The Myth of Leadership Development

Cultivating leaders is an important strategic action for most large organizations as well as a multi-million dollar industry for training firms, consultants and universities. But if we have the meaning of leadership badly wrong, much of this investment might be wasted. There are at least 3 issues with current leadership theory:

1. Leaders are depicted as occupying positions of power over others which means until in charge of people are you, that leadership can't be shown by you.

2. The concept that leadership is a learnable skill set fosters the perception which you can't be a leader.


The point is that direction, as currently conceived, is an exclusive club for management level workers, something that those can only aspire to once they develop maturity and the relevant abilities. This is a colossal waste of ability.

Dispersed Leadership and Employee Participation

An alternative vision of direction depicts it as something all workers can do. But when leadership is defined simply as promoting an improved way, then all employees who take a stand on any job-related dilemma, even in a totally local, small scale mode, can reveal direction to their own co-workers and upward to their supervisors. Because being a leader is glamorous, all employees can feel more engaged and inspired even if they do not manage anyone, if they can see themselves as leaders. So-called direction that is informal means something distinct - taking charge of a group. Just boosting new directions has absolutely nothing to do with being in charge, formally or otherwise, of an organization of individuals.

Examples of Leadership Re-defined

" When Martin Luther King Jr. influenced the U.S. Supreme Court to rule segregation on buses unconstitutional, he'd no managerial authority over that organization.

" When the Sony worker who influenced top management to embrace his suggestion for PlayStation, they did not report to him.

" Whenever you influence your supervisor to think otherwise you've had a leadership impact on such individual.

Not one of these examples entails managing the people on whom the direction impact was felt. The leader sells the tickets for the journey and we have to upgrade our concept of management to care for driving the bus to the destination. Obviously, further injections of direction could be required enroute to resell the merits of the journey, but great management skills are required by the majority of the job in getting there. Management needs to be reconfigured as empowering a nurturing and facilitative function, not only a mechanically controlling one.

Executive Development

What actually gets developed in so-called leadership development systems are round executives. The reality is the fact that direction, imagined as boosting new courses and challenging the status quo, is founded on youthful rebelliousness, something that's not a skill set that is learnable. So called leadership development systems really turn workers that are already leaders into managers. Organizations need good managers.

This view stands the traditional picture on its head: it's the front line knowledge workers who are the real leaders in organizations, not their managers. Naturally, executives can additionally reveal leadership, whenever they overly promote a way that is better.

The advantages of Redefining Leadership

The primary advantage is making it clear that all workers could be leaders and that, to do this, you don't need all the abilities associated with being in charge of individuals. You just need a good idea and also the courage to defend it. Further potential advantages include engagement and better drive of all employees, more innovation and front line ownership, better ability retention and less pressure to show a complex organization needs to all of the leadership.

Make the Shift?

Leadership is founded on power, traditionally the power of character to control a group. In a warfare of ideas, the capacity to successfully boost notions that are new should be meant by leadership. Thus, for making the shift in leadership is defined the reason is merely the entire world is changing to among dymanic mental work from among, physical work that is secure.

Write a comment

Comments: 0