Teamwork Is Not Egalitarian

Egalitarianism is often defined as a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people, especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs.

While this is something that we should strive for when it comes to human rights, I think this philosophy can be detrimental if applied to a context of working with a team in an organization or business. In theory, it sounds wonderful to have “equal” voice in leadership. Nevertheless, organizations and businesses that thrive tend to have clear understanding of the pecking order of leadership.

The egalitarian spirit is something that we should all embrace, but nevertheless, we need to be clear in our understanding of how it relates to the decision-making process. While it is very healthy to create pathways for team members of all levels of leadership to provide input for endeavors, that is far different from allowing everyone to have equal weight of input.

Too many teams in the name of creating equal voice have experienced paralysis and inability to move forward. A big part of leadership is that you have to “lead”. Creating a clear picture of how decisions are made and how people provide input can save an organization and company countless hours of unnecessary frustration and strife.

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Charles Lee
Charles is the CEO & Chief Idea-Maker at Ideation, a brand innovation company that specializes in helping businesses & organizations build remarkable brands via innovative business design, organizational change architecture, brand integration, design, web, and marketing services. He is also the author of Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution, a practical book designed to help people move ideas to implementation. Charles is regularly invited to speak to leading companies and organizations on topics such as creativity, innovation, idea-making, and branding. Executive leaders from brands including Wells Fargo, Toyota, The White House, Catalyst, William Morris Endeavor, mun2, Council of Urban Professionals, Chick-fil-A, and many others have benefited from having Charles present at their key events.