Leadership is Dead – Long Live Leadership: An Experiment

 

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I’m talking at City of Glasgow College One City event on 19th June
As I had been in a number of conversations about leadership (What it is. What it isn’t. The odd paradox that there are SO MANY books and articles on Leadership and yet no matter what is written and taught, there seems to be a Holy Grail element to “Leadership”) I opted to talk to staff and students about leadership.
I started thinking: so is there such a thing as Leadership? Are we kidding ourselves? Do I want to stand up and talk about leadership as if it is a given?

I’ve kind of gone round and round with it. In my life, I’ve been led by good leaders. I’ve seen folk take the reins of a situation, a group, a company and work to galvanize and shape and push for a course of action – is that leadership?
The title of the talk is (somewhat pompously) Leadership is Dead: Long Live Leadership
And the experiment is this: I want to bring in your voices, opinions and sources of information ( I’m never good at knowing who said what in what book) to share with the students and Staff of Glasgow City College on the topic of Leadership.
I want to do some crowdsourcing, discussing and debating:
Leadership is Dead – Discuss.
What do you think, know or believe?
How do you think know or believe that?
What evidence do we have that Leadership is dead ( or alive?)
I look forward to your thoughts.

50 thoughts on “Leadership is Dead – Long Live Leadership: An Experiment

  1. Pingback: 172.3 Things Great Leaders Do Before Breakfast | hrgem

  2. I don’t think leadership is necessarily dead. I think we’ve seen values like integrity and humility become eroded by rampant consumerism, the cult of celebrity and the pursuit of wealth at the expense of personal and social responsibility (http://workmusing.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/cunning-stunts/). Being a brilliant business person does not equate with being a great leader. I think that great leadership is about consistently doing the right things for people to build and maintain their trust. Everything I think a great leader needs is summed up by twenty five simple words http://workmusing.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/twenty-five/

    • THis is/ was such a great way to kick off the comments.
      May I use your 25 simple words in the session – They make sense to me and It’s a great framing for the thinking.
      I don’t want anyone to be told leadership is THIS.
      I remember being shown “leadership” as being Bill Clinton, Gandhi, Mandela, Branson… yes.. and how is this real for me? How can I show my leadership?
      THank you, good sir. As ever you show wisdom, insight and consideration in all you bring.

  3. Great post, Julie! I love your questions!

    There is clearly a knowing-doing gap in leadership. Ask a group of people what great leadership looks like, and you always get a description of great leadership… Ask them how often they see great leadership, and few people say they see it very often.

    I believe this is due to many reasons, including the lack of experiential learning in leadership development programs, limited awareness of personal strengths, lack of an authentic personal vision, and others. One of these reasons I’ve been contemplating lately is the desire for leaders to ‘fit in’ with the teams they lead. It takes courage to embrace the vulnerability necessary to be an authentic leader.

    Emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and intention are three ways leaders can become better leaders. Understanding and managing themselves, having empathy and an organizational awareness, and being able to manage their relationships is what separates great leaders from the rest of the bunch. Being able to focus attention ‘on demand’ helps to keep leaders’ emotions in check so that they can be present more often. Leaders also need to be intentional about how they lead. Think about the strengths of the team members, talk about them and how they impact the team’s success and development, intentionally develop those strengths and find ways to leverage them more often.

    I don’t believe that leadership is dead. However, I do believe that great leadership requires movement toward a more enlightened society. Down with the posturing, up with the understanding that we are interdependent and up with the belief that we can magnify and multiply ourselves by working with each other in pursuit of common goals.

    • Hello Mike,
      There is a LOT in what you say and I think I want a longer conversation with you…

      I like the notion of starting with the self. I suspect one of the reasons the knowing/ doing gap exists is we project something “out there” that we struggle to deliver “in here”

      Leaders are: (insert list) but most of us fall short of being inspirational, brave, mindful, aware, empathetic, driven, focussed etc etc etc….

      “Up with the understanding that we are interdependent and up with the belief that we can magnify and multiply ourselves by working with each other in pursuit of common goals.”

      Perfectly put – may I quote you?

      • Of course you can quote me, my dear! Thank you for the comments! And I would be happy to talk more about this topic. I’m embarking on a new project in my practice, and it would be great to exchange ideas and stories!

  4. Julie – I think Leadership is alive, but not in the models and theories that keep permeating the social media forums. Leadership is shown daily at my workplace, but not how you’d think. Instead of some general leading a mythical charge up a hill, I see leadership practiced by people modeling the behavior they expect to see in others. Leadership is a mix of people being intentional and genuine. I see it in people guiding others to move forward. It’s much more of a flowing stream vs. a gigantic forced program. I enjoy being with those that lead and try to lead myself. However, leadership is determined by others and is not a self-proclaimed status.

    Great post and I hope your discussion brings people out from lurking around to comment and share their thoughts !!

    • Wow! Thanks for your insightful reply! I love the way you wrote about a shared model, and that is an excellent way to explain leadership! If leaders are able to model proper behavior and create an environment for people to participate as informal leaders, then we are truly making progress.

      Great comment, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Hi Steve
      I recognise a tension… models and ways of framing leadership are by their nature reductionist and theoretical – I live in a practical, action-based, experienced, sensual world where other folk tend to get in the way of (or REALLY HELP) the things I am trying to achieve..
      this is why I like bringing in the notion others, as you do.. th follower element is SO key.

      lovely.

  5. Good issue Julie. Leadership is wildly misunderstood because the leadership industry is making huge amounts of money off studying what leaders do and then teaching, publishing, coaching, or speaking about what they profess to know. Sadly, since they have never studied what it is that followers follow, leadership is wildly misunderstood.

    Actually, the science of people, why they react the way they do to what leaders do and don’t do, tells us exactly what leadership is and what the actions are that constitute the different levels of leadership from leading people to be demotivated and disengaged to leading people to be highly motivated and fully engaged. In business, the difference in terms of performance is about 500%, not 5% or 50% but 500%.

    • Great comment, Ben! I adhere to the concept that you move in the direction of what you study. However, studying is not enough. In order to transform knowledge into true learning, you have to intentionally experiment and practice behaviors that use that knowledge and revise your experimentation and practice as you expand your learning.

      Gallup conducts an engagement survey that shows approximately 30% of the workforce is engaged in their work. Approximately 50% is disengaged in their survey, and the last 20% is actively disengaged (operating in opposition to the organization)…

      Leaders have the awesome responsibility of developing an environment in which engagement increases, and this only happens by DOING things that create that environment. Studying is a good first step to increase knowledge, but learning by experimenting and practicing to mastery is the only way to truly increase leadership capacity.

      Thanks for posting, and I’d love to hear more of your thoughts.

      • “..only happens by DOING things that create that environment”? How right you are Mike.

        I was a command and control type for my first 12 years managing people. Though I was considered one of the very best, I was unhappy that I was unable to significantly raise the performance of my worst and middle level performers. Thinking about the situation, I realized that my group would never be any better than the sum of what they all did every day, not what I did. So why had I not been listening to these Very Important People?

        So I started listening and found that they had a lot of valid complaints including some good suggestions and questions. As I went about responding to these as best I could, their performance rose. The more I did that, the more it rose such that in a period of 18 months they were performing at a level at least twice as high as I had thought humanly possible. It got so good that I almost did not have to issue any orders or direction.

        I kept experimenting over the years and eventually was able to raise performance to a level at least 4 times higher than I had thought humanly possible. In fact, by listening and analyzing what I heard, I discovered the science of people, why they react they way they do to what management does and does not do.

        So for my self, I very much agree with your statement that “learning by experimenting and practicing to mastery is the only way to truly increase leadership capacity”.

        That said, once I figured out everything including the science of people, I was able to easily lead and coach subordinate managers and supervisors to become exceptional leaders of people.

    • WordPress is being odd – will answer in order of comments…

      Ben… I was kind of arrested by 500% – I’m assuming you are exaggerating.. but can you clarify? Why does it feel like 500% improvement? Can you say more about that?

      Mike – I wholly believe that learning and the change are brought to being through experimenting (and when I coach, I ask folk to experiment. Not set goals. Not get tangled up in precision.. but to try. Things. To see. If it works. Or goes badly wrong.)
      I believe the want and will to experiment starts ( or gets impetus) in conversation, mostly – we talk ourselves into or out of things

      Ben – I guess what tickles and depresses me at the same time is that the command and control thing can be considered “one of the very best” and I guess that style is incredibly useful in some contexts……but there is rhetoric against commanding and controlling now, I think… and i wonder if that is OK?
      What you describe seems to be a personal shift – You listened. You took it on board…..I suspect this is part of what we would ask for in a new paradigm of leadership…. hmmm…

      Sincere thanks for your comments…. such rich food for thought.

      • Julie,

        500%? In 1992 in his book “Principle-Centered Leadership”, Stephen Covey senior wrote that the possible performance gain from properly managing people was 500%. In my last management position as the executive of a 1300 person unionized group responsible for the overhaul of electric generating station boilers, turbines, generators, and major auxiliaries, in a four year period measured productivity per person rose by over 400% from when I had taken over. We then stopped measuring but continued improving. In previous positions creating a fully engaged workforce, our work did not lend itself to such an accurate measurement. So I conclude that Covey was right. The Covey book came out after I had achieved the 400% gain.

        I did not say that the command and control thing is “one of the very best”, only that I was considered “one of the very best” when I was using that approach. I was serving on naval combatants at the time and everyone was using some form of command and control, not much different than today. I just happened to be a very aggressive, knowledgeable type willing to work very long hours and as such was able to extract much higher performance from my people than others. My very best people loved me and the rest not at all. I was feared by many.

        My experience indicates that if you use command and control, you will be your people’s worst enemy as you will demotivate, demoralize, and disengage most of them and severely damage their quality of life, both their mental and physical health. If your competitors are command and control types, you can certainly excel in the marketplace if you are aggressive, highly knowledgeable, and willing to work long hours. If a competitor uses the opposite approach to command and control, you will also be your company’s worst enemy because you will not be able to compete.

        Sorry to have misled you.

  6. There’s something going round in my head about the disconnect between the amount of books, descriptions, articles written and how often it is seen and experienced. We seem to know what it looks like but haven’t always seen it, or seen it as often as we should be able to hope for.
    Some of my own most powerful leadership lessons have come from seeing poor behaviour from leaders and wanting to do the exact opposite.
    Hmmm. Pondering this more.

    • Good… I like things that you grapple with – you always blog well a wee while later when you’ve wrestle them onto the page….

      And I agree – it’s the irritation and how you respond to that that can make you who you are.
      Tweet tonight from Inji Duducu saying what I believe… that you can experience “the difference that makes a difference” – a new insight or behaviour that jolts the system….

  7. Julie, Very quick comment trapped between tea and kids bedtime.

    Sinek talks about understanding the why of organisations, so how about the why of leadership ? Before we reach for the what and how, if we understand the why maybe it’s easier to identify what it’s really all about.

    Without that clear sense of why and purpose then then what and how are much more likely to be random acts of behaviour based on what has worked well before or is assumed to be.

    I recently asked the *very good) CEO of a very large financial service business who he thought the customers of leadership were ….he responded that he’d never thought about that question before.

    • Good.. Purpose is here… I like the sense of it and the rootedness of it…

      and when you ask me what my purpose is, it can take me AGES to articulate it ( even when I have a strong sense of it … getting the damn thing into words can be a headache)

      and so….what are we saying here? that purpose gives life? that leadership is alive when purposeful? Dead when not?….

  8. Hi Julie

    Great subject and concept! And one where everyone (and all their relations) have an answer – there are currently 89,634 books under the topic of leadership on Amazon.co.uk (as at 19.49 on 10th June). Personally, and as a supposed Leadership “expert” (not necessarily my chosen title), I believe strongly in the concept that all of these books (together with all the articles, videos, blogs and web pages) ae right – but as Ken Wilber says “partially”.

    I interpret your great title of “leadership is dead – long live leadership” as being that the “grand narrative” regarding leadership can, hopefully, now start to be ignored and we can begin to explore exactly what is necessary within every context – all of which are different and will require different forms of leadership. Surely in the 21st century we can start to imagine leadership without the ego and from the perspective of the follower – what do I need in order to follow this person?

    I hope that this quick response helps a little! I will give some more thought to this idea and try and post something on my blog http://www.mikekitson.co.uk

    Keep up the excellent work

    • Hello and welcome.

      Aye – I’m one for having a bit of a poke at a grand narrative… it sometimes gets me in trouble…

      Yes. Context is everything. I was introduced to the thinking of Gregory Bateson & work with that notion that you have to understand the context then question the context and work with a sense of mostly “not knowing” to be at your most edgy and effective… and I understand personally and professionally how challenging that can be….

      Leaders are people. Our friends, Mothers, fathers, Sisters, Kids….. these are not abstractions…

      Leadership is not “out there” – it is “in here” – and hell that is tough to access & show sometimes.

      Tweet me a link to your blog when you write? and thank you for commenting.

  9. Leadership. Apparently we need it. Some crave it, others shy away from it but we need it. In certain ways. Like caring. Supporting. Enabling. Stepping up. Making decisions. Being strong. Exploring. Calming. Energising. Comforting. Guiding. Inspiring.

    What we don’t need is that stupid big fucking ego. Self centred, power struggling politicking shite. Yet we have had these factors in leadership for years.

    Will we ever lose the dark side of leading in favour of a renaissance of the light qualities needed in leaders? Not sure we will but it shouldn’t deter us from sharing the better ways so we learn and be better leaders ourselves.

    We have amazing and shitty citizens. We will also have amazing and shitty leaders.

    Which is why we should always keep striving for better leadership.

    It’s too important to die. But desperately needs constant rebirth and regeneration.

    Leadership is dead. Long live BETTER leadership.

    • Perry

      So I’m nodding… and I love the passion & the truth of this….

      and I also think big ego is important.. do wee egos really light things up I wonder?… if a leader is self aware enough to have folk who will question it heir ego and can LISTEN.. I think that is a killer combo.

      and you can’t know the light unless you have dark – you need both – there has to be a tension in organisations and one of my bugbears is we pretend this “shouldn’t be”

      We have to not get on, disagree, piss each other off… we have to because that ‘s what we do.
      Leaders will. they ought to be annoying.

      and strive to be better

      OK… I’m with you

  10. I can’t find my glasses, so apologies for not reading all the replies with the rigour they deserve. I feel a slight grrr as I have a blog brewing on this subject! And you done it!:)

    So, I think leadership is in all of us – if we lead our lives in the way that we believe is right, leadership comes from all spheres within an organisation. Making decisions with integrity, being creative encouraging others, being true to self – these aren’t to do with position – been working with minimum wage folks who bloody know what will make a co profitable and how to lead.

    Leadership doesn’t belong to the most senior person, it belongs to us all. Perhaps the more senior people get, leadership becomes ownership.

    • Brew the blog and please let’s have it? – nothing new or profound in what I said – much richness in what has been shared subsequently- go for it… (isn’t that leadership in action? to know it’s been done and to do it your own way anyway?)

      Again – I hear passion and truth here, Meg… and agree that leadership is not all corporate and suited… perhaps we would do well to train THAT to new leaders too…..

      thank you.
      x

    • I am with Meg. The notion of heroic leadership is outdated. From the work we have done at The King’s Fund we see the urgent need for a more collective leadership approach in today’s healthcare context in the UK. It increases engagement, autonomy and wellbeing. See http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/developing-collective-leadership-health-care (can be downloaded free).

      But this has implications for leaders whose style is set in command and control. How do they move away from autocracy towards an inclusive style whereby all are trusted to lead? I am also curious about what underpins command and control leaders? I think neuropsychologist David Rock’s SCARF model has much to offer. S stands for Status and Rock suggests that when this is threatened we have a fight/flight response. In command and control leaders, I wonder to what extent their behaviour is explained by this?

      What a great debate! Thank you!

      Donna Willis

      • All the more reason for leaders to consider mindfulness as a way to develop their leadership capacity. And intentional development of their emotional intelligence is another way to increase that capacity. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness Iempathy), and relationship management are so important for leadership.

      • What I like about Rock’s SCARF model is he is making an appeal for “Quiet Leadership” – a leadership which is thoughtful and productive by challenging the THINKING of the people/ teams.
        This is not a leader who tells – who controls – but one who is successful through questioning, being discerning…..

        Hello to you Donna – thanks for comment and the link/ download – excellent stuff.

  11. I see leadership as a set of behaviours. Some of my thinking is biased as I have been schooled in a behavioural competency framework that is well researched, validated and linked to high performance.
    I also like other behaviourally based models/frameworks such as Kouves and Posner’s Leadership challenge as this is based on research and the classic question ‘which characteristics do you most admire in a leader and whom you would willingly follow”.

    What leadership is not is the mindless, shallow and meaningless guff that is pushed through twitter and other social networks. Its just someones opinion, and frankly who cares, wheres the evidence? Its just an assumption, a bias, its “look at me, do it like me”. Pacesetter style as Goleman calls it and most likely to undermine performance and culture in the longer term when over used.

    Getting some stuff off my chest, lets also stop using lazy language. Lets stop using words like engaging, inspiring, motivating unless we are clear about what “good looks like” and what “bad looks like” when we talk about them.

    So lets end the soundbites and drivel and have a more objective debate about leadership. Its not dead, its just a bit jaded and tired!

  12. I like how Seth Godin talks about Tribes waiting to be led. In this instance, and in various contexts in each of our lives, there are certain things that we are looking for leadership on. Fashion is an example. As are other trends. And the adoption of new technology (wink wink).

    In this respect, following and leading seem to be inate. And followers will follow, in certain contexts, and they’ll lead in others.

    There’s that wonderful TED talk on starting a movement in which it’s suggested that the most influential person isn’t the leader, it’s the first follower – which throws the thing in the air again.

    I think my point is that leadership and following are both natural and needed. But to reinforce various other comments here, there is a crass, egotistical, ill-intentioned and ill-prepared-for realm of corporate leadership that leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths.

    I hope this is helpful.

    • Ah we like the people who lead in new technology David… We commend you! ( see what I did there?)

      As ever, I’m a bit blank on the referencing – Why are Seth Godin”s Tribes “waiting” be be led? Don’t they just crack on and self organise?
      Interested now….

      The themes of followership comes through in many of these comments … which got me thinking And I believe I have, at least once in my working life, had the joy of trying to lead some crass, egotistical, ill-intentioned, ill-prepared followers. Believe me. It can work both ways..and that way wasn’t a joyous success.

      And perhaps perhaps that is the point…. it’s people leading people, or people being willing to be led…. there is a relationship between the two that is rich and complex
      No wonder there is so much written on it.

  13. I love that Simon Sinek focus on the why, nails a lot of leadership for me. Also these things which I blogged about earlier in the year http://pushingattheedges.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/the-essence-of-leadership/ . I think you can develop your leadership skills but it’s not something you can ‘teach’ in a classroom, probably why there’s a gap between theory & practice. In my experience putting it into practice with good constructive feedback & coaching helps, but at the end of the day you have to earn people’s trust & respect, that’s what makes a leader and you can only earn that by being authentic & constantly adjusting & improving how you work alongside your teams/organisation.

    • Basically… I just read that and nodded.
      A lot.
      Thank you Kandy – and for the blog post – there is much truth in what you say….

  14. What a great conversation on here. Lots to agree with and lots to ponder. My tuppenneth worth is that if you do your stuff with Purpose and good intent and listen, listen, listen…then you might have a chance of being a reborn leader 🙂

    • I recon that tuppenneth worth is actually worth diamonds.
      And here it is about what how leaders behave – that whole “it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it” thing

      Cheer Kev. Short n Sweet. x

  15. Leadership in old styles is dead.
    I think Scharmer and Kaufer nail it in Leading From The Emerging Future. Leadership 1.0 and 2.0 are dead. 3.0 is on life support and 4.0 is in the birthing process. The quote “the success of an intervention depends on the inner condition of the intervener ” is key. Style without substance can no longer provide meaningful leadership.

    • OK – so here I think we are moving away from just the doing and being of leadership and into intent/Impact territory?
      For me this is advanced leadership – the things we start to learn and understand after we have been a bit clumsy and enthusiastic in our first leadership steps.

      Being prepared to sit with and consider the extent to which your interventions (a) are governed and influenced by your own “stuff” and (b) have consequences – intended and otherwise – which you have NO human control over is a mark of great maturity and humility, I’d argue. This preparedness to understand your own contribution (good or bad) to the organisational web is a step everyone can take – it is not one everyone chooses too.
      My experience is that the very best leaders do reflect and consider their influence.
      Thank you Doug for your comment and welcome to the blog.

  16. Love the post and responses Julie. To add my thoughts…

    Leadership isn’t and can’t be dead. Leadership is about inspiring others to act, showing people what is possible and compelling them towards action; the word leadership has latin routes meaning path or journey. Therefore, for leadership to be dead we would be saying that this never happens – which is simply not true. There are 1000’s of examples of individuals and organisations inspiring others to act – although we may sometimes have to look harder for them as the media tends to report more leadership ‘failures’ than successes.

    Whilst it may not be dead – leadership has become confused and made complicated. I believe that we have drifted into an age when the focus is more on people trying to ‘do’ leadership as opposed to ‘being’ leaders. You only need to look at all of the books, models and courses that exist as proof.

    I began my career in the Army, training at Sandhurst, to be a leader. This philosophy was at the heart of my training there and has stayed with me since. At Sandhurst, Officer Cadets are only really taught one ‘leadership model’ – the focus is very much on being a leader.

    Field Marshall Slim said it so well for me – “Leadership is the simplest thing in the world because it’s just plain you.”

    I believe it’s time to re-connect and get back to being leaders. It’s about connecting with your values, understanding who you are are, and leading in a way that is congruent with those values.

    When we stop doing leadership and start being leaders we can really inspire, motivate and lead others.

    • How about “Heroic leadership is dead….long live distributed leadership”?

      If leadership is influencing people, then everyone can be a leader. Think of times people have followed you, whether at home or work, what made them do that?

      Am loving all the comments here, have already shared Simon’s 25 words posting.

      A clear vision and purpose, combined with heaps of emotional intelligence are my ingredients for leadership, and we each do it our own way, as Ben points out.
      Rachel

      • Aye Aye – we’ve got to bumping off Heroes on the FB Blog – this is new territory!

        I’m uncomfortable sometimes thinking about why people would “follow” me – and perhaps there is something in this too – adding to what I was saying below about permission…
        Be cause what we don’t’ often seem to hear about is the sense of responsibility that comes with being in charge. IF I step up to take the lead ( or join the lead) – I’m seen. I’m visible. I have implicitly ( or explicitly) said – right – I’m doing this – which can or might feel terrifying.
        ON the other hand, Rachel, if I have a clear sense of purpose, I do feel myself emotionally and mental relax – Folk can question me or disagree with me and that”s kind of OK – because I have a purpose – a sense of what the way ahead is…

        Thank you.

    • Ben I think I might quote you in the talk “Leadership has become confused and made complicated”

      I think I tweeted you to say I got a bit goose bumpy when I read your comment.. and As I read it back I wonder about permission.
      Do we give ourselves permission to be a leader – I know there are times I could take the lead and I hesitate, scared to fail or offend… when I drop all of that nonsense and follow my own sense of what works somehow things free up – word will not do well here….

      But I like that invitation – be yourself – you have leadership in you – find it – strengthen it – develop it – be it.

      Thank you

  17. I think the challenge around leadership is that it is difficult to define but you know it when you see it. From my own perspective it is not one thing but a combination of skills, attributes, experiences, values and behaviours.

    Is it dead. I don’t believe so. One reason why people might think it is dead because there is lack of consensus on what leadership really is. For me it is not about title, seniority or status. People can demonstrate leadership by setting a clear direction, gaining support, moving things forward, delivering results, taking decisions, challenging and bringing out the best in themselves and others.

    Hope that adds to thinking.

    • Leadership cannot be dead so long as any people are alive. Followers (the 95% who have been forced by an authoritarian society to conform rather than suffer the consequence of not conforming, the OR ELSE) will always follow the value standards (good or bad) reflected in what they experience, some more and some less. Why? Because following is what conformists do. The 5% who aren’t conformists will tend to follow good leadership but never bad.

    • Hi Duncan – that is exactly where I came from when I rashly wrote “leadership is dead” – I felt there was no consensus or clarity – that we were/ are all talking at cross purposes and this concept of “leadership” was, frankly, a bit dated and old.
      Yet through these comments and some of the thoughts they have sparked, I’m seeing new possibilities – like the leadership of old is growning up; as if demanding stuff from people and coercing them, like a brattish child is no longer tolerable – that actually thinking, listening, considering and being is the way forward…..

      Yes. YOu have added to my thinking any way.. thank you.

      • Julie,

        There is no consensus or clarity and leadership is “confused and made complicated” for very good reasons. The industry studies what leaders do and since they are each different from the next leader, what they do is different. Thus no consensus or clarity, but lots of confusion and complications.

        The leadership industry needs to study followers and find out what they follow, And I don’t mean just running some survey but studying the issue for years. I say that because I have as a leader done so. In learning what followers follow what leadership actually is becomes crystal clear.
        ,
        But I have no hope that this will happen because there is just too much money to be had selling the product of studying leaders.

  18. Sorry I won’t be able to attend your session on Thursday. My own session is on at exactly the same time. Of course, leadership is not dead. How could it possibly be. It is inherent – a universal human attribute. As an adult, I lead my life every day that I live it. Maybe really well or not so, but I am thankful that it is mine to lead. It is also relational. How I live my life always takes account of you, others, my situation, my context, the planet, the rest of life. Hope it goes really well on Thursday. Maybe catch you at the coffee break.

    • How could it possibly be? Interesting….

      and yes, relational, emotional, social, physical and mental – whole person if we allow ourselves to lead thus.

      See you Thursday.
      x

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