Leadership Styles : The Partnership

The Partnership

The partnership is a drastically different kind of leadership from the styles previously discussed in this section. Both the dictatorship and the "almost" democracy maintain a clear boundary between leader and group members. The partnership, however, blurs the line and requires the leader to become just one of the group.

Characteristics of the Partnership

Partnership characteristics include the following:

  • Equality.  
    The leader becomes just another group member, one who may have more experience, certainly, but one who doesn't really pull more weight than other individuals in the group.

  • Group vision.  
    All group members participate in decision-making and setting the direction for the unit.

  • Shared responsibility.  
    All group members are responsible for the results and consequences of the group's actions.

When This Style Works Best

The partnership is a style of leadership that works best with a small group of incredibly experienced or talented individuals. Trust, honesty, and belief in the staff's ability are key ingredients for a partnership to work.

The Downside

The partnership style of leadership can be one of the most rewarding leadership experiences. Not only are you leading, but you are interacting with your group members as equals. However, this is not the style to use if you are concerned about your authority being undermined.