December 17, 2017

Leadership is for rejects

Leadership evolved out of the things that management rejected. 50 years ago, there were no ‘leaders’ in business. There were 'administrators' in gray suits (as in Masters in Business Administration) who spent their time on paperwork and what we would now identify as management.

 But the term got old and and practices changed and so we got ‘managers’, then 'executives’, then ‘C’ people, and now ‘leaders’.

Throughout its history, leadership (whatever form it took) was a grab-bag for the things that management was not, for the stuff that management rejected. Most managers ran a mile from human issues and stuck to tangibles.

So, leaders gradually emerged as the guys who looked to people and the things you couldn’t easily quantify or produce through compliance: vision, purpose, inspiration.

Leadership will continue to change, but the human dimension is not going away. On the contrary, there is a new awareness about the meaning of work because there are new ways to inform ourselves and take more control over our destinies.

Leaders must respond to this humanization. Those who don’t will fail. Those who ignore the human heart, human motivation, and human nature, will fail. Those who act like they can control how people think and feel will fail.

Ken Carroll

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  1. Ivan Walsh says:

    an interesting perspective!

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