‘Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders’.- Tom Peters

Students of Leadership training, creators and developers of Leadership training, and people in Leadership roles; all define Leadership differently!

Some equate Leadership with having followers, some with bringing success to team, some with taking initiative, and some even with empowerment.  It is the ’empowerment’ aspect that in my point of view defines Leadership, and is closest to Tom Peter’s quote.

A measure of Leadership is how dispensable one makes oneself, and empowers others to take on the baton!  To those leadership models and theories, which state that Leaders cannot be created, this would be a new way of thinking. We can create Leaders- we just need to be willing to do so. This requires commitment, confidence, and compassion ( I call it the 3Cs of Leadership development)!

Commitment to success of others, confidence in their abilities, and compassion when people falter or take baby steps-These 3Cs are qualities, which if  possessed, would set the foundation toward creating more leaders, and fewer followers.

You can hear the nay-sayers now. Their argument would be how many leaders can there be in an organization, in one division, or in one function? ‘Definitely not more than one!’ Imagine all the chaos that would arise from people doing their own thing and wanting to pull the organization in the direction they were heading, they might say.

But wait! Who said all follower turned leaders had to have the same responsibility/ job description/role?  Neither Tom Peters, nor this blog says ‘all employees have to be CEOs, or all employees have to be managers’. Both these sources, however, definitely say that if one leader is able to create more leaders, then talent management models, and succession planning models will look very different.

With this post, I want to initiate a conversation on Leadership. I welcome you to join me here, or on other forums, and add to the Leadership body of knowledge, and experience.

2 thoughts on “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders!

  1. Even though a leader within an organization can be identified by title, a true leader emerges from the pack, within any group all on their own. They absolutely possess all of the “3 Cs” you list above in addition to many other key qualities. A couple worth mentioning might be transparency in their intentions, absolute fairness toward all parties, and over all integrity. I do think that a would be leader can be groomed but only by example, over a long period of time. Many organizations promote talented staff to leadership roles when they are not leaders simply because they have success in their specific job function. It is a common mistake that negatively impacts both the team and the new leader. Empowerment of the team should be one the many key goals of the successful leader. If it is true empowerment, the team will thrive .However, in some cases just tasks and responsibility are off-loaded and masquerade as empowerment when their is no true empowerment around critical decision making at all. Laura Bernstein/ President CRA Telecom Inc.

    1. Laura, thanks for your comments, and participation. Excellent point about ‘Leaders’ offloading tasks, and responsibilities masquerading as empowerment, and even delegation, one of buzzwords in many Leadership training programs. Every leader, manager, and want to be leader / manager would find the distinction between delegation, and abdication very helpful. I see many qualities that make a Leader, and then I see some core values- empowerment being one of them ( this merits a post on how might Empowerment be different from Delegation).


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