The paper seeks to use the experience of the author, a veteran consultant and author of many articles on leadership, who aims to summarize several fundamental concepts that have shaped the current debate about leaders and leadership. The author's goal is to dispel some leadership myths and offer some advice to leaders about how to perform more effectively in their roles.
Taking the long view, the author concludes that leadership actually emerges or develops over time – not at a unique specific instant. It seems to appear and then disappear; it is elusive.
Invisible forces act on the leadership process: the expectations of the followers, the culture of the organization and the circumstances. The task at hand and the context seem to dictate when and how leadership appears. The leadership dynamic thus depends on the situation.
The primary role of the leader must be to develop a culture that enables individuals to coalesce around the shared purpose of the enterprise.
Leaders act like Higgs bosons, activating and energizing the members of the organization as they interact. And like the boson, leadership may show up in the power it imparts to effective, committed followers.
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