The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

What’s leadership?

It sounds like a question that can easily be answered. We all have met and seen leaders and can describe how we experienced it.

It quickly becomes complicated to come to a common conclusion.

Some define leadership by the way people act towards others, linking it either to common goals or the vision the leader shared. Others will talk about leaders as the ones having a supervisory or management title.

The distinction which is being made here is between role and function. A lot of the literature will see these two approaches as tied to being in charge. The accepted idea is that someone who has a position in an organization has been put in charge. The position in the organigram thus being the way to assess that person’s responsibilities.

Another assumption that is held is, that leadership must be positive. The question “what’s leadership?” being understood as “What’s good leadership?”. It doesn’t make the answer easier as it immediately raises the question of “what’s good?”

Once we start to think about the question we discover that simple questions rarely have simple answers.

Creating a dialogue and learning learn from the answers people have allows to find one’s own answer and see what’s common to the answers in the group.


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