For years, I have been in the workforce rubbing elbows with professionals who have been interested in what leadership is and how to be a leader, who wants to be a leader, providing and receiving leadership trainings, and introducing themselves as leaders. I am/was one of them. Prior to, during and after taking C-level roles as CEO and COO, one question always stuck on my mind: When there are so many “leaders” around us, where are all the followers? Are there any followers left among this vast pool of “leaders”?
One would wonder if the concept of leadership, defined as “managing, being responsible of a group of people or an organization and assuring them to follow”, still following the cognizance of Aristotle’s leadership. Are today’s good and prepotent leaders thinking of aesthetic implications of their decisions? Is Aristotle’s concept covered from micro level business environment to macro level administration of a country?
Many leadership training programs include the place of aesthetics in organizing and decision making. While IQ and emotional intelligence (EQ) are valued in parallel and EQ can be achieved with experience, conditions today seem to make us forget about the fact that “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader”. One of the reasons of this could be today’s “leadership inflation”. Having studied at high prestige schools (or not), having had the chance to attend couple of leadership trainings, often times without a considerable work experience, there exists many such “leaders” who know some key words/buzz words and think it’s enough.
I had the privilege to meet and work with individuals who have internalized the trio of ethos (value), pathos (emotions), and logos (logic) and comfortably say that they are not in this “leadership inflation” group. They are in a completely different league.
At this point, the question comes to mind is what to do with these “leaders”. Making them the followers or keeping them as the resisters.
Esen Akter Tekinel