Interdependence Day

It may seem odd to discuss interdependence when many people are celebrating independence this week on July 4. In leadership, however, independence may be inadvisable. The reality is interdependent leaders are the ones enabling happiness in their organizations, teams, and communities.

Leading with interdependence means two or more people or things are mutually dependent upon each other. Interdependent leaders are stronger than independent ones because of the relationships built and maintained.

Here are four interdependent relationships to enable leaders to succeed more fully and purposefully.

1 – Learning Interdependence.

Good leaders learn. There is a mutual dependency on books, mentors, and other leaders to stretch our minds, our attitudes, our motivations, and our approaches. Leaders who do not have an interdependent learning relationship become stale and outdated, stuck in old ways and inadequate traditions.

It is more than the taking in of information and ideas though. It also is in the giving. Leaders who teach and share lift up all leaders within their circle of influence. It is a give-and-take relationship in learning, which energizes strong, interdependent leaders.

2 – Team Interdependence.

Teams contain all sorts of characters. The best teams are the ones where everyone brings their strengths along with their humility, best listening skills, and finest ideas. Teams that are self-managing are the most interdependent group of leaders possible. Nonetheless, even if there is a single leader designated for a team, the leader can only be successful if the team works well together.

Interdependence of human skills and insights is what will bring out the best in all team leaders.

A team of independents will lead to an entanglement of egos and a frustration of efforts. A team of interdependent leaders will lead to empowered achievement.

3 – Community Interdependence.

Interdependent leaders know community is where the next generation of leaders will spring. Leave our communities alone and the talent will slip backwards rather than upwards. Communities feed off of solid leaders, and leaders feed off of solid community. The tighter the interdependence, the higher the potential for long term advancement. The advancements come in the form of:

  • Greater involvement in activities
  • More commitment to people
  • More conversations on how to lead
  • Higher learning, raising the standards in knowledge and insights

4 – Integrity Interdependence.

Integrity translates into leadership and life values; it is the way to lead and live in a non-harmful and inspired way. Our leadership values need to be defined and then fully practiced in everyday situations. Integrity and values need to be our high standard of conduct – something to strive to and be held accountable for. Herein is the crux of integrity interdependence.

A leader without integrity is an independent, soulless one. Integrity without leaders is just a concept.

For integrity to come alive, leaders need to embrace it. For leaders to lead effectively, integrity needs to be upheld. More than the relationship between leader and integrity is the need for both to be demonstrated actively in our teams, organizations, communities, and families.

Leadership interdependence…

  • Are you ready to celebrate it and see the true joy in leadership?
  • Are you ready to embrace your leadership interdependencies?


I hope so. Happy Leadership Interdependence!

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Jon Mertz

Jon is a vice president of marketing in the healthcare software industry. His background consists of an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and working for companies like Deloitte, IBM, and BMC Software. Outside of his professional life, Jon explores how life choices really define who we are. Our choices define us more than words spoken or written. After all, choices lead to actions. Connect with Jon on Twitter @ThinDifference or on Facebook.

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This resonated strongly with me. My pastor, a strong, wise, intelligent, and compassionate woman in her 40's, made the decision to take on my church almost 3 years ago. We were a very small, struggling congregation, facing closure. In our interview with her, we were very clear about the reality of our situation, and offered her an interim position, thinking that we would be closing very soon. She chose, instead, to be our called pastor, despite the odds facing her. She has gone over, above, and beyond in helping us stay afloat, but this has come at a great price, emotionally and physically. Because most of our congregants are older, they have limited energy and resources, and so many of the things which could be delegated by our pastor, she ends up doing herself, and so she faces burnout regularly. She has gotten better at taking personal time off, but I can still see that her spirit and energy are frequently flagging. And, even though we are relatively stable financially - due to renting our spaces to others - the added issues that come with renters occupy a lot of her time and energy. As her assistant, I do what I can to help ease these burdens, but I have limitations, as well, which prevent me from taking on more responsibilities. My fear is that my pastor will one day reach the end of her pastoral rope, and we may lose her. I will be sure to pass on this article to her, and continue to encourage her in her self care. Thank you for your frankness and insight.
— Monica Spangenberg
Even short mini retreats witb a group of colleagues is helpful... just sharing how it is withyour soul can move mountains of despair into the sea...
— Rick Pittenger
Oh yes -- and were the mountains not five long hours away... but the occasional day when I just plain do not get out of bed is good -- and going to the movies is good -- OUTDOORS is good...all closer to home and not so much with the carbon footprint, you know?
— Crimson Rambler

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