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Have we created an unachievable myth of leadership?

Tue, 15th Dec 2015

 Read my article on 'the myth of leadership' in FT Business Education, December 2015, here


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User comments

Henning :: 22nd Dec 15
What's a leader? Easy question when the group being led is small and has a clear mission. Most military veterans recall NCOs who were fine leaders of platoons: focused, knowledgeable about the mission, trustworthy, and so on. Many of us have been lucky enough to work in a department that was well led. But large -- and very large -- organisations are fundamentally different. The people at the top (CEOs and senior officers) aren't there with a primary purpose of "leading" the people that work for the company. Rather, the expectations are that the folks at the top are strategic thinkers and do-ers, with the managerial competence to bend the organisation in the directions which its mission dictates. And they are also expected to assure that the people employed to run the departments and branches know their business, and are good at making things happen. As one who has endured absurd "leadership training" sessions, and who has worked in both well-led and awful organisations, I am quite convinced tha
Henning :: 22nd Dec 15
[the comment box still gives no clue when its keystroke limit has been reached] ...convinced that the folks at the top who are actually effective at providing leadership that able and well-motivated people are willing to accept did not get there by being trained to "lead". They got there by having developed virtually indefinable qualities, often already visible during childhood, and then buttressing that human characteristic by learning how to manage people, by knowing how to listen, by respecting individuals, and by knowing the business very well.
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