What I have discovered working with mobile operators is that in these organisations the intent to serve in peer relationships is at least as important, if not more so, as the intent to serve in hierarchy. The reason for this is that mobile operators have to run as highly integrated matrices. In most business environments the distinction between line and staff groups is clear. Using a football analogy, there is a definite sense of who the strikers are and who the midfield and the defenders are.
A mobile operator, however, plays a multidimensional game. In one situation, the heroes of the show could be the network people, in another it could be the device people, in a third it could be marketing people, and so on. Metaphorically, the goals in this industry are so fluid that who the strikers are changes from day to day.
In one situation the goals could lie on opposite side of the field.
In the next situation they have changes to the sides of the field.
In most enterprises getting the line to work is the fundamental key to success, which is why understanding how to enable successful leadership remains the key. To succeed mobile operators need a second variable. They need people who accept that they are also there to set their peers up to succeed, and that in this regard which of the peers are ‘the first among equals’ is not always that clear.