4. Leadership Paradoxes of Team and Time

Author : Nigel Linacre

In this chapter, Nigel Linacre places leadership in time and space, and explores the paradoxes that are inevitably present as soon as this is done. Leaders are like everyone else operating in the present, but they also have a sense of where the team is heading. A leader is within and beyond the team they lead, and a member of other teams. Having worked with leaders and would-be leaders in many countries via leadership coaching and workshops, his interest is in developing team and leadership capability, and he aims to create spaces in which you will find your own insights. You are encouraged to find your own answers as you read this work.

  • The One and the Many
  • Speed and Complexity
  • The Present and the Future
Questions for reflection and discussion  
  1. Starting with awareness, take 3-4 minutes to take note of what are you aware of right now in your surroundings and within yourself (thoughts, sounds, sensations, emotions, etc.)? Have you noticed anything important or interesting that you were unaware of before?  Write down your observations and, if studying in class, share them with others and discuss when you tend to be most present and alert and when are you most likely to be distracted.
  2. How are you different from the person you were ten years ago? How would you like to be different from your current self, say, ten years from now? Write down your responses and identify an action plan for achieving your desired future.
  3. Think about your experience of working in teams, can you identify times when you have felt part of the group and when you have felt separate from it? Do you notice any correlation between your response and your experiences of leading, co-leading and/or following?
  4. What evidence do you have to suggest that leadership makes a difference in teams? What kind(s) of leadership is/are required, when, where, why and by whom? Write down as many ways as you can think of to get more active engagement within your team(s)?
  5. In what ways is the environment within which your team operates changing? What are the key priorities for you and your team to address in the next 3-4 years? What changes in team membership, capabilities and/or group dynamics are necessary in order to achieve your team’s purpose? Write down your responses and identify an action plan.

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