January 30, 2013

Leader? – No, thank you!

Thank you, Lorrain, for your comment to my previous entry! First I started to reply to you but then realized that my comment is too big so I decided to place it as a new entry. I share your thoughts concerning the differences between leader and the head of the department. As for another statement that “all successful companies do need a leader” I can’t more then agree! Every company DO NEED a leader BUT…. every company define leader in their own way and usually after giving their own definition it appears that company mix the term “head” with “leader”. However, as was described in previous entry they are two different terms that can’t be interchanged with each other.

There are the following evidence why I think company usually have heads instead of leaders:

  1. Lots of companies apply “theory of power” to teach how leaders should act with their subordinates. As Paul mentioned today, true leader will probably never apply power of position or legitimacy but use it personal power, for example.
  2. Almost every company develops the leadership capabilities, - so, basically, this is a way that they define a leader. However, if a true leader doesn’t fits into company’s definition, does it mean that he or she is no longer a leader?
  3. Big international companies do have a 360 and 180 degree assessment, where they define unofficial leaders. Often these leaders can be subordinates of the head of department, thus, to reduce any risks of conflict between official leader (head) and unofficial one, the later can be redundant. How do you like that? So even, when company identifies a leader, instead of developing his skills, they fire him! I know couple examples from my previous work experience, when leaders were forced to leave company, just because their bosses were not able to compete for the authority.

To sum up, each company defiantly DO NEED leaders, but in reality the HAVE heads of the department, who fit to the organizational structure in the best way.


- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Yaqin

    Thank you for this very interesting post. And thank you for this interesting question “who fit to the organizational structure in the best way”. Personally, I think this kind of situations is common in reality, as you described the company usually have heads instead of leaders, which might be one of the reasons why some organizations cannot be developed fast and well. We all know that leaders play very important role in an organization, in particular the top leadership. If an organization has the good quality top leadership, this organization could be developed fast and stable. Yet, if the organization has poor top leadership, this organization would be easier to be bankrupted in the business world. About the question “who fit to the organizational structure in the best way”......this is a wonderful question, yet in reality it may be not easy to be resolved, just like you said “every company define leader in their own way¡±. BUT this question reflects that we do need GOOD QUALITY LEADERSHIP, and we do need REFORM LEADERSHIP. Perhaps we could feel that we have too many heads, yet few leaders in the real world. Heads are a kind of leaders, positional leaders, we need positional leaders to manage the organizations, BUT we do need and expect the reform leadership and good quality leadership to improve and change the system (Just personal view, hope to discuss more about this interesting post and interesting question)

    31 Jan 2013, 14:29

  2. Arina Borodina

    Thank you for comment! And I totally agree with you that “we need good quality leadership to improve and change the system”!!! The problem is how we can design the working environment that will help to recognize the leader and provide all resources for reform in organization????

    Moreover, I think every one knows that leadership should be implemented in any company, but no one bother themselves to ask how we can deploy leadership!

    I am still searching for a answer))

    05 Feb 2013, 21:59

  3. Lorraine Karuku

    Your welcome and I couldn’t agree more with your post. Indeed many companies have heads and not leaders.

    08 Feb 2013, 22:41


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