Tactical Execution Best Practice 5 – No Co-, Only Vice

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Best Practice ArticleNo two people are exactly alike; they will always have at least a slightly different interpretation as to what the organization’s ultimate goals are and how to be achieve them regardless of the amount of painstaking detail put into describing each objective.[wcm_restrict plans=”25541, 25542, 25653″] For this reason, actions that are highly acceptable to or desired by one individual will cause some to pause and appear entirely counterproductive to others. For this reason, there must be one decision-maker, one leader. There must be no Co-, only Vice.

Establishing a co-leader position suggests the individuals involved simultaneously possess the same authority, responsibility, and accountability for a decision, project, or organization. Because no two people will ever think or believe exactly alike, the co-leader situation will inevitably put the individuals in a position of conflict that will stymies progress and disrupts the organization. As an alternative, the vice position represents a subordination. The vice leader provides support, input and in the absence of the leader assumes the leader’s respective authority, responsibility, and accountability. However, by subordinating one individual to another, the organization eliminates the divisiveness that would naturally exist between co-leaders.

Final Thoughts…

Co-leaders have been known to exist. After the merger of two corporate equals, there have been some instances where co-CEOs have existed for a brief period of time. Civic organizations often assign co-leaders among their volunteers. StrategyDriven has yet to be able to identify any instance where the co-leader position actually worked for the benefit of the organization. In all cases, differences of opinion, values and goals as well as the dilution of clear lines of authority and accountability have doomed the arrangement to needless bickering and in-fighting; causing damage to the organization and ultimately resulting in one of the two co-leads stepping aside.

Co-leader positions are often established to placate individuals; to make them ‘feel good’ about the position held. Creating such a co-leader position, while possibly satisfying to the individuals holding them, is far too great a risk to the organization and the activities being carried out to ever warrant such a move.

In the case of co-leads, the answer is always… JUST SAY NO. Establish a vice position; make clear who has ultimate authority, responsibility, and accountability; and ensure the leader is respected and supported as such.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember plans=”25541, 25542, 25653″]

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Additional Information

Added perspective on the merits of a singular leadership authority can be found in StrategyDriven Decision-Making Best Practice – There Can Be Only One.

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