As One: Individual Action, Collective Power
Leadership is about productivity, people, and purpose; it’s about exceeding the impact of individuals by creating a “cohesive group of people working together effectively toward a common goal or purpose.”
Remarkable results demand clearly understood models with clearly defined rules that explain the ways people effectively work together. Essentially, collaborative endeavors require a language that both defines relationships and enables freedom within the rules of engagement.
Challenge: We don’t know enough about collaborative endeavors.
Enter: “As One: Individual Action, Collective Power,” by Mehrdad Baghai and James Quigley. The title is brilliant just like every carefully crafted sentence printed between its covers.
As One explodes narrow approaches to leadership by explaining, illustrating, and applying eight dynamic and distinct models of leadership behavior.
As One links situation with methodology. You’ll learn which of 8 models of behavior result in a cohesive group of individuals working as one. In addition, As One offers six key characteristics of each leadership model. For example, the Community Organizer & Volunteer includes:
- Volunteers view themselves as highly independent decision makers.
- Volunteers want frequent opportunities to express their opinions.
- Volunteers choose to opt into campaigns case by case.
- Community organizers often use narratives to motivate the volunteers
- Volunteers are usually treated the same and have equal rights.
- Community organizers’ power increases as the number of volunteers grows.
Effective leaders create an “As One Agenda” focused on critical “Who – What” information. Who needs to participate and what needs to be done.
Beyond determining the “As One Agenda,” the leader’s greater challenge is addressing diverse interpretations of what “working together” means. Effective leaders equip themselves and their teams with unifying language that creates, establishes, and informs collaboration (the How).
As an educator, the idea of individual action supported by a collaborative effort is the crux of student achievement.
As a community leader, there must be teamwork to achieve success. Reading ideas that can support and enhance a team effort is most helpful. I would very much enjoy receiving a copy of “As One”
We must work together as “One.”
I can see this having a place in my work environment (the church) as a means to create unity and working together toward the mission.
The authors are spot on with the summary of Community Organizer & Volunteer. I also agree that effective leaders must build their teams around who needs to participate and what needs to be done. This appears it will be a very interesting read.
A leader is definitely a person who encourages his team and leads them to work together towards a common goal. As a project manager, this is our primary responsibility specially in a matrix environment. The statement above saying the leader’s greater challenge is addressing diverse interpretations of what “working together” means is so relevant in many organizations. This is always a challenge specially for new leaders in any organization.
Traditional models of organizational management have focused on the individual and their performance – even though for teh past 25 to 30 years we have talked about team. Nice to have a resource that broaches how to develop and coach a collaborative organization for success. The teaser you provided is very interesting and I would enjoy reading the remainder of the book. Heck, it looks interesting enough that I would even go buy it!
Sounds like Mehrdad captures and explains leadership like the Army did: First, cast a vision (what will things look like when we’re done, and what good will have come out of it) and then motivate action. Defining the who and the what is part of motivating action, but the focus on purpose is essential. And the Army insists on what they call mission-type orders (tell them what to do, let them decide how) which are possible because every order starts with a Commander’s Intent statement that casts the vision. Subordinates can improvise as long as Commander’s Intent is met.
Forgot to mention a key step to mission-type orders: Set boundaries. Subordinates may exercise judgement and use initiative within the boundaries. Important in the Army to keep people from shooting each other; may be important at work for similar reasons. 😉
This book sounds quite intersting. I would enjoy exploring it more.
The idea that “unifying language” is essential to effectiveness definitely resonates. In my experience, lack of unifying language is often a major stumbling block to forward movement as individuals get hung up on semantics. Looking forward to reading this book — thanks for the review!
Voluntary service in the armed forces is what first came to mind with your post on twitter. However, translating this to other industries and community involvement, there are two main things that create a successful volunteer-leader relationship. A clearly defined mission, with the passion to accomplish it. Volunteers often bring boundless passion, therefore providing valuable energy and input into achieving the mission. Yes, volunteers input is valuable, you may not know what background they are coming from, but they have passion about the cause or they wouldn’t be there. I am a sports professional, volunteering for a large-scale triathlon this weekend. I may be qualified to be the event director, but I am volunteering to learn more about the course for my own participation in the future. I would gladly provide input to make the race more successful for the future.
This sounds really good! Thank you for sharing. I would love to get one of the 15 copies. If not I’ll be buying As One! Quick question how do you get books to give away?
I like the fact that the word clearly was «clearly» the buzz word in the intro of this topic.
Making the project or the engagement «as one» «clearly» the focus of the leader.
«Clearly» this word will be my leadership buzz for the week !
Our Department’s unifying language this year was captured in this phrase, “Listen, Learn Lead”.
I love a good alliteration. 🙂
Not sure where my previous comment “went”, but when I clicked on image above (to make larger), then closed image, I lost the page. Oops.
Whatever I’d said must have been brilliant since I deleted it!
Interesting that the volunteer model is what many leaders seek, and an environment they could create within their organization if they’d allow it to exist. Does the book discuss obstacles and behaviors that might impede one from creating the culture they seek?
All the best,
Dan, Thank you for introducing Mehrdad Baghai to us. I would be interested in having a copy of “As One”. A leader has to lead by action and earn trust of team members. As a former Emergency Planner, my co workers didn’t always agree with my ideas or training exercises, however, they did respect me and assured that they felt confident in following me in the event of an emergency. I like that Mr. Baghai refers to himself as a “Silo-Buster” I had not heard someone refer to themselves in public that way, however, we need more folks to implement breaking down silos and build collaborative teams.
I come for the sports field, starting right now a coaching career after a long playing career, and am interested in any new leads regarding leadership. I will have people working for me soon, and even if I was recognize as a ‘leader’ as a player, I don’t think it is necessarily the same kind of leadership that you must possess, when you are above the group, not that I will ever see myself as being much above… The book seems to be very interesting, caught my attention already before when you talked about the author.
WOuld love to read this book!
Sounds like a great book! As a family business we are in the process of meeting together with family members involved in the business to develop a succession and strategic plan. We are following a book by John L. Ward which outlines specifiy action items to follow for both the family and the business. what is interesting is that some members want to skip the planning and go straight to “doing”. We had to discuss this in order to get them to realize the “foundation” needs to be set in order to “build”.
I completely agree with the outline about volunteers. I am a “volunteer leader” for my sorority, and I know this group would not function at an International level if we did not empower this amazing group of women. I would love to read this book, learn more and share it with my organization!
This content would be helpful to learn and use in many different circles where I play different roles. I have no trouble maintaining core values, habits, etc., I do get confused sometimes about the best way to contribute related to the variety of “structures,” both unspoken as well as visible.
What concerns me is that in concept this is true but in reality it is not often true.
Sometimes clarity, focus and motivation are absent. How do you go about building them when they are not there. The activity described purpose (clarity and focus) but does not touch upon the need for having the right people and then how to touch upon their drive and energy to get things done.
I’ll think you’ll see that the authors focus on how to help people feel like they belong, feel like they matter, and then how to work together. There is lots of people centric material. Thanks for your interest,
The book sounds wonderful. I really like the concept of an “As One Agenda” as I have watched many groups struggle to move ahead because they are not moving in the same direction. Excited for the opportunity to further investigate the book.
I see great value with the inclusion of the characteristics as it should help leaders to encourage the types of behaviors they need for their respective teams to realize their goals.
that is a great example to post – volunteers can be a very challenging herd to operate with. I really like the deconstrucctive/ reconstructive style. Th etitel of the book alos fits with a common S & Op process expression – One (Source of the )Truth. I love the repsonse rate you get when you have great give aways. 🙂 (PS I’ve just been accepted for the NY City Marathon in November, so you and Doc better get reay for a visit). Richard
If you will be running all the way cross country, just an extra 3,869.47 kilometers or so, let’s catch up! Congrats Richard! You could have a collection of Dan’s LF tomes digitized and listen to them while running.
I’m excited to meet you Richard… 🙂
Dan – this dovetails nicely with the G5Leadership online presentation I attended yesterday with Tim Sanders (author, Love Is The Killer App).
Emotional Talent is soooooo critical whenever people are involved. That’s because people are messy. We can’t stack them neatly like folded towels in the bathroom closet.
The book As One, looks like a great addition to any leader’s library (unless they are leading a bunch of towels!)
Looks interesting, Dan. Nothing is as destructive to group success as a bunch of disengaged or non-aligned individuals. Sounds like this offers some useful models for creating aligned engagement.
Love the six characteristics on Community Organizer & Volunteer you shared—so applicable to ministry and ministry teams. This books sounds like an incredibly practical and useful read. I’d love to read more.
Would imagine with most folks, the how may be a key pivot point.
Had not considered the more volunteers, the more ‘power’ the organizer has. More power leads to more responsible, higher level of obligation, visibility and accountability, which I bet some organizers get caught off guard with this increase.
I am learning the more focused meetings (and their agendas are), the more productive the meeting results become. “As one” has great appeal to me in leading and serving in my church. As we say among our various ministries, “we are one.” Interested to discover more of what it means to be “as one”. Individual power, collective action. Unity brings great power. Thanks for the post.
I love it!!!!!!!!! As one who works/serves in the Non-for-profit world, dealing with volunteers (both in a leadership and workers capacity) is the heartbeat of this world. The points raised are excellent and need to be clearly understood by those who work in the non-profit sector. We must understand the volunteer mindset so that we can best interact with and engage them. A critical point raised “Volunteers choose to opt into campaigns case by case.” must be understood and cannot be under estimated. Howie
There is certainly power in numbers, and as individuals it’s up to us to figure how how to get those numbers to work “As One”. Very important concept. I have been reading a lot of “community” related books recently and would love to read this one a well!
Dan, I am intrigued by the concepts as you describe them. It is so important that we build communities that work, for teams, countries, and our planet. Collaboration is the key, and a methodology that helps people understand and use these skills is essential. It is a great title because it speaks directly to the polarity of the importance of individuals as well as communities. It shouldn’t have to be an either or situation. Individuals need to feel valued and free in order for communities to be healthy.
As a Volunteer Initiatives Manager, working to unleash the power of individual volunteers for social change, I was excited to see the community organizer and the volunteer example. I’d definitely love to add “As One” to my library.
Show me the money or show me the work? Getting everyone to pull the rope in the same direction day in and day out will always be beyond economics. Early in my career, I felt I could motivate anyone but now I look for motivated people that driven by the cause instead of self-entitlement. Volunteer work listed on resumes or mentioned during interviews shows character and should be discussed.
Absolutely Fascinating! I love his interpretation of leadership styles and behavior and would love to read more about it in “As One”. I also love the “Silo-Buster” self-identification of Mr. Baghai! I view collaborations as strength building opportunities and this serves to reinforce that. Thank you for sharing this.
Hi Dan! As one who both leads volunteers and serves as a volunteer, I recognize the need for this book. Working with/in volunteer organizations can be difficult because everyone is challenged to understand and contribute within their role. Having a better understanding of the 8 Leadership Archetypes will help bring clarity to an organization and enable volunteer teams to better serve. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book and all you do to serve leaders across the world!
I can see that this might prove an effective strategy in our church environment, trying to change an old declining congregation into one that is more vibrant and in tune with its surroundings. There are a lot of people and non-working models in place that need to be changed.
Can it really be as simple as sitting down and working out the who (needs to be involved) and the what (needs to be done)?
The real work will be in getting rid of the superfluous, but thanks for that insight.
Hi Dan, sounds like another great read to add to my ever-growing list. Love all the comments. I clung on immediately to “people, purpose,productivity” this is very concise and a mouthful in 7 powerful syllables. Thanks for introducing us to these authors. Cheers, Al
There is a lot to digest in this book and its affiliated website! It is a challenge to get a group to act “as one,” at least long enough to achieve a mutual goal.
I think Mehrad’s book could be an effective tool in helping leaders with that challenge.
Today I jumped into a new leadership role with both feet that’s a huge collaborative effort – so here’s to my entry for a copy of As One!
Would love to win a copy. Sounds like a very pragmatic book, which there are too few of 🙂
I’d love to read the book–just the little you’ve posted here has helped me a lot. You listed 2 points about volunteers:
Volunteers view themselves as highly independent decision makers.
Volunteers want frequent opportunities to express their opinions.
Over the years, I have volunteered a lot in churches–and frequently found it a frustrating experience. I now understand better where some of that frustration comes from: I want independence, but those in charge want a lot of control.
A book like this can help all involved understand and articulate their expectations.
Collaboration is key and I’m intrigued by the concepts you’ve briefly described in your post and that your book will explore in more detail. Thank you so much for sharing the link!
The six examples cited for community organizers and volunteers are terrific advice for anyone who works with volunteers either as a volunteer leader or a professional in a volunteer-run organization. These are directly applicable to adults involved in Scouting (my application), church groups, school groups or similar organizations. Looking forward to reading the rest of the book and implementing the ideas.
True, unifying language and terms so they are clear is extremely vital that carrying forward with commitments. It serves to support the process as does the importance of relationships. In education, these become extremely vital to the success of plcs and instructional rounds.
Nobody can deny the power of individual ,but when this individiul meets together for a common cause it create the wonders , The story that a father gives a one single stick to all his four fighting sons , they ( Sons ) could easily broke the sticks , next when father gave all the four sticks bundled together , they could not break it , that is amazing power of individual turning into collective power , that is what we say one and one is not two , it becoms eleven , the collective power embodied the individaul strength and hide the weakness , that is how organisation becoms great by collective power and wisdom .
India has won the cricket world cup under the leadership of MS Dhoni , on the brighter side , he is the captain of the team but to win this game he has taken his coach , his team mates and others in confidence and moved collectively , I think if by virtue of ego if he has moved alone and taken decision , the story could have been different ( a wild imagination ) , Successful leaders always respect and believe in the collective power and move together with the team and able to produce more and define more .but moving together is not a easy task, one has to keep his ego and other factors on the shelf and take everybody in the team in confidence and move .
At last I can say collective power is amazing product of leadership style .
Collective positivity brings better results for the greater good. We have more in common than we often see or think. We need to train ourselves to look for it and then act with it.
I am always curious in learning something new, I am always interested in reading something wonderful. This book sounds very interesting. i look forward to reading it.
I think a strong enough “what” followed by a detailed “why” then “who” will be the team/people and finally a well analysed and justified “how” is must to achieve any goal
The concept about three Ps is very classic one. We need people, purpose and productivity. IT is also true that different jobs require different kind of leadership skills. As you have mentioned people, purpose and productivity, I see it in this way. Purpose, People and productivity. It means, as a leader you have to have purpose first even if you donot have people along with you. Person can achieve his or her goal alone also. And in the process of his advancement, people may willingly come and join him. When you have purpose, then you need to assess how many people need to achieve goal depending upon how big the purpose is. Now, when we combine purpose with people, we get productivity. IT means, productivity is outcome of pupose and people. More importantly, effort is hidden but inegral and essential part of the process. So, the equation I see is
Purpose + People + ( Committed effort) = Remarkable productivity.
Secondly, you have mentioned Who, What and How in the process of people, purpose and productivity. How it looks if we could see in this fashion; What, Who and How. It means What is our purpose or what we want to achieve. Who are needed to achieve what we want to achieve. Who could also be resources, collaboration, integration etc. Finally, How can we achieve our purpose. How includes strategy, formula, logic, key success factors, trends etc. And Productivity is the final outcome depending upon three factors i.e. What, Who and How.
However, your concept is very good and looks very appealing and logical. The way you have presented is convincing.
Such a great outlook! I manage 168 units of rental property and I use all of your words daily when managing my residents and employees. I would love the opportunity to get a book! Keep up the encouraging words.
Very informative and informational. Timely for todays leadership culture. Thanks and keep up the powerful blogs and tweets! Michael J
Been reading your blog for a little while now and really enjoy what I am seeing. I would love to check this book out. Thank you for your ministry.
Interesting ideas that we all should “As One” adopt.
Great info which could assist in transforming any leadership structure.
Thank you for the opportunity. As One appears to be a comprehensive leadership guide that fits my situation nicely – leading an organization with both a business and a volunteer side, both a equal part of the whole picture.
Voluntarism is one way to develop a sence of community. If we had more of our nation subscribe to acts of volunteering we would have stronger communities on our nation.
Purpose-build a sence of community
“As One,..” confirms what Leaders sometimes miss. People, productivity, and purpose, add them up and you get results from a team that works together, not against each other.
I’d enjoy reading this timely book. Thank you for the opportunity to comment and possibly winning a copy.
Keep up the great blogs and Tweets!
yes I strongly agree with you as Team work at its best result in synergy that can be very effective and productive. i think volunteer get more motivated when they are allowed to make independent decisions
Leaving comment just to win a book seems just wrong so I will also state that as an avid volunteer in business analysis, I found this article poignant and timely…and btw…accurate. Have recently found your site and am quite impressed.thanks so much!
I’m a Brit living in the US. I graduated from a business degree program over ten years ago and I’m still trying to break into (back onto) management! This book will prove invaluable.
I appreciate your thoughts
Everyone should progress in this. It is not only about management. It is for everyday and everyone’s use. Find the leader in yourself – in your daily tasks, not only in job. Respect the individuals around you and they will respect you. This is how leadership should be spread.
I love the implication. It is important for leaders to recognize that one person, even if that one person was all knowing and all powerful, can still only do the work of ONE person. It really takes a collective effort to accomplish much good in the world.
Look forward to exploring your book!You seem to have a great perspective on the Lleadership topic!
Thank you for sharing this!
I’m a member of a group in Melb, Australia called the Social Change Collaboratory.
We are a group of people passionate about effecting positive social change.
I would love to be considered for one of the free books as our group is always looking for new ideas on how we can work collaboratively.
Hello, thanks for the chance to win a book! I’d really value the opportunity to get one! I’m an aspiring leader in primary education here in Wales Uk!
Thanks for your comments via twitter also
read your review, it made me want to get some more information and watched an interview with Mr. Baghai : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG2g0oF9hto
So, did your review achieve something, it certainly did.
I think the book is most interesting regarding the collaboration part, which is mostly disattended, I agree.
Nevertheless I feel I will need to read it to become inspired more.
Thanks for leaving a link to an added resource.
Sounds like a good read for me. I hold a new position in my church from Children’s Pastor to InReach Pastor (organizing volunteers/big events and small home groups). We have worked hard as a pastoral team at changing the philosophy going from “everything happens at the church three x’s a week” mentality to “small home group” mentality. We’ve moved slow, communicating well with the congregation. We merged our nights into one…and now the real work with volunteers begins. Effective communication is crutial now…would love to read more about working “As One”. Our church is well established with about 1200. Thanks for your work & tweets!
Looks like an interesting approach. How much of this is leadership vs managerial? Some of the process focused material looks more managerial. Does this relate to personality types?
I think As One includes both leadership and management principles. However, the focus is more on leader/follower dynamics. (In my opinion)
Looking forward to the read!
This book sounds intriguing, I would love a copy to explore the leadership potential.
The concepts outlined above clearly outline how to effectively use collaborative leadership techniques in creating excting synergies. It also complements other books available on this topic, like ‘Collaborative Leadership and Global Transformation’ by Dr. Tim Stagich
Thanks for the well of information on leadership! It’s helping me greatly in my work environment (as a shipping manager) and in my various community orientated projects (including politics, and an upcoming local government election!)
Sounds like a great book to read! Having been involved with non-profit organizations and enrolling volunteers associated with these organizations to get involved in some aspects, this book seems to have lots of relevant information. And it sounds like it would help in the consulting company I’ve worked with for a number of years where getting people involved in extra curricular activities has been a challenge.
Leadership is about making many goals to become one. I’m going to really read this book!
I love the title as well. “As One” captures the essence of what we are all trying to do when leading any group. It conveys that all players know what needs to be done, how it will get done, who will do what…and probably most importantly – WHY…”As One” will be on my mind as I go through my work…would love a complimentary copy, but will buy it anyway…is e book available
This book may hold the key to making real headway in the advocacy work I have been doing the past couple of years so I am intrigued to read it. I find myself identified by many others as a leader and yet, somehow, have not totally taken on the mantle of that role on a gut, soul purpose level. I have to wonder if the messages in this book would set me firmly onto the course of taking the mantle and making real measurable strides for those I advocate. Perhaps this would be a turning point for me but more importantly for an entire spectrum of advocacy work.
Kathleen, you left an most intriguing comment. Thank you, Dan
Leadership is the power of motivation!!! Every body should be positive leaders in their environment.
An interesting book for an association executive!
Plenty of experience here leading without a title.
As a teacher I am finding that the more I know about leadership the better the students are engaged in the classroom. After years of observing students and using trial and error to find solutions to using student leaders, I have finally started reading what is out there. I expect that this book will give me loads of ideas to pursue in my teaching.
Looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.
Sounds good, looking forward to check it out!
This book looks like it could help move an organization forward.
I would love to read this book, to answer this question: On the post above, what happens to the Dark Side of volunteerism? Common cause/goals are critical, and yet, there are power struggles. The Volunteer who should be “fired”? This kind of individual may be an elegant spokesperson for the mission, and yet be toxic for results.
I appreciate the review! Sounds like a great book for any leader …
This seems to be a really good book with a lot of ideas in it. I look forward to reading it in the future.
I’m on my lunch break so I don’t think I have time to read and think about the 60+ comments I’ve missed in the last two days. Sorry if this is a repeat of someone else’s thoughts:
I wonder where the Employer/Employee relationship fits into the eight archetypes. I’m thinking it could be blanketed under one of the described eight. Or maybe “As One” explains how employers as leaders have the ability to create the different types of archetypal relationships within their organizations.
I’m curious if there’s any comments on relationships that are called one thing in practice, but actually resemble a different archetype. For instance, I’ve seen relationships that are called Producer and Creative Team, but in practice look more like a Conductor and Orchestra.
I’m also curious about connotations related to the different archetypes and appropriateness of the different for various organizations. For example, I think of the General and Army archetype with a negative connotation; it’s a very controlling and potentially overbearing relationship. I would think it would be an ineffective model for say, an arts organization, but maybe there are arts organizations where that kind of structure works.
I’m interested to hear thoughts from others.
I’m not sure you’ll get many answers to your questions but I wish you the best in the selection of book winners.
Wow! So well and simply stated, as a volunteer manager, I’d love to read more!
I am sure each of the 8 leadership models have valuable tools and references to build your own style.
Looking forward top adding it to my list of required reading
I’m posting this for someone that left a comment on another page:
May 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply edit
As in many model, I think we all have a little of everything.
Awareness of our archetype tendency as GTM said is really useful, but we may also keep in mind that we may be more than one or that depending on our environment or the context our archetypes may change.
Although, I think it’s nice to try to find the one that is really our instinctive one as an human and not the one we use to be in a specific human system (organizations).
I would like to read that book.
Dan, would that book fall in you top 5 on the leadership and if not what would be you top 5?
I’m posting this comment from another location so they will be eligible:
April 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply edit
Would love to win the book! I was a PALs teacher (Peer Assistance & Leadership) for 10 years. It has always fascinated me, how powerful individual people are when they learn to cooperate rather than compete.
I love models and outlines to teach with, so your article is a great tool! Thanks
Now isn’t that funny… I’d just this second tweeted, “Or should that be Smile, it’ll make you live better? Less focus on feelings = less individualism = the good life. Discuss…” in response to ” Smile, it’ll make you feel better.” Then I found this post. Serendipity rocks!
The “As One Agenda” created by effective leaders is a very interesting model that warrants further exploration. As you noted,”[e]ffective leaders create an “As One Agenda” focused on critical “Who – What” information. Who needs to participate and what needs to be done.” The “How” component of the Agenda is extremely important although often forgotten. As your organize teams and determine goals and benchmarks, it is important to have a blueprint of how each component of your team will work individually and together. Without this crucial component, the Agenda is incomplete and ineffective.
I liked the title very much. It is always an individual, more of a leader’s creativity and action that brings the people together for collective efforts to accomplish the common goal.
The model depicting People, Purpose and Productivity is quite good and reveal the goal accomplishment formula. However, one should not forget the key element of ‘Relevant Knowledge’ and ‘Its Applicability’.