April 01, 2011

Leadership – when did it get so complex?

I have a question... yup... you're guessed it.... when did leadership get so complex?

My whole life so far I've seen and experienced leadership in what after countless books and text read seems like sucha  simplistic form. I have a vision of a book title "Leadership for dummies". I always used to think of leadership as a simple topic, broken down into a few basic ideas.

1. The desire to be a leader is down to nature, i.e. you're born that way.
2. The ability to be a leader can be both down to nature or nurture. You can be born a natural leader that people will just follow, or through experience and training learn the skills needed to lead.
3. As a leader you are either democratic, autocratic, or take a laissez faire approach.

But now when I think of leadership it means soooo much more. Mental models of leadership that influence the underlying reasons for decisions as a leader, where you place you most importance (people you lead or the system you lead them in), how they create visions and goals. Then more questions arise about the mothods of leadership that give rise to issues such as... What does a leader actually achieve? How do they interact with others? How does a leader influence actions of others?

Leadership is no longer black and white for me now. Leadership has taken a whole new level. Will a greater understanding of theories of leadership actually help me when I'm in a position of leadership? Difficult to say. Experience has shown me that leadership behaviour is very instinctive depending situational influences. But maybe subcontiously awareness or a greater depth of leadership theories may change this instintive leadership exhibited... maybe not... I guess I'll have to wait and see.

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