Blog Post

By the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 21 October 2013



By the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 160
Posted DateMonday 21 October 2013 18:53 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/how_to_lead_when_youre_not_i ... 
http://www.globalstrategicmgmt.com/blog/bid/44118/GSMS-discu ... 
http://www.ryanhartwig.com/5-problems-with-focusing-too-much ... 
http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&co ... 
http://colleensharen.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/leadership-is- ... 

I love the way that Twitter points me to interesting stuff and causes me to Google, think about and research things that I might otherwise have not. I read things that resonate with me and I am almost compelled to follow them up. This re-tweet by Harold Jarche @HJarche was one such provocation:
By the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else --- Henry Mintzberg – via @flowchainsensei

Googling turned up the full quote and source as follows:
By the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else.

We create clusters of followers who have to be driven to perform, instead of leveraging the natural propensity of people to cooperate in communities.

In this light, effective managing can be seen as engaging and engaged, connecting and connected, supporting and supported.

I have long had a problem with books, blog posts and articles that are written for leaders ...ones that are titled "How effective leaders do so and so .... ". I like to think we all leaders in our own way, in our own time - that sometimes we chose to lead, other times we chose to follow. Like Mintzberg, I'd much rather we viewed things as "people cooperating in communities than leaders leading the not so charismatic, motivated or informed".

In Googling, I also found a few good YouTube videos of Henry Mintzberg talking about his ideas and I decided to start to curate a Mintzberg playlist. Make sure you check out his Introduction to CoachingOurselves video - so much in common with my Knowledge Cafe concept.

What could be more natural than to see our organizations not as mystical hierarchies of authority so much as communities of engagement, where every member is respected and so returns that respect? (p. 233 – 234)

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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