According to Business dictionary, Chaordic Leadership is "both a management style, and a system of organization that governs the exercise of authority." Coined by Dee Hock in 1999, Chaordic Leadership is characterized by the harmonious blending of both order and chaos principles where neither is dominant (e.g. competition and cooperation). Chaordic leadership involves four main responsibilities, which are 1) manage self 50% of the time 2) manage those with authority over us 25% of the time 3) manage your peers 20% of the time and 4) manage those we are responsible for 5% of the time.1On Chaordic Leadership2
"Many convictions about leadership have served me well over the years. Although each of these few examples could benefit from pages of explication, a few words may provide insight to chaordic leadership."
- Power: True power is never used. If you use power, you never really had it.
- Human Relations: First, last, and only principle -- when dealing with subordinates, repeat silently to yourself, "You are as great to you as I am to me, therefore, we are equal." When dealing with
superiors, repeat silently to yourself, "I am as great to me as you are to you, therefore we are equal."
- Criticism: Active critics are a great asset. Without the slightest expenditure of time or effort, we have our weakness and error made apparent and alternatives proposed. We need only listen
carefully, dismiss that which arises from ignorance, ignore that which arises from envy or malice, and embrace that which has merit.
- Compensation: Money motivates neither the best people, nor the best in people. It can rent the body and influence the mind but it cannot touch the heart or move the spirit; that is reserved for
belief, principle, and ethics.
- Ego, Envy, Avarice, and Ambition: Four beasts that inevitably devour their keeper. Harbor them at your peril, for although you expect to ride on their back, you will end up in their belly.
- Position: Subordinates may owe a measure of obedience by virtue of your position, but they owe no respect save that which you earn by your daily conduct. Without their respect, your authority is destructive.
- Mistakes: Toothless little things, providing you can recognize them, admit them, correct them, learn from them, and rise above them. If not, they grow fangs and strike.
- Accomplishment: Never confuse activity with productivity. It is not what goes in your end of the pipe that matters, but what comes out the other end. Everything but intense thought, judgment,
and action is infected to some degree with meaningless activity. Think! Judge! Act! Free others to do the same!
- Hiring: Never hire or promote in your own image. It is foolish to replicate your strength. It is stupid to replicate your weakness. Employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability and
judgment are radically different from your own and recognize that it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom.
- Creativity: The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner
of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.
- Listening: While you can learn much by listening carefully to what people say, a great deal more is revealed by what they do not say. Listen as carefully to silence as to sound.
- Judgment: Judgment is a muscle of the mind developed by use. You lose nothing by trusting it. If you trust it and it is bad, you will know quickly and can improve it. If you trust it and it is
consistently good, you will succeed, and the sooner the better. If it is consistently good and you don't trust it, you will become the saddest of all creatures; one who could have succeeded but
followed the poor judgment of others to failure.
- Leadership: Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia.
External ReferencesHow to Practice The Art of Chaordic LeadershipChaordic Leadership: Understanding Complexity
CIO Desk Reference
(Relevant content on this topic in the CIO Toolkit on CIO Index)