I’ve recently been writing about the Leadership Lattice - a framework for leadership development and learning. This post is an attempt to describe the lattice in the simplest possible terms.

There is no shortage of leadership advice these days - there are thousands of books, articles and podcasts. Taking it all in can be daunting, and applying it is even more difficult.

All too often, recency bias causes us to apply a technique that we have just read about. This is amplified in today’s startup ecosystem where advice is aplenty and context is minimal.

The concept of building a latticework is a general learning technique - instead of trying to learn things in isolation, we should attempt to hang them onto a latticework of theory that helps to connect it all together.

In the context of leadership, the latticework is a simple conceptual structure of how companies work. I will also caveat this is about leadership in a private enterprise vs government.

This conceptual structure starts with a simple description of what a company is: a collective of individuals in some commercial [or industrial] enterprise.

So, the lattice is simply a breakdown of this into interconnected components that need to be managed: the leader, individuals, systems of organization (teams), the products and services offered in market, and the collective impact of the company.

The lattice shows the range of accountability for a leader - they have to manage everything from themselves to the collective impact of their organization. Leaders choose to focus on areas depending on their areas of strength - some leaders often spend time in organizational systems, others in the application domain focused on products and markets.

The lattice is based on a first principles approach to leadership based on how companies work - and as such is just as much a framework of company building. As I mentioned in an earlier post - leadership development and company building are conceptually connected.

In future posts, I’ll be testing the lattice with real advice - books and articles that I’ve found helpful, and how they have helped to develop my own leadership lattice.