Academic Adventures

Friend Leadership

Friend Leadership

In Proakatemia the teams have 15 to 20 students, or as we call ourselves teampreneurs. The teams decide by themselves on how the leadership in the team is executed. Usually the teams will choose at least a business leader, human resources leader and financial director from the members in the team. The executive board is usually chosen for one semester at a time so that the team could offer as many possibilities to learn about leadership to the members in it. Leading a team is not an easy job, because all the members in a team are equals. The leadership positions and roles are created within the team. The leaders need friend leadership skills.

Friend leadership is closely related to coaching and shared leadership. How it differs from these is that, you (the leader) and your organisation will together equally agree on the task that the position holds. The term of friend leadership has been created in Tiimiakatemia in Jyväskylä, by Johannes Partanen and the content in this blog post is from a book by Heikki Toivanen.

Friend leadership:

  • The responsibility and initiative for work performance come equally from the individual and the organisation
  • The organisation has a shared vision
  • The organisation is a community, that has team spirit and rituals
  • The members of the organisation are buddies together, it means that they are more than acquaintances, but it is sufficient to be less than good friends

If you want to be a friend leader, you have to at least be buddies with the other members in your team. Leadership is built with the individuals and the team. The way of doing and the strategy take shape of thinking together.

The principals of friend leadership are:

  1. Be sensitive to the emotions of the ones you are leading and act according to those. As a friend leader you are a human.
  2. As a leader, always be present and available, genuinely listen.
  3. Only actions matter in friend leadership.
  4. The fundamental mission of friend leadership is leading a learning organisation, and the fundamental ability is to get the others striving for the joint objective.
  5. You can’t lead others, unless you can lead yourself.
  6. In friend leadership it is important to create a position for everyone in the team company and focus on the strengths that the team members have. The talent of building a team is unconditional requirement for succeeding in team leadership.
  7. Everything comes down to leadership and leadership comes down to communication.
  8. Friend leadership is never a reward, because it has to be earned every day.
  9. The mission for the friend leader is to create a good team spirit to a team company and to positive thinking together with the coach.
  10. Friend leadership is about being an example for the others. What you pay attention to, will also be the subject for the others to draw their attention to.

The principals of friend leadership can be utilised in learning organisations, where a shared vision is created. How would you implement these 10 principals?


Anna Vikman

Project Manager of Academic Adventures

Close Menu