Open Leader Persona

Identify the mindset, challenges, behaviours, and strengths of open leaders
Contributed by

Shabnoor Shah

Mary Provinciatto

Edited by
Published July 25, 2023

What Is Open Leader Persona?

T´╗┐his practice invites participants to collectively create an "Open Leader Persona" that reflects the mindset, challenges, behaviors, and strengths of an open leader. The objective is to create a collective understanding of what it means to embody the five characteristics of open leadership

  1. transparency
  2. inclusivity
  3. community
  4. collaboration
  5. adaptability

Through group collaboration, participants jointly construct a persona that encapsulates an open leader's mindset, challenges they might face, behaviours they exhibit, and outline their strengths.

By reflecting on each of the five characteristics, and developing a persona, participants collaboratively develop a clear understanding of what it means to embody these traits.

The exercise aims to empower participants to apply these principles in their leadership roles, fostering a culture of inclusivity, collaboration, and continuous improvement within their organisation. This will help them to drive positive change and nurture a more transparent and collaborative work environment.

Why Do Open Leader Persona?

The "Open Leader Persona Practice" is conducted for several important reasons:

  1. Create a Shared Understanding: By collaboratively developing the "Open Leadership Persona," participants contribute to a shared understanding of what it means to be an open leader. This shared vision promotes alignment and consistency in leadership practices within the organization.
  2. Encourage Application of Open Leadership Principles: The exercise empowers participants to apply the principles of open leadership in their own leadership roles. By creating a persona that embodies these traits, participants are inspired to emulate open leadership behaviors and foster a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.
  3. Foster Collaborative Problem-Solving: Through group discussions and brainstorming, the exercise encourages collaborative problem-solving. Participants work together to identify challenges and potential solutions, leveraging diverse perspectives for more comprehensive and innovative outcomes.
  4. Strengthen Organizational Culture: The exercise promotes the integration of open leadership principles into the organization's culture. It emphasizes transparency, inclusivity, and collaboration as essential values, contributing to a more positive and cohesive work environment.
  5. Empower Participants: By actively involving participants in the creation of the "Open Leadership Persona," the exercise empowers them to take ownership of open leadership principles. Participants feel more accountable for implementing positive changes in their leadership styles and team dynamics.
  6. Drive Continuous Improvement: The exercise reinforces the idea of continuous improvement. As participants identify challenges and behaviors, they are encouraged to seek opportunities for growth and adaptability in their leadership roles.
  7. Inspire Positive Change: Through the creation of actionable personas, the exercise inspires participants to take concrete steps towards becoming open leaders. It motivates them to lead with transparency, empathy, and inclusivity, ultimately driving positive change within the organization.

How to do Open Leader Persona?

Open Leader Persona Practice Instructions:

Step 1: Set Up the Flip Chart

  1. Prepare a flip chart with the following headings: "Open Leader Persona."
  2. Create four workspaces under the respective headings: "Mindset," "Challenges," "Behaviors," and "Strengths."

Step 2: Explore Open Leader Characteristics

  1. Begin the practice by outlining the five characteristics of open leadership; transparency, inclusivity, community, collaboration, and adaptability.
  2. Highlight the importance of fostering a collaborative and transparent leadership style that embraces inclusivity and continuous improvement.

Step 3: Create the Persona as a Group

  1. Invite participants to work together as a group to jointly create the "Open Leader Persona."
  2. Explain that they will collectively capture their understanding of an open leader's mindset, challenges they might face, behaviours they exhibit, and their strengths in these roles.

Step 4: Fill in the Mindset Section

  1. Start with the "Mindset" section and ask participants to share their insights and understanding of the mindset an open leader should possess.
  2. Encourage them to discuss qualities such as empathy, adaptability, openness to feedback, and a commitment to collaboration.
  3. Facilitate a group discussion to reach a consensus and record their agreed-upon points under the "Mindset" heading.

Step 5: Explore the Challenges Faced

  1. Move on to the "Challenges" section and prompt participants to identify the challenges an open leader might encounter.
  2. Discuss potential obstacles, such as managing diverse perspectives, navigating organizational resistance to change, or fostering a culture of open communication.
  3. Encourage participants to share real-world examples or experiences related to open leadership challenges.

Step 6: Define Behaviours of an Open Leader

  1. Proceed to the "Behaviours" section and ask participants to brainstorm the specific behaviours an open leader would exhibit.
  2. Discuss behaviours like active listening, encouraging diverse input, promoting transparency, and giving credit to team members.
  3. Encourage participants to draw from the workshop learnings and share practical examples of these behaviours in action.

Step 7: Identify Strengths of an Open Leader

  1. Finally, focus on the "Strengths" section and invite participants to list the strengths an open leader possesses.
  2. Discuss attributes such as adaptability, resilience, visionary thinking, and the ability to build strong relationships.
  3. Encourage participants to recognize these strengths in themselves and in others they admire as open leaders.

Step 8: Review and Finalise

  1. Once the group has collaboratively filled in each section, review the "Open Leadership Persona" together.
  2. Discuss any additional insights, refinements, or adjustments that the group deems necessary to accurately capture the essence of an open leader.

Step 9: Concluding Remarks

  1. Conclude the practice by thanking participants for their active participation in creating the "Open Leader Persona."
  2. Emphasise the importance of embracing open leadership principles and applying them to foster an inclusive, collaborative, and empowering work environment.
  3. Encourage participants to apply the learnings from the exercise in their leadership roles to drive positive change and promote a culture of open leadership within the organisation.

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Open Leader Persona practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

Except where noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. This site is graciously hosted by Netlify