Monday, June 16, 2014



While many people regularly use the term leader to represent those in positions of hierarchical authority; the term leadership more aptly represents a skill set that people most appropriately use, when no standardized procedures exist that would otherwise show the ways to desired destinations. People who know where to go and how to get there might need accountability partners (otherwise managers), to keep them on the "straight and narrow;" however, arguably, they don't need leaders. Additionally, those who employ leadership, serve as entities that go out ahead and show the way -- nothing more and nothing less. Certainly, they should do what some scholars have suggested; to take care of their teams. Quite frankly, however, I expect everyone in organizations to take on the role of getting themselves and others "to do what's best for their team." That should represent a cultural norm that ought to transcend any positions or roles. Finally, people can talk all they want about how influencing serves as a construct of leadership. Yet, in most contexts, it seems abundantly evident (a priori) that most people won't follow unless the influencing has taken place -- before the leading begins. Therefore, I posit that it serves as an antecedent rather than a construct of leadership.

When people equate leadership with position, their definitions of leadership often read like leading serves as all that "leaders" do during any given day. I would argue that anybody, in any given role, in any organization would likely use a combination of skill sets that include management, leadership, selling, marketing, and a myriad of others, even when addressing a singular problem or project. For example, a designated manager might help everyone on a team to achieve maximum effectiveness, but everyone else might take turns leading, based on their various levels of functional expertise and the contextual needs of the given project. At other times, they may serve as promoters, administrators, or in some other roles necessary to achieve the desired outcomes (otherwise destinations).

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