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Everyone's a leader?
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Tuesday, 26 June 2007
We have always supported the thesis that everyone is a leader – at some time, in some area of their work – and that leadership is a major part of every manager’s job. The interest that continues to grow about the ‘need for leadership’ is a reflection of the fact that in hierarchical organizations the CEO and a few bosses are supposed to lead, the rest had better hang on to their jobs (which becomes their main preoccupation).

It has to be this concept that explains the extraordinary powers believed to reside in CEOs and the overblown salaries they have to be paid to get them. It also explains why so many of them lead organizations that are ultimately unsuccessful or are restructured to give the appearance of being successful until the day they leave.

Amusingly, at a public lecture by Grahame Maher then CEO of Vodafone Australia and doing a great job, I asked the question "Can we attract CEOs like you by offering them a lot of money?" It was the last question of the evening. Grahame paused. There was total silence in the room. Then he responded "No." End of story.

To continue: because of our belief in Heroic Leadership, that Heros are going to get us out of trouble, any useful feedback model has to begin at the top. The advantage of using the Leader/Manager Model is that half of it is about leadership, it's not a new discovery. The rest is about management - we still need that! A truly great leader (manager) will seek to encourage leadership at all levels and demonstrate how this is done, without feeling threatened by all the talent below.

One result of the leadership trend is the development of leadership questionnaires for managers. Some of these are actually upgraded management questionnaires, while others go all out for leadership. With the latter we have the likelihood of producing a new breed of leaders who can vastly influence us towards a new and better future – but who can’t manage the present structure long enough for us to get there.
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posted by Dr Ron @ 10:32  
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