“We have a wrong-headed notion of what constitutes a leader, driven by an obsession with leaders at the top.”
Bill George, Harvard professor, former CEO, Medtronic
We have a crisis in leadership today with seemingly continuous scandals rocking business, government, religious organizations, non-profits, sports, and more.
The latest results from the much respected Edelman Trust Barometer show only 18% of the knowledgeable people surveyed believe business leaders, and only 13% of government leaders, will tell you the truth. Shocking.
We can blame the crisis on human nature, greed, the lust for power, ego, or the phases of the moon. All have some skin in the game (except perhaps the phases of the moon). But there’s another driving factor as well: a flawed leadership model.
Most people think about leadership from the top down, conflating leadership with authority. The quest for a heroic leader to save our organizations is a false search destined to disappoint. Yet, we continue to await such saviors. We focus too much on the skills of the people at the top and their leadership style, whether it be directive, empowering, authentic, transformational, or whatever.
Great leadership, triple crown leadership, works up, down, and sideways. It is a group performance, enlisting anyone and everyone to lead at certain times, regardless of the organizational hierarchy. Sometimes the CEO leads; sometimes the CEO bites his or her tongue to let others lead, letting them gain invaluable leadership experience.
We heard this concept of “leadership as a group performance” over and over again in our research:
But why is great leadership a group performance? We can think of ten reasons (hopefully, you can add more). Great leadership is a group performance because it:
Core Concept: Great leadership is a group performance.
A Short Quiz:
If you answered “yes” to two or more of the above, revise your view to see leadership as a group performance.
Bob and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of and speakers on Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations, winner of the 2013 International Book Awards (Business: General). Twitter: @TripleCrownLead, @BobVanourek, @GVanourek
Tags: Authority, Bob Vanourek, Great Leadership is a Group Performance, Gregg Vanourek, Group Performance, Lead, Leader, Leaders, Leadership, leadership does not require formal authority, Leadership Speaker, Speaker, Speakers, Teamwork, Triple Crown Leadership, unleash other leaders