Shattering the Leadership Myth

Redefining Leadership for a New Era

The modern world has often been perceived through the lens of individual leadership. We live in a culture that celebrates the accomplishments of individuals: the charismatic CEO who turned a fledgling startup into a multinational corporation, the visionary politician who transformed the dynamics of global diplomacy, or the inspiring activist who rallied a cause and changed society’s norms. However, this traditional view of leadership may not be the most productive or accurate one. In fact, it might be misleading and even potentially harmful.

The concept of leadership as being person-centric can create a dependence on a single individual, limit creativity, hinder growth and development, and propagate harmful power dynamics. This perspective needs a paradigm shift. Leadership should be seen not as a person, but rather as a cause – a mission or a purpose that transcends individuals and encourages collective and diverse inputs.

Defining Leadership as a Cause

A cause is an ideal, a mission, or a goal that a group of individuals seeks to achieve. It serves as a unifying factor that inspires and motivates, that creates a sense of belonging, and that instigates action towards a shared objective. When leadership is seen as a cause, it becomes a holistic concept, no longer defined or confined by the personality, charisma, or expertise of a single individual.

Instead, a cause encourages the participation of all, making the leadership inclusive and diversified. Everyone, regardless of their status or position, can contribute their strengths and skills towards the realisation of the cause. This perspective encourages shared responsibility, which results in a more resilient, adaptable, and sustainable form of leadership.

The Value Addition to Humanity

When leadership as a cause brings value to humanity, it exemplifies what good leadership should be. It embodies the principles of ethical leadership, including the promotion of fairness, respect, and concern for the welfare of others. It contributes to the betterment of society and the world at large, demonstrating that leadership should serve the greater good and not just the interests of a select few.

Such leadership fosters a culture of empathy and compassion, encourages sustainable practices, and promotes social equity and justice. It allows for the creation of value in a broader sense, not just in terms of financial or material gains, but also in terms of social, cultural, environmental, and spiritual upliftment.

Leadership as Collective and Diverse Strengths

By defining leadership as a cause and not a person, we also emphasise the importance of collective and diverse strengths. Leadership is no longer a singular act, but a collective effort that brings together different individuals’ skills, perspectives, and experiences. It becomes a platform that encourages the synergistic combination of different strengths, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the leadership.

This approach fosters an environment of mutual respect and understanding, where each person’s contribution is valued and everyone’s potential can be maximised. It enables continuous learning, adaptation, and innovation, as the diverse strengths provide a rich pool of ideas and approaches.

In the face of complex global challenges, we need to rethink our traditional notions of leadership. By defining leadership as a cause rather than a person, we can foster more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable forms of leadership that value collective effort and diversity. Such leadership not only serves the interests of a group or an organisation, but also contributes to the betterment of society and humanity as a whole. The future of leadership lies not in the hands of the few, but in the collective power and shared vision of the many.

From Crisis to Catalyst

Reimagining Leadership for the Modern Era