Two things wrong with a good portion of what I see on the web on leadership:
- You can’t teach me leadership. We’re different people. What works for you — or somebody else, some prominent successful person — is specific to who you are, your styles, your background, your instincts. Look at some great leaders: they’re all different. So are you, and so am I.
- Position doesn’t make anybody a leader. Being named CEO or president or c-level officer or VP gives you authority (presumably) and responsibility (we hope). Being in charge doesn’t turn the wrong person right.
And here’s the good news (maybe):
- Talking of leadership, showing examples, and lessons in leadership might still be useful. They are to me, at least. They’re reminders of things I know, or feel, but forget.
- Thinking and reflection are good when they happen, if they help people remind each other who they want to be, how they want to behave.
- Clichés get to be clichés for a reason. Call it resonance. Relating leadership to vision, listening, empathy, and so forth probably helps everybody do it, in their own way, but better. Reminders are good.
So you can’t teach me. I can’t teach you. But maybe we can remind each other.