7 Invisible Dynamics To Be Aware Of When Shifting Out of Hierarchy Into Distributed Leadership

Anna Margolis
4 min readNov 6, 2020

If you’re part of a small team who you care about, and feel enlivened by, exploring a solution, innovation or shared purpose that you collectively feel inspired and galvanized to bring to the world;

You value freedom and fulfillment, fun and flexibility, passion and purpose;

You want to feel connected and in community, living in a thriving and interdependent ecosystem where you’re engaging with your peers in a space that feels truly collaborative in bringing your vision to Life; and

You have a desire to experience your own self-leadership, your autonomy and maximum creativity;

Then how do you ensure that you don’t just slip right on into the predominant and default pattern of one person being the “boss” in control at the top of a rigid hierarchical structure?

This is where it can become valuable to be aware of some of the invisible factors that are likely to affect how we show up, outside of our conscious awareness.

Because the fact is, most of us have developed up through hierarchical models of organizing…..

…..simply by virtue of our participation through the traditional schooling system, our time in the corporate world, or any military experience.

Which means that we have been trained (or conditioned) into hierarchical ways of thinking and behaving.

So, in order for us to show up differently than how we’ve been trained/conditioned, in order to do something new, creative and collaborative, it’s helpful for us to be aware of how this conditioning may have affected us at a subconscious level, so that we can shift and develop BEYOND it.

So, here are 7 invisible dynamics for you to be aware of in the shift from a traditional top down hierarchical way of operating, to a more distributed model of self-leadership:

1. In our schooling system, our attention is entrained on the teacher at the front of the room, who is positioned as the authority figure who provides us with the “answers”. Similarly, in the corporate world (or military), we are trained to look to those above us in the hierarchy, our managers and executives…

Anna Margolis

As a former lawyer, Anna merges material world memories, tales of transformation and embodied experience in articulating the future of collaboration