Maybe I’m looking at this whole Leader / Leadership thing wrong.
Ah … “Leadership” … limited to the chosen few … those exalted elitists at the proverbial top of the human food chain. Those who are born with that something “special.” Whereas the masses who were not fortunate to get the right DNA combination to allow them to contribute at the highest level are destined to be the Followers.
That’s okay. Leaders need Followers. But more importantly … those Followers MUST HAVE Leaders, because without Leaders, those poor Followers … what would they do?
Ever watch any gathering of people? I mean, like a crowd. There is usually only ONE with the megaphone. Huh? Only one? Why is that? Because that’s the Leader.
I don’t claim to have special powers, I don’t claim to be omnipresent (or is that omnipotent) whichever is correct – I am just making an observation, not stating a revelation of biblical importance. Just hopefully a thought provoking idea.
There are Leaders and there are Followers.
In my opinion – and that means “opinion” – not a scientifically supported judgement based on proof or certainty – it is just an idea … something to think about … there is a world of difference between Leadership and Leaders. So far as Followers, not so much.
Leaders are the ones who show the way.
Okay. So, they show the way, big deal.
Who do they show it to? Well, the Followers. Then the Followers decide if they want to follow.
No, wait a minute, that can’t be right.
If a Follower decides, then that implies the ability to establish a different point of view and that is a Leader’s job, so that Follower isn’t really a Follower, but a Leader of a different kind.
CRAP – this is so confusing! So, is that a Leader or a Follower? Or is that Follower a Leader?
It is these types of thoughts that require … wait for it … wait for it … Leadership.
Leadership? Isn’t that the stuff that Leaders do? Followers can’t have Leadership, because if they have Leadership then they aren’t really followers – they are just Leaders of a different kind.
Maybe I’m looking at this whole Leader / Follower thing wrong, too.
Maybe the Leader is just the Follower at the front of the herd; showing the way.
Maybe it is time to modify our vocabulary. Maybe we need a better definition of Leader. The Follower’s deserve to be informed of what Leader means and the Followers deserve to be informed of what Leadership means. Apparently, the Leaders are doing a poor job of distinguishing between the two.
Okay then, the Leader is the one out front.
Let’s use an exercise class as an example. The guy up front is the Leader. He shows the Followers how to do the exercise. The Followers pay their money to the Leader. That’s a Leader.
Where is the Leadership?
Well, that’s different. A different kind of Leader. You see, a Leader is the one up front. The Leader shows the way …
hmmm, I don’t get it! This CRAP is confusing.
Where is the Leadership?
Leadership is NOT the one up front. That’s the Leader.
So, Leadership is not being the Leader?
CRAP! Now, that’s really confusing!
So, what is Leadership?
Leadership is not a position. That is what we mean when we say Leader, the position.
Leadership is … are you ready? … “the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.”
So, now you know. That the Leader is a position and that Leadership is the action.
The difference being, that to be a Leader, all you need to do is get out front; however, Leadership requires “Leading,” and that is a verb … and a verb denotes action. Leadership is the action of leading.
The question is no longer about Leaders and Follower or even Leadership.
The question then becomes … So, what was the question?
This CRAP is totally confusing.
Go ahead and “Google” Leadership … About 790,000,000 results (0.75 seconds)
That was so helpful! (I really liked … “11 Ways to Define Leadership.” 11 … not 10 or 12 … exactly 11.)
Apparently, I am not the only one who is having difficulties with this whole Leader / Leadership thing!
WHAT? Wait a minute … I am an expert in Leadership … I wrote a book. I lecture on Leadership. I teach Leadership. I am a Leadership … guru … ninja … savant … sage … scholar (okay, I used MS Thesaurus for the last 2.) BUT you get the idea.
Leader and Leadership are terms that have different meanings depending on the context.
We have plenty of Leaders (and I am NOT even going to get into good versus bad Leadership … there are plenty of academics who are expounding on that topic!) What Leaders need is Leadership.
Leaders may be born or made … depends on the situation, Leadership may be taught or may be a birth right … depends on the situation. What is needed is both. So, whether you need to learn how to be a Leader of if you need to learn Leadership … I can teach you!
I am glad I could finally clear up any confusion on this matter. There you go!
About the Author
Ali is the self-proclaimed “Overweight-champion-of-the-world,” a raconteur, and in his spare time is an “Independent Management Consultant.” Having travel extensively he brings his own unique perspective to help Client’s take their organizations to the next level. What’s you biggest challenge?