All for us and us for all: Introducing the 5R Shared Leadership Program

Katrien Fransen, S. Alexander Haslam, Niklas K. Steffens, Kim Peters, Clifford J. Mallett, Niels Mertens, Filip Boen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


While most leadership programs seek to develop the leadership qualities of the formal team leader, programs that aim to develop the leadership qualities of team members are rare. This article draws on insights from organisational and sport psychology to develop and introduce a new leadership development program — the 5R Shared Leadership Program (5RS) — that (1) implements a structure of shared leadership (through Shared Leadership Mapping) and (2) further develops participants’ leadership potential (through the 5R's of Readying, Reflecting, Representing, Realising, and Reporting). More specifically, being a close intertwinement of shared leadership theorising and the social identity approach to leadership, 5RS helps leaders in the team to create, embody, advance, and embed a collective sense of ‘us’ in their teams. In this article, we aim to shed light on the underpinning theoretical foundation of 5RS, while also sharing insights about how 5RS can be delivered in practice. Furthermore, to provide initial insight into the applicability of 5RS in both organisational and sport contexts, we conducted a longitudinal qualitative comparison study. This involved collecting qualitative data from two initial implementations: with an organisational team (N = 16) and a sport team (N = 16). A critical reflection on these initial implementations of 5RS leads to recommendations for future efforts to develop shared leadership in organisational and sporting teams. In particular, we highlight the importance of explaining the nature of shared leadership at the start of the program and of having multiple follow-up sessions for participants. In conclusion, by helping leaders in the team to develop and mobilise a sense of ‘us-ness’, 5RS gives leaders and their teams the tools to create the best possible version of ‘us’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101762
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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