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Business skills

Leadership dyads: The ideal leader is two people

14 Jul 2017

Laura Empson has spent 20 years researching professional service firms. Her most recent work focuses on leadership dyads, also known as the dual leadership model.  Her research has identified 4 types of leadership dyads that are common at professional services firms.  They are as follows:  intuitive collaboration; structured coordination; negotiated cohabitation; and careful cooperation all of which are illustrated via a helpful framework presented in the chart below.  The framework focuses on two key dimensions: structural roles and personal relationships.

Empson reasons that all four leadership dyads can be either effective or less so, depending on several external factors. The key is to recognise which dyad is being enacted, identify whether it is fit for purpose and determine whether other more appropriate dyads might be adopted by changing one member of the dyad or redefining members’ respective roles.

Head on over to the full blog post at our Answers On blog for more detailed account of each dyad in action.

Laura Empson is a professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms, the director in the Centre for Professional Service Firms at the Cass Business School in London, and a senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession.

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