Friday, January 02, 2004

Leadership and Holes

We sometimes talk as if there is a leader-shaped hole at the top of each organization. Not all organizations have the same leadership requirements of course, but for each organization, there is a search for a leader who perfectly fits the leader-shaped hole.

Sometimes existing managers swell in importance to fill the hole, like balloons inflated in a small box. Sometimes a manager is recruited from elsewhere, and must be partially deflated before being stuffed into the box and pumped up again.

But such a leader is too tightly stuffed into the job to make any real changes. Surely this is not genuine leadership.