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Rotational Leadership

Key Idea

Rotational leadership refers to the common practice in many organizations of rotating leaders from one area of management to another. The purpose undergirding rotating leaders is for businesses and organizations to consistently present new challenges for their emerging leaders; a second purpose is to breathe new life into the units and divisions effected by this practice. When done well, rotational leadership affords leaders the opportunity to acquire and develop new skills and competencies across the organization.

Article to Read

Surviving the Round robin - Rotational Leadership Programmes become the cornerstone of corporate talent development

By: Nicholas Goh (2012)

Quick Take from the Article

Rotational leadership is quickly rising as one of the cornerstones for leadership development. Goh's article highlights four key points for any leader beginning a new rotation:

  1. Remaining objective: Be mindful of practices that have been working well for the team and areas of improvement.
  2. Open communication (formal and informal): Gather information about the work of the team through casual conversation and formal meetings.
  3. Take time to learn and understand the functions of the team: Allow the team to inform you how the environment works.
  4. Think about a transitional plan for your successor: Be cognizant that you will rotate out of your position. Be sure to communicate what stayed the same during your tenure, document the changes you made, and be accessible to your successor.

Quote of Note

“If you are a leader being rotated, the temptation to quickly make an impact in your new post, demonstrate your authority, or even to setting up your own “dynasty” is hard to deny. However, you must not throw caution to the wind. Heralding a revolution when you are rotated into a new role can have negative impact on the harmony of the team. As people are naturally resistant to change, you need to tread with care.” –page 1

 Related Styles:Appreciative Leadership, Boundary-spanning Leadership, Versatile Leadership