2.18.2013

Postmodern Leadership: Everyone a leader!

I'm getting so tired of the leadership myth. MBA’s, companies and business leaders are immersed in a vocabulary of leadership, mostly used by consultants and supported by academic research. Leadership is reduced to know-how, deprived of experience. Leadership has become a topselling product. "You want to be a leader? Follow me! (and pay for my workshop)". Today, MBA-students and young employees are told to be leaders, not labourers, because labourers are followers. Leadership is an extreme form of modern individuality. It is motored by the myth that ‘everyone can become a leader’ and that only leadership will fulfil your talents and capacities. Leadership is understood as taking full responsibility towards your true self. The model of the leader of today is not the boss, the one who is in charge of the production process, but the authentic self that has reached a higher degree yet. The leadership myth tells you that you are, first of all, a leader of your own life. Leadership is the imperative of the maximisation of self-development, detached from any form of social usefulness, productivity or praxis, precisely because it is part of a discourse about the self.
However, traditionally the leader is the one person that is not working, or at least, not thinking about himself in terms of labour. The leadership myth today uses terms like ‘inspiration’, ‘charisma’, ‘spirituality’, ‘authenticity’ or ‘efficiency’, ‘supporting others’, ‘to get things done’ (mainly by others). The imperative is: be authentic, be yourself--which is: a leader. Leadership is the new paradigm of spirituality, without any link to the actual business world. We are trained to be leaders in a world that is not governed by leaders any more. Leadership is imploded self-realisation. Once craftsmanship was social self-realisation, but the postmodern type of leadership has no social function, other than being conspicuous: ‘Look, I’m a leader. I have realised myself.’
So Please, don't follow me.
WORK AND LEISURE IN A CONSUMER SOCIETY