Collective leadership
Collective leadership

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Collective leadership


You have now reached the end of this free course on collective leadership. This is only a taster about what is meant by leadership and working collaboratively within an organisational setting.

The course touched on the Collective Canyon to help you think about leadership practices. You also heard from leaders from a variety of backgrounds who have shared their experiences and insights.

To finish, there is one more insight to share with you. In the final video, Air Commodore Paul Godfrey reflects on who has inspired him to be the leader that he is today. It is an important part of working in a collective. Remember that, as a leader or a follower, you are being watched by many others. These could be new people to the organisation, contractors, customers, less senior personnel, and so on. What you do, how you think, and how you react is all part of casting your own shadow – this shadow influences the people around you.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 8
Skip transcript: Video 8 Paul Godfrey: Inspirational leadership

Transcript: Video 8 Paul Godfrey: Inspirational leadership

I'd like to hope that I come across as someone who is inclusive. I am always asking an opinion in a room, whether it's a meeting of three people, whether it's flying on a big mission, whether it's in a huge finance meeting, we're absolutely engaging with each individual to ensure that we've got everything covered, and there aren't any great ideas that we've missed.
I'd like to think I'm empowering, in that once we've got those ideas, that individual is absolutely free to go off and implement that idea, even if they might fail. That tolerance, there's another trait, tolerance of failure, I think is huge in leadership.
Because name me one thing you've ever learned that you haven't failed at once. You have to keep doing this, and at one point, you'll get it right. Honesty, I think is important. I like to think I'm honest, in both good and bad ways.
In that, when I say good and bad ways, I mean, telling people the good things that they've done. Also, being honest about when something has failed. Someone knows when they failed.
But not hiding it in a military flying perspective, if you hid, if you were economical with the truth in a debrief, and someone doing something dangerous, and they know that something they're doing dangerous. They can get away with it. They might end up killing someone.
I think probably, finally, is I'd like to think I always go back to the decisions that I made, and find out whether they were the right decisions in the end. So always looking for those lessons, the debrief.
That's something that's drummed to you from day one in the military. So for 27 years now, I've been debriefing everything that we do. So it kind of comes naturally, not necessarily in every walk of life that I've seen. But I think it's important to go back and understand what worked, what didn't work, so that you don't pick that particular option in the future.
That's the whole point in failure, is you don't pick that one again. So I think those are the major traits that I'd like to be perceived as having. And I'm still looking for more. Everyone is individual. Everyone settles into their own way of leading.
So you see the person standing up. It's all about shouting. It's all about the task. You see the people that are very focused on the group, and how we going to get through this. And you kind of pick your own way through. You pick the things that you like.
And so, I don't think I've necessarily had one person influence me. I think I've just been a sponge and picked up the various elements that I think have made a good leader. I don't necessarily think that I'm the greatest leader in the world, and I think that's one thing as well.
Always look to improve yourself. Probably the biggest trait I think that I've come to understand about being a good leader is self-awareness, is understanding when you're a bit grumpy. You haven't had your coffee in the morning.
Is understanding how that might come across to individuals. Because you want to come across as balanced. You want to come across as someone they can talk to, as someone who understands when something changes.
So that self-awareness has become something that is very important to me definitely. And it's something I've seen in lots and lots of people over the years. It's obvious that they understand if they're about to get a bit shouty. It's obvious if they understand that you might have just asked a stupid question.
But they don't treat you as if you're stupid when you've asked that question. So it's a massively broad subject, but I think it's all about being that magpie, picking the shiny bits that you see around the place, and then, seeing what works for you.
End transcript: Video 8 Paul Godfrey: Inspirational leadership
Video 8 Paul Godfrey: Inspirational leadership
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This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course B208 Developing leadership [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


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