Why is it that we humans tend to narrow ourselves down to restrictive definitions of some really good concepts? ”Leadership” is one of them. In the “traditional view” (a common one), it is conceived as describing and belonging to a few individuals, privileged enough to make all the decisions in our hierarchy-driven organizations. I hear it all the time at work, “leadership needs to understand…, leadership needs to do something or another…” Indeed, “leadership meetings” are typically limited to those few people, by those few people. It is a self-perpetuating cycle between those leaders and non-leaders alike. The worst part about it is that it promotes separation, not collaboration, parts and not wholeness, us vs. them mentality. Then there is THE leader, the one on top who is the one to blame. No wonder “it’s lonely at the top.”
Leadership as a concept is a pretty positive one. Attaching leadership to actual people are not always as positive. Those few exceptions have been elevated to sainthood status. Funny how it plays out as a zero-sum game, all or nothing.
So what if we took leadership as a concept and we shared it among people?
I love this quote from Peter Senge, “Leadership is the capacity of a human community to shape or influence its future.” Think about what could be achieved if people acted according to this belief.
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