Distributed leadership - the leadership structure of the future

What is distributed leadership?

Distributed leadership is a leadership model that breaks away from the traditional hierarchical structure and highlights the importance of sharing leadership tasks and responsibilities across an organization. This approach is based on the idea that leadership is not only reserved for formal leaders, but also includes employees at all levels who have the ability to influence and lead others through their skills, knowledge and initiative.

Instead of focusing on a centralized authority, distributed leadership promotes a culture where all members of the team have an active role in leadership. This inclusive leadership style fosters innovation, increases productivity and boosts employee engagement by encouraging employees to take initiative and utilize their unique skills. At the same time, it can help develop future leaders and strengthen the organization's ability to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the market and workplace.

What are the benefits of distributed leadership?

Distributed leadership, where leadership tasks and responsibilities are shared throughout the organization, is a strategy that has many benefits. Here are some of the most significant benefits of implementing this leadership model.

Increased innovation: By allowing leadership from different levels and departments, a culture of innovation is fostered. Different perspectives and ideas are considered, leading to a more comprehensive approach to problem-solving and decision-making.

Improved decision-making: With distributed leadership, decisions can be made closer to where the issues arise. This can often result in faster and more effective decisions, as the people closest to the situation are more familiar with the details.

Higher employee satisfaction: By involving employees in the management process, they feel more valued and engaged. This can improve employee satisfaction and overall organizational morale.

Greater organizational flexibility: A distributed leadership model can increase an organization's ability to respond to change. With more people involved in the management process, decisions can be made faster, increasing flexibility.

Developing leadership skills: Distributed leadership provides the opportunity to develop leadership skills at all levels of the organization. By empowering employees to take the lead, it encourages their development and preparation for future leadership roles.

Promotes strength-based management: By dividing management tasks based on people's strengths and skills, it's possible to ensure that the right people take responsibility for the right tasks. This can increase productivity and ensure better results.

These benefits show why distributed leadership can be a valuable strategy for modern organizations. But it's important to note that effective implementation requires clear communication, well-defined processes and a culture of trust and respect.

What do customers say about LEAD's approach to distributed leadership?

"At Esbjerg Municipality, we had Christian run a theme day on distributed leadership for our managers. Christian succeeded in creating a clear understanding of what distributed leadership is, what you as a manager can get out of practicing distributed leadership, how to approach it and what pitfalls to be aware of.

I was particularly impressed by his ability to alternate between theory and practical examples that were very close to the managers' own everyday lives. This made it easy for the managers to understand the message, but also inspired them to go home and try it out in their own departments. Christian was also really good at getting the managers to contribute along the way with their own experiences and understandings. All in all, it was a great day, and we have received very good feedback."

- Sina Feldborg Mortensen, HR Development Consultant, Esbjerg Municipality

LEAD's approach to helping you with distributed leadership

At LEAD, we recognize the powerful impact distributed leadership can have on an organization. We see it as an essential part of modern working life that can drive innovation, employee engagement and organizational success.

We start by understanding the specific context of your organization. We know that every business is unique and that the benefits of distributed leadership can only be realized when it is tailored to your specific needs and challenges. That's why we work closely with you to map your organization's structure, culture and current management practices.

After a thorough analysis, we develop a tailored action plan to integrate distributed leadership into your organization. This can include training employees at all levels in leadership skills, building a climate of trust and respect, and implementing systems that support the sharing of leadership tasks and responsibilities.

We support you throughout the implementation process and make sure to evaluate progress along the way. We understand that moving to distributed leadership can be a big change, and we're here to help you through that transformation.

We believe in creating lasting change and we work with you to ensure distributed leadership becomes part of the DNA of your organization. We don't just provide solutions, we help you build the capacity to keep these changes alive and continue to evolve your leadership practices over time.

Book: Distributed leadership in the public sector

By: Christian Nyvang Qvick, Partner in LEAD.

The book shows how distributed leadership can contribute to value creation in public organizations for the benefit of citizens and society. It highlights a number of points of attention that managers and employees can keep in mind when working with this form of leadership.

The book is based on a solid foundation of research, personal experience and plenty of concrete examples from Danish public organizations, and it equips managers and employees to succeed with an aligned sharing of management tasks.

How we can help you

We offer you management and organizational sparring, research-based teaching and presentations on visioning processes, as well as training courses with a specific focus on giving you and your organization general management skills. Read examples of our services here.


Inspiring research-based presentations on distributed leadership for all levels of your organization


Sparring in connection with the development of your organization, your decisions and initiatives.


Facilitation of active workshops focusing on competence development at management and executive level.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a cultural development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Christian Nyvang Qvick



Cell phone: +45 26 79 85 93

Email: cnq@lead.eu