Leadership is a thing… Truth or Lie?

By Caroline Hampson | Outstanding Leadership

Leadership is a thing.... truth or lie?

When was the last time you read something in the leadership arena that made you really question your thinking, question the authors thinking, and actually question where the real truth lay?

This happened to me this weekend reading an article in HBR “ The feedback fallacy” by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. That particular article is percolating away in my head and I am sure will also produce a blog in the near future. The immediate action it led to was purchasing the recently published book by the two authors called Nine Lies about Work. Lie No. 9 “Leadership is a thing “ caught my attention as a I perused the content page and yes, I did go to the end of the book first.

I haven’t yet worked out if the authors are being very scathing about the many volumes written about leadership, the myriad of models and leadership progammes that many of us will have participated in, or they are simply being very provocative to help you question your thinking.

Having recently launched Leadership Spark, a digital leadership toolkit, you can imagine I was feeling slightly defensive and a little concerned that these hugely respected gentleman who’s books and articles I have read and re-read many times over the years could be about to pour cold water on what I believed to be true.

So where did I end up?

Leadership may not be a thing - the authors have a point...But Outstanding Leadership is most definitely a thing.

  • Is it the same thing in everyone, absolutely not
  • Are there some characteristics to it, there most definitely are
  • Do we experience enough of it, No.

That is one of the reasons so much is written about it, and so much is invested in models and programmes to help us develop it.

However one very important truth is that we can invest all the time in the world in the theory of what it is and what it isn’t, but unless we have the conversations with each other, with the people we lead, with the people we are led by we won’t learn how to lead. We won’t see, feel or hear the impact we have. We won’t be able to work out how to get the best out of others and what brings out the best and worst in us.

The Number One Truth for me is that Outstanding Leadership is a thing… and it grows one conversation at a time.

What’s your Number One Truth about Leadership?

Share it in the comment box below...

About the Author

Caroline is coach and facilitator who has been working with companies around the world for the past 10 years. She is passionate about helping people develop outstanding leadership.

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