Leadership Manifesto

Leadership Manifesto

Leadership is in a state of retreat bordering on confusion, as we go from crisis to crisis, scandal to scandal, outrage to outrage. Normalcy is waiting for the other shoe to drop. More CEOs and CFOs are coming in conflict with the law. Once powerful companies are going belly up for cooking company books, creating fictitious bottom lines. Perpetrators are hauled off to jail in Armani suits. These outrages manifest the arrogance of power and greed. We are adrift in a maelstrom without a rudder.

People are partners to leadership. They control the rudder. Yet, most are passive, obedient obsequious, polite, conforming, dependent, submissive, rudderless, or clueless. They are of no service to themselves, or their leadership. This translates into learned helplessness and irresponsibility. We get the leadership we deserve. Crisis and scandal do not occur in a vacuum.

All are vulnerable. Our culture abhors a snitch, stoolie, or tattletale. We don’t “challenge authority“. We react to it.

I can’t divine what will replace CEOs and presidents, but many “leaders” no longer lead and never learned how to follow. Their eyes are guided by history, not vision, by what they know, not what they can find out, by what has worked, not what is failing now, by a sense of power, not a sense of people.

I contend that most work can be conducted much better without managers.

Leadership is often personified in a charismatic leader (political leader), a central figure (Pope) or a person that sits at the top (CEO). I find this perspective too narrow. Leadership is far more universal, pervasive, organic, and encompassing. Everyone is a leader, or no one is!

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