Leadership can’t be defined as a characteristic of an individual since it is an emergent property of the relationship between individuals. In short, leadership has to do with a ‘We’ and not with a ‘Me’. Analogously, neither hydrogen nor oxygen has the characteristic of wetness, yet water is wet. There can be no leadership with (just) one individual! This likely could explain why so many academic researchers have failed to reliably model or predict effective leadership by the traits or characteristics of a leader.
This however does not mean, in regards to leadership, that as individuals we haven’t a responsibility for our personal development (as a human being). It simply means that leadership extends beyond the finite egoic ‘Me’. Continue reading