The Leadership Illusion


It's interesting that we continue the industrial era practice of exaggerating the power of leadership in organizations. We continue to inaccurately assign all kinds of powers to people in leadership positions.

Reality is, people do many good things, on time, with what they have because they choose to do that, and for the reasons they choose. They self-organize to make things happen while their bosses are otherwise preoccupied with other bosses in endless meetings of shiny objects. Most learning happens informally, within and across peer networks. 

Especially when leaders are absentee or weak, people take initiative. They improvise work hacks and workarounds knowing they will if anything have fewer than more resources coming their way.

Leaders with integrity know this and spend their time in two vital tasks: reminding people of their goodness and convening conversations that make people smarter together.