The leadership lattice is a framework I’ve developed over time for developing leadership skills, and written about frequently.

From Leaderhip Lattice, Simplified:

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.

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.

In any company, there is also a directionality to management. We manage our teams, but we also manage upwards (our bosses, investors and boards) and sideways (peers, leadership teams). The lattice doesn’t encompass that type of “management”, but it is absolutely essential in getting towards the impact we’re looking to make.

So, it makes sense to extend the lattice by adding the notion of directionality into it, and adding two additional domains:

  • Peer Domain: Concerned with managing sideways - your peer group and teammates. This domain is primarily about building stronger relationships with peers, and building cohesion across teams (also somewhat covered in the team domain).
  • Governance Domain: Concerned with managing upwards - your own manager, investors, board. This includes activities such topics as managing expectations and fundraising.

With this addition, the lattice covers management and leadership in multiple directions, and is a more complete framework.

In future “Testing the Lattice” series, I’ll be looking for lessons in leadership books that are relevant to these domains.