Network Leadership: An Introduction

Practical skills and strategies for leading knowledge-intensive and digitally-connected teams and organizations

Join hundreds of students in discovering the modern way of driving performance through Network Leadership.

What you’ll learn

  • Types of organizational networks.
  • Kinds of relationships used to construct networks.
  • The four roles that leaders and followers play in a network.
  • The consequences of those four roles on performance.
  • Understand why forward-thinking business leaders.
  • How information and knowledge flows in organizations.
  • Organizational structure.
  • Organization network analysis.
  • Organizational chart.
  • Corporate structure.
  • Organization design.
  • Strategic leadership.
  • Business strategy.
  • Project management.
  • Productivity.
  • Entrepreneurship.
  • Organizational Communication.

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 1 lecture • 3min.
  • Introduction –> 2 lectures • 16min.
  • Network Leadership—Two Case Studies –> 2 lectures • 12min.
  • Network Leadership—Focus on Roles –> 1 lecture • 7min.
  • Network Leadership—Focus on Relationships –> 2 lectures • 15min.
  • Network Leadership—Focus on Performance & Perspectives –> 1 lecture • 11min.
  • Quiz –> 0 lectures • 0min.
  • Practice –> 0 lectures • 0min.
  • Closing lecture –> 1 lecture • 4min.

Network Leadership: An Introduction


  • No prior knowledge of the subject is required.

Join hundreds of students in discovering the modern way of driving performance through Network Leadership.

JOIN21’s top Leadership Program is now just one click away!

This course in Network Leadership is the first of two that we are developing, the second being the Master Class in Network Leadership.

The overarching goal of both courses is to help you, as a current or future leader, improve the flow of critical information and knowledge in your organization, and thereby improve performance. Specifically, I’ll teach you about the

  • The two types of networks over which information and knowledge flow in organizations
  • The four kinds of relationships that are used to construct those networks
  • The four roles that leaders and followers play in a network and finally
  • The consequences of those four roles on performance


This course will guide you on a journey to:

  • Be able to analyze if communication in and around your department is up to the standards set out by benchmarking against Tesla’s internal practices.
  • Develop a mindset of seeing the organization as a network of relationships, of people connected.
  • DISCOVER HOW TO see your organizations as networks and then to act based on that new information—act in such a way to enhance performance.
  • Map the flow of critical information in your organization
  • determine whether critical information is moving across or along the chain of command
  • Understand the specific roles that individuals play in the information-sharing networks within organizations and determine who in the organization performs of each of these roles
  • Find out which members of the organization are doing the most to encourage the free flow of critical information in the organization
  • Determine how an individual’s position and role can change from one network to the next, and why.


  • Walking you through an analysis of Elon Musk’s internal communication and leadership approach.
  • Giving you step by step frameworks.
  • Working on case studies on companies in which we helped leaders to first see their organizations as networks
  • Guiding you through self-reflection and application of frameworks on your own organizational case through exercises.

Where it all started

A few years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to all employees with the subject line “Communication within Tesla.” In the email he discussed how communication in a company typically flows—which is along the chain of command—and how he wanted it to flow in Tesla which is across hierarchical boundaries and departmental silos. His reasoning was crystal clear—the open and freely critical moved around the company, the better performance would be. In other words, connected workers perform better.

He was also candid about the challenges that leaders faced when trying open up communication. Among the biggest hurdles was developing the right mindset, a mindset that valued cooperation and a company-wide perspective over one that prioritized one’s own position or department.

One thing that he didn’t mention in his email were specific steps that leaders could take to build that mindset if they didn’t already have it and then how to act on it to improve performance.

This course offers you a first-row seat to these steps.


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