Dimensions of Distributed Leadership

There are four dimensions of distributed leadership:

A Context of trust

Distributed leadership is based in trust in the expertise of individuals rather than reliant on regulation that has been the traditional source of managerial authority. While distributed leadership does not preclude regulation or formal positional leadership, this is tempered by broader engagement of many people. Distributed leadership is thus a means to build institutional leadership capacity.

A Culture of autonomy.

Distributed leadership is based in a culture of autonomy rather than control. Individuals are respected for their knowledge that is the source of new approaches to ambiguity.  

Acceptance that Change.

Distributed leadership accepts the need for change in the process of decision-making and implementation that enables top-down, bottom up and middle-out decision making and implementation. Distributed leadership is thus a more participative approach to change in which individuals feel safe and facilitated.

Collaborative relationship

Distributed leadership places a central focus on the development of collaborative relationships that encourage, nurture and develop leadership capabilities in many people. culture for  the introduction of distributed leadership.


Cycles of Activity 

Distributed leadership assumes activity and reflection through cycles of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. Distributed leadership is developed by encouraging reflection on previous action aimed to identify critical success factors and lessons learnt from previous action.