A magician is someone pretends not to have what they have: a trick, a method, a sleight of hand or some sophisticated logical ploy intended to deceive an audience. A charlatan is someone who pretends to have what they do not: competency, knowledge, skill, authority or substantive and sufficient intellect for whatever masquerade they seek […]
People want to be led (just as they want to be deceived). It is a herding instinct and we all surrender to it at times. Even leaders are led – not by others, necessarily, but by the constraints and active self-surveillance that an awareness of the fragility of their tenure as leaders entails. To be […]
Context: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? The brilliant systems (i.e. organisational, operational) theorist Russ Ackoff once framed an uncannily similar issue along the lines that our organisational systems are in general exquisitely well-structured to continue producing precisely the wrong kind of thing. We might constructively decompose the problem into one not dissimilar […]
Monocultural or ideological hegemony in organisational leadership is a recipe for disaster. As a general observation, when organisational systems fall into overtly biased configurations and power symmetries, it is rarely a consequence of willful misdirection. From the interior surface of a half-mirrored labyrinth of self-validating justification and institutional logic, this kind of monocultural percolation may […]
The nature of leadership, at least beyond any simplistic caricature, is surely as an emergent pivot and catalyst for change. All members of an organisation are actors in this – the distributed leadership quotient – and the emergence of critical, decision-making nodes such as those we identify as “leaders” is perhaps merely an autonomous and […]
Organisational cultures are not born fully-formed (or in any sense static or complete), they are best cultivated and nurtured. For better or for worse, our leaders reflect the ground from which they grow…
The skills-sets required to obtain seniority are so often decoupled from those skills-sets actually required to perform professionally at that level.
The cult of the leader, of single isolated points of power and control and is an inevitable consequence and inversion of a fundamental social and psychological misunderstanding…