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Mind-bending Concepts—Leadership

The Mind-bender Concepts Series
Leadership is not a new idea. It is a very old one and a very bed one. It has its roots in the earliest forms of human social enterprise, from religion to war. Leaders were supposed to have some special quality, like the pied piper, perhaps, that inspired others to follow them, and it was assumed those with that quality always, like Moses, would lead those who followed to the promised land.

The concept is a very complex one and probably deserves a full article. There have always been some individuals that others seem eager to follow, but both leaders and followers are examples of a human deficiency, because both are dependent on others. The leaders deficiency is a lack of identity that needs followers to reassure himself of his own value. The followers deficiency is a lack of self-confidence in their own ability to find their own way.

There is an irony in the way leadership is used by the mind-benders, especially those in the self-improvement, personal development, and leadership training businesses. They promise to make everyone a leader. The question, if everyone is a leader, who will the followers be for them to lead?

The concept of leadership is actually another assault on the concept of individualism and a presumption of incompetence. It assumes most people are not competent enough to know what to do or where to go without a leader to tell or show them. This is an extreme insult to every competent individual who does need someone to tell him how to live his life or how to do his job, and has no interest in telling anyone else how to live their life or do their job.

In the business world the concept of leadership has been a disaster, because it ignores the only individuals who are of any real value to any business enterprise, the competent individuals who have no need for a, "leader," nor interest in leading those who do, because they are the producers and true creators, which most businesses today fail to recognize.

[NOTE: This whole leadership thing is wrong. Always implied is some magic method to get other people to be and do what a "leader" wants them to be and do. This is the language. From the Franklin Covey mission statement: "We enable greatness in people and organizations everywhere. "Franklin Covey creates transformational leadership in people and organizations everywhere through training coaching and principle based programs." This is from Stephen R. Covey: "... our challenge is to become effectively interdependent with others. To do this, we must practice empathy and synergy in our efforts to be proactive and productive."]

Anyone can just see that the success of individuals like Thomas Edison was because they always practiced "empathy and synergy in their efforts to be proactive and productive." It is anti-individualist ideas like these that are destroying today's businesses because they are a direct assault on the source of all real innovation and production in any business, the independent individual original thinkers and creators.

—(01/19/11)