Are you a ‘5D Leader’™?

A great exercise for each of us when we are building our leadership practice is to think about the different organizations we have worked in, led or owned, and reflect on what type of leadership environment/style was present.

Was it a command-based organization with mostly centralized control and direction, where your job was to execute or lead strategy decided by others? Or perhaps you have worked and led strong team-based cultures, where teamwork was encouraged, collaboration was present, and people were engaged in a shared culture? Or were you lucky enough to lead or create an organization where employees were encouraged to develop within self autonomous leaders at all levels, where power and decision-making was frequently shared,where colleagues operated with common values, leaders showed up as their authentic selves and change was created on a regular basis with the ability to transform minds, hearts and lives? 

It’s interesting to reflect on these ideas and think about what type of environment/leadership we gravitate to, where we perform the best, indeed, where we fit in. Of course, most organizations have elements of all of these, and leaders use different types of leadership styles at different times. The truth is, however, that most organizations and leaders have one dominant style.

The Fifth Dimension

I have recently developed the concept of 5D Leadership™, which provides leaders with a model, a framework, upon which to observe and identify their own leadership style, and from which they can further develop and evolve their leadership competencies as they from 3D and 4D into 5D.

The 3D leader. The 3D leader and organization exemplify the old-school corporate environment that is command/control — it’s an authoritative leadership model. This is where power is centralized and people follow the rules. Leaders direct activities, provide clear communication, set financial goals, measure performance, track results and focus on motivating teams to beat the competition.

The 4D leader. What I call the 4th dimension leader is where more two-way communication exists. Leaders take time to listen, to engage employees and teamwork is more prominent. Colleagues become more engaged in the organizational culture and strategy development becomes collaborative.

Finally, when leaders move into the 5th dimension, there is a totally different feeling and approach. This is an environment where power and decision making are shared frequently and peer to peer accountability may be present. Leaders in this dimension practice mindfulness and operate in the moment. This allows them to be extremely agile and adaptive. They have high emotional and social intelligence and are inclusive in their approach to gathering input and fostering new ideas. These organizations have a learning culture where it is safe to fail, and growth is not only encouraged but expected. Creativity and innovation thrive here. These organizations and leaders encourage out of the box thinking, establish partnerships and alliances more readily and regularly create change, practicing transformative leadership.

Where 3D leaders were once prevalent, with the onset of rapid technological advancement, the accelerating speed of change and new generations of workers creating new workplace paradigms, 4D and 5D leaders are emerging with the leadership competencies that are required in today’s world. Leaders who can move between dimensions
successfully and have fourth- and fifth-dimension competencies will be the leaders to watch in the next decade! Challenge yourself to complete the 5D Leadership™ Self Assessment today.

Reach out to me if this is an area you’d like to explore further!

Here are some of my other thoughts on leadership. LEAD WELL!

Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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