Three Leadership Domains
This Blog examines news stories in business, politics, and sport. It extends and updates ideas published recently (2005) in the book Dilemmas of Leadership. It seeks to test contemporary principles of leadership through a community of learners.
The Leaders we Deserve
The first principle to be explored is that we get the leaders we deserve. Since setting up the site I have been making progress exploring the provenance of the term. In a recent website article, Marie Wennberg quotes Alexis de Tocqueville “In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
Executive theorist and guru Alistair Mant grabbed the term for a leadership book in the 1980s.
Shakespeare consistently reminds us that tyrants have to rely on the continued support of those whom they seek to dominate. You could take that to imply that we even get the tyrants we deserve!
The same principle holds for business leadership. From my base at a Business School, I have had the opportunity to spend a great time with many leaders and MBAs (‘wannabe leaders’). I have also discussed leadership with executives recruiting for their companies. One of our most experienced administrators now knows in advance which students will be hired for which major company. ‘They always go for the same kind of person’ she told me. In other words, the selection process results in each company getting a corporate match. In this sense, companies are getting the leaders that match their expectations. They are getting the leaders they deserve. Of course, the smart companies are regularly monitoring the consequences of their leadership selection processes, and modifying them as required.
In sports leadership, we read of the tensions and battles between administrators, on-field coaches, and other interested parties concerned that a team gets the leaders it deserves.
Join-up: An invitation
The Blog format is consistent with the principle of developmental learning, and is suitable for exploring such ideas. Through it, I can become part of community of learners, who contribute through sharing experiences and mutually enriching ideas about leadership. I have been collecting and examining leadership stories in a more restricted way with students and colleagues for some years. Now I am particularly excited at the possibility of working within a wider community, and invite comments on the various news stories I come across. The plan is to have three categories at first, of business, political, and sporting leadership stories.
My preference lies in encouraging intelligent questioning in a spirit of critical reflection.