Sunday, October 4, 2009

Distributed and distributive leadership

Right now it seems to me that, in many cases, “the inmates are running the asylum” when we look at world leadership.

And we are to blame. We have the power of electing or not electing individuals—instead we vote for parties regardless of who the best person might be. And the problem with political parties of every flavour is that their primary ambition is to obtain and retain power—and they will do anything at all to realise these ends. The Boards of companies are not all that much different.

Distributed and distributive leadership are all about the difference between “leadership” and “the work of the leader”. It recognizes that everyone has a leadership responsibility and also that everyone has leadership ability. The critical thing is to learn how to unleash the leadership potential in every person and to harness their leadership ability towards positive ends.
It seems to me that understanding and applying the concepts of distributed and distributive leadership is a strategy that will go a long way to bringing vision into action.

Ordinary people like you and me can make a difference. We can stop the rot that eats like a cancer into the soul of countries and organisations - the rot that lies, distorts, obfuscates, and then does what it likes in the guise of protection of our shareholder/citizen (you choose) interests while, in actuality pursuing its own ends and furthering its self interest.

The starting point is a vision and clear strategic orientation. This then requires clear goals and objectives together with the will to attain these. Of course, it also means taking seriously the elections of governments and boards.

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