Sunday, October 4, 2009

Leadership or “leaders leading”?

I believe leadership is all about creating an environment in which people can achieve desired results – in other words, consciously setting people up to be successful rather than having success as a random variable

Leadership is different from the activity of “a leader leading” – ie, leadership is a far more broad concept than particular behaviours, habits, or attitudes: leadership is a shared activity involving every person whether or not he or she is designated as a leader in the organisation

I focus on organisational leadership (an organisation may be any size from 2 people upwards) that considers the desired end state of the organisation in a defined period (ie the vision for, say, 10 years hence) and the variables that will impact on whether or not that vision becomes a reality. Accordingly I look at how specific local characteristics and cultures can be harnessed to work in harmony with both the existing and desired cultures of the organisations with which we are working.

The issue of how leaders engage with followers is critical. Leaders need to explore and develop their own behaviours in this regard. If we want to ensure strong on-going organisations of any sort, we need to ensure that both leaders and overall leadership are developed in and for all organisations—and that requires engagement by current leaders of everyone in their organisations.

More information about Douglas G Long is available at

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