By Professor David Pendleton, Programme Director, High Performance Leadership, Henley Business School
In a world that is crying out for great leadership, the social media and ‘pop’ leadership books are full of apparent insight and help. I searched on Google for ‘Become a better leader’ and on the first page I was recommended 20 ways… 10 ways… 7 steps… 4 simple things… and the like.
The implication that we can all improve the quality of our leadership stands in direct contrast to the idea that leaders are born and not made. Education is similarly based on the idea that learning leads to improvement and executive education shares the same underlying assumption.
The idea is straightforward: work out your strengths and limitations, work on the latter and improve overall.
Consider the possibility that it may be exceptionally difficult, even impossible, to become a complete leader. What if the demands of leadership are so broad that it would be a very rare individual indeed who could master it all?
Executive leadership development at Henley is based on the idea that complete leadership is to be fostered among teams of leaders who have been put together from individuals who are different but complementary.
Complete leadership can come from incomplete leaders working effectively together. Indeed, this may be the only way that complete leadership is to be created.
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