he appeared on a hostile website to answer thousands of questions that people had. It was difficult and ugly at times, but it also shows that when you lead from the front, others will follow.