What’s up by Emanuele Rapisarda

Let’s say it once and for all: *the* leader does not exist.
For years we have tried to find the characteristics that a good leader must have, so that he could cultivate, learn, and even teach them. Technical, psychological, relational characteristics. And every time the feeling is that we were missing something.
That’s because *the* leader, as such, does not exist.

Following what Harrison Owen suggests, leadership is something that shows at the intersection between passion and responsibility. People who have true passion for something and feel a sense of responsibility are those who can inspire others, so that “the efforts of many coalesce as one”.
If so, and I believe it is, it is obvious how each of us has passion and responsibility to certain themes and not to others. Then it’s easy to understand how a person can be a leader in some activities and not in others, even within the same workgroup and the same organization.
Thinking that one can choose to be a leader or, worse, that the position in the org-chart determine who has leadership is a mistake that at the minimum does not create value and at worse, more commonly, causes real damage.
So, within every organization and every team we should look for those who, in any given moment, are showing sincere passion and strong sense of responsibility instead of building some super-power or standardized characteristics. Once we found them we should just give them the opportunity to express their leadership, providing resources and letting them express their unique way to lead. Doing this, we will not have static “leaders” (as a title), but we will have a dynamic leadership (as a quality).
So, stop looking for leaders and start looking for leadership. Also because, you know, *the* leader does not exist.


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 3


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