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Leaders in search of followership by Kenneth Mikkelsen


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Kenneth Mikkelsen explores why leadership is so hard to exercise today in a conversation with professor Barbara Kellerman from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. This is a must read for everyone interested in leadership and management trends.

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Leaders in search of followership by Kenneth Mikkelsen

  1. 1. Leaders  in  Search  of  Followership       By  Kenneth  Mikkelsen   5  October  2012     On   a   breezy   evening   of   November   4th   2008,   thousands   of   people   flocked   to   the   streets   of   downtown   Chicago.  The  excitement  grew  as  the  crowds  made  their  way  down  Michigan  Avenue  and  its  neighbouring   streets   towards   Grant   Park.   Finally,   after   nearly   two   years   of   intense   campaigning   in   primaries   and   the   general  election,  people  would  learn  the  name  of  the  44th  president  of  America.   Just  after  11  pm,  as  the  polls  closed  on  the  West  Coast,  Obama  was  named  the  winner  of  the  election  and   caused   the   crowd   in   and   around   the   park   to   erupt   into   an   historic   moment   of   jubilation.   Everywhere,   people   let   their   emotions   run   free   as   the   Blues   Brothers’   song,   “Sweet   Home   Chicago”,   rocked   the   air.   Around  midnight,  the  newly  elected  president,  Barack  Obama  walked  onto  the  blue-­‐carpeted  stage  with  his   wife,  Michelle,  and  their  daughters,  Malia  and  Sasha,  to  celebrate  the  victory.   “It’s  been  a  long  time  coming,  but  tonight,  because  of  what  we  did  on  this  day,  in  this  election,  at  this   defining  moment,  change  has  come  to  America,”  Obama  told  the  roaring  crowd  in  Grant  Park.   Barack  Obama’s  remarkable  journey  to  the  White  House  and  his  role  as  the  world’s  most  powerful  leader  is   a   central   story   in   a   recent   book,   The   End   of   Leadership,   by   Barbara   Kellerman,   professor   in   Public   Leadership   at   Harvard   University’s   John   F.   Kennedy   School   of   Government,   and   an   esteemed   expert   on   leadership  and  followership.  In  her  book,  Barbara  Kellerman  takes  a  critical  look  at  modern  leaders  and  why   we  are  so  fascinated  by  them  and  often  blindly  pursue  the  idea  of  great  leaders.   The  End  of  Leadership  challenges  a  widely  spread  perception  that  learning  about  and  copying  the  traits  and   characteristics  of  a  few  good  men  and  women  is  a  fast  track  to  success.  Kellerman  urges  us  to  increasingly   support  the  focus  on  individual  leaders’  personal  traits  with  a  broader  understanding  of  followership  and   the  context  that  leaders  operate  within  when  we  develop  leaders.   The  illusion  of  hero-­‐leaders   When   Americans   rallied   to   support   Barack   Obama   during   the   2008   presidential   campaign,   it   reflected   widespread  wishful  thinking  −  that  here  was  a  hero  of  our  times,  a  great  man  who  had  overcome  difficult   odds  to  bring  about  change  and  to  cure  what  is  ailing  the  American  society;  a  human  incarnation  of  “the   audacity  of  hope.”  But  according  to  Barbara  Kellerman,  reality  has  caught  up  with  Obama  and  his  followers.   “We  looked  at  Obama  as  our  first  black  president,  a  different  kind  of  leader.  He  promised  change  and  we   believed  in  it.  But  within  weeks,  months,  it  was  clear  that  this  presidency  would  be  quite  similar  to  other   presidencies.  There  are  those  who  argue  that  we  are  hardwired  to  look  for  and  long  for  hero-­‐leaders.  If  you   look  throughout  the  entire  course  of  human  history,  you  will  see  that  in  the  past,  much  more  than  the   present,  we  have  had  individual  leaders,  whether  queens  and  kings,  whether  presidents  or  prime  ministers,   who  are  much  more  powerful  and  authoritative  than  leaders  seem  to  be  now.  
  2. 2. But  leadership  changes  all  the  time.  It  is  not  now  what  it  was,  and  even  if  we  are  still  hardwired  to  look  or   long  for  hero-­‐leaders,  the  evidence  certainly  is  that  there  are  so  few  and  far  between.  Every  time  a  person   is  asked  who  their  favourite  leader  is,  the  person  that  comes  to  mind  is  invariable  for  a  decade  or  two  –   Nelson  Mandela.  Now  why  does  everybody  name  Nelson  Mandela?  It  is  because  there  are  very  few  like   him.   Very   few   in   the   21st   century   who   feel   they   can   be   called   hero-­‐leaders.   The   consequences   of   our   longing  are  that  we  are  certain  or  doomed  to  be  disappointed,”  says  Barbara  Kellerman.   In  the  19th  century,  The  Great  Man  Theory  of  Leadership  was  propounded  by  historian  Thomas  Carlyle,   who  declared:  “The  history  of  the  world  is  but  the  biography  of  great  men.”  Nowadays,  the  appraisal  of  the   great  man  doesn’t  resonate  well  with  reality.  Kellerman  states  that  humankind  writ  large  is  suffering  from  a   crisis  of  confidence  in  those  who  are  charged  with  leading  wisely  and  well,  and  from  a  surfeit  of  mostly   well-­‐intentioned,  but  in  the  end  false,  promises  made  by  those  who  were  supposed  to  make  things  better.   “The  recession  has  likely  played  a  part  in  this  perception,  as  have  a  rash  of  recent  corporate  scandals.  Still,   this  lack  of  confidence  in  corporate  leaders  is  part  of  a  broader  picture,  in  which  those  at  the  top  are  much   less   trusted,   appreciated,   and   admired   than   previously.   The   situation   in   business   is   different   from   the   situation  in  government.  In  government  we  have  leaders  who  are  perceived  by  and  large  as  unable  to  do   what  they  are  supposed  to  do,  to  lead.  In  business  we  have  leaders  who  are  perceived  by  and  large  as  able   to   do   what   they   are   supposed   to   do,   to   lead,   but   who   nevertheless   do   so   in   ways   that   disappoint   and   dishearten,”  says  Barbara  Kellerman.   As  a  result,  the  level  of  trust  in  and  approval  of  leaders  and  the  companies  they  represent  is  at  an  all-­‐time   low.  In  2011,  a  Gallup  poll  confirmed  that  corporate  America  is  in  disrepute.  62  per  cent  of  Americans  want   major  corporations  to  have  less  influence  in  the  future  than  they  do  at  present,  up  10  per  cent  from  a   decade  earlier.  Additionally,  corporate  America  is  considered  to  be  too  powerful:  fully  67  per  cent  of  those   polled  said  they  resented  the  influence  of  big  business.   Leadership  is  an  equilateral  triangle   In  1998,  Caroline  Alexander  published  a  remarkable  book,  The  Endurance:  Shackleton’s  Legendary  Antarctic   Expedition.  The  book  tells  the  story  of  28  shipwrecked  sailors  and  their  heroic  survival  in  1914-­‐15.  The  men,   led  by  polar  explorer  Sir  Ernest  Shackleton,  had  set  sail  from  Europe  in  August  1914,  just  days  before  the   outbreak  of  the  First  World  War,  with  the  mission  of  becoming  the  first  expedition  to  cross  the  Antarctic.  In   the  Weddell  Sea,  their  ship  was  trapped  in  the  drifting  pack  ice  and  left  the  expedition  stranded  on  an  ice   floe.  Shackleton  eventually  ordered  everyone  into  the  open  lifeboats  and,  after  five  days,  the  crew  came   upon   the   deserted   ice-­‐covered   Elephant   Island.   Here,   Shackleton   picked   six   men   to   cross   the   world’s   stormiest  seas  in  an  attempt  to  reach  a  whaling  station  800  miles  away  on  the  island  of  South  Georgia.   Two  weeks  later,  the  six  men  made  it  ashore.  Shackleton  and  two  of  his  men  then  crossed  a  mountain   range  and,  after  36  hours,  made  it  to  the  whaling  station.  He  then  sent  a  boat  to  rescue  the  men  who  had   stayed   behind   on   the   south   shore.   After   an   appeal   to   the   Chilean   government,   Shackleton   borrowed   a   steam   ship   and   was   finally   able   to   rescue   the   22   remaining   men   on   Elephant   Island,   who   had   waited   patiently  for  him  for  almost  five  months.   Alexander’s  book  catapulted  the  mesmerising  story  to  a  larger  contemporary  audience.  Now,  more  than  a   decade  later,  the  story  has  been  turned  into  a  stream  of  management  books  that  praise  Shackleton  as  a   great  leader,  from  whom  you  can  learn  all  there  is  to  know  about  successful  leadership.  Today,  the  US  
  3. 3. Naval  Academy  cites  Shackleton  as  a  model  leader,  and  esteemed  business  schools  also  refer  to  his  merits   in  their  leadership  curriculum.   This  fixation  on  the  leader  by  the  leadership  industry  is  another  strong  point  in  Barbara  Kellerman’s  book.   In   her   opinion,   the   industry   also   thrives   on   the   assumption   that   leadership   is   a   skill,   which   everyone   everywhere   should   aspire   to   acquire;   that   all   sorts   of   people,   from   different   backgrounds,   and   with   different  experiences  and  areas  of  expertise  can  acquire  leadership  skills.  And  that  it  can  be  learned  quickly   and  easily—over  a  period  of  months,  or  even  a  weekend.  In  Kellerman’s  words,  being  a  leader  has  become   a  mantra  and  yet  the  tireless  teachings  about  leadership  have  brought  us  no  closer  to  leadership  nirvana.   “I  wish  that  my  own  industry  would  take  a  less  reductionist  approach  to  leadership  education.  If  you  are   only  going  to  look  at  leaders  as  so  many  leadership  training  and  management  programs  do,  and  if  you  are   going  to  ignore  followers  and  context,  you  are  unfortunately  going  to  miss  two  sides  of  what  I  consider  an   equilateral  triangle,”  Barbara  Kellerman  emphasizes.     The  leadership  industry  is  focusing  too  narrowly  on  the  individual  leader  and  less  on  the  context  and   followership,  because  it  is  easily  marketable  to  busy  executives  with  short  attention  spans.    It  is  a  logic  that  speaks  directly  to  some  of  our  deepest  and  most  primitive  human  needs.”       “Even  if  the  leadership  industry  is  now  global,  it  originates  from  the  US  and  it  is  very  much  in  keeping  with   the   American   how-­‐to   mentality.   We   Americans   tend   to   believe   that   we   can   learn   how   to   do   almost   anything,  whether  it  is  swimming  or  playing  the  piano  or  becoming  a  leader.  That  is  part  of  our  culture.   There  is  also  the  presumption  that  being  a  leader  −in  sharp  contrast  to  being  a  follower  −is  good  in  and  by   itself.   It   is   considered   a   path   to   having   power,   authority   and   influence,   and,   usually,   money.   And   it   is   considered   a   path   to   personal   and   professional   fulfilment   as   well   as   to   goal   achievement,”   Barbara   Kellerman  tells.   It  is  interesting  to  look  at  why  Shackleton  excelled  during  the  expedition  in  1914-­‐15  in  connection  with   Barbara  Kellerman’s  equilateral  triangle  where  the  leader,  the  followers,  and  the  context  each  play  their   part.  When  the  context  changed  from  a  mission  of  exploration  to  a  mission  of  survival,  Shackleton  managed   to  reinvent  the  team’s  goals  and  he  improvised,  adapted  and  used  every  resource  at  hand  to  achieve  it.  He   also  earned  and  was  granted  the  respect  of  his  fellow  crewmembers  by  leading  as  an  example  and  showing   them  loyalty  and  obligation,  for  instance  by  climbing  the  mountains  on  South  Georgia  to  reach  the  whaling   station.  Last  but  not  least  he  had  faith  in  himself  and  his  abilities.  But  does  this  qualify  him  to  be  proclaimed   as  one  of  the  greatest  leaders  in  history?   The  truth  is  that  there  is  another  side  to  the  story  that  is  often  left  out.  After  his  return  to  England  in  1917,   Shackleton  started  several  ill-­‐fated  business  ventures.  Among  them  were  a  tobacco  company,  a  collector   stamp  printing  business  and  a  Hungarian  mining  company.  Each  of  them  failed,  and  in  the  end  he  died   heavily  in  debt.  It  is  fair  to  say  that  Shackleton  was  a  successful  leader  of  one  of  the  most  difficult  missions   in  human  history,  but  the  truth  is  also  that  he  had  difficulty  replicating  it  in  other  aspects  of  his  life  when  he   faced  a  new  situation  and  was  not  surrounded  by  the  27  followers  from  the  expedition  to  Antarctica.    
  4. 4. A  shifting  power  balance   As  the  financial  crisis  continues  to  influence  most  of  the  world,  there  is  a  growing  concern  about  the  lack  of   responsible  leadership.  But  is  it  in  reality  also  a  crisis  of  followership?  A  cultural  evolution  and  technological   revolution   have   shifted   the   balance   of   power   between   leaders   and   followers   over   time   −   with   leaders   becoming   weaker   and   followers   stronger.   Barbara   Kellerman   argues   that   it   makes   leading   even   more   difficult   −   not   only   because   we   have   too   many   bad   leaders,   but   also   because   we   have   too   many   bad   followers.   In   the   United   States   many   people   don’t   vote   at   all,   or   vote   along   strict   or   even   extreme   ideological   lines,   which   makes   it   difficult   for   political   leaders   to   do   what   they   must−   to   collaborate   to   compromise.   “Bad   followers   come   in   all   different   varieties.   Sometimes   they   are   bad   because   they   stand   by   and   do   absolutely  nothing.  Particularly  when  it  comes  to  pocketbook  issues  and  understanding  that  if  they  want  to   receive  these  benefits,  these  benefits  actually  need  to  be  paid  for.  So  how  do  you  pay  for  them?  Among   other  things,  it  can  be  solved  by  paying  higher  taxes  and  increasing  the  age  at  which  you  start  receiving   benefits.  But  these  things  are  politically  very  difficult,  and  I  am  always  reminded  of  the  case  of  Sarkozy  in   2010.  He  wanted  to  raise  the  retirement  age  from  60  to  62,  and  two  million  French  people  took  to  the   streets  to  protest.  Now  is  that  good  followership?  Not  particularly;  at  least  not  in  my  book,”  says  Barbara   Kellerman.   A  digital  revolution   In   just   15   years   the   Internet   has   profoundly   impacted   the   relations   between   leaders   and   followers.   Especially  the  emergence  of  social  media  has  made  information  instant  and  available  to  nearly  everyone   everywhere  –  with  serious  implications.  WikiLeaks,  the  Arab  Spring  and  the  rise  of  the  Occupy  Wall  Street   movement  are  just  some  of  the  more  recent  events  where  the  engagement  in  collective  conversation  and   dissemination  of  information  has  shifted  the  balance  of  power.  Facebook,  Twitter  and  YouTube  have  in   other   words   become   powerful   weapons   in   the   hands   of   dissatisfied   voters,   employees   and   customers   around  the  world.  The  development  also  signifies  an  important  generational  gap  between  the  young  tech-­‐ savvy   generation   and,   in   most   cases,   those   who   are   a   generation   or   two   older   and   act   in   leadership   positions.   As  recently  as  late  2010,  64  per  cent  of  American  CEOs  were  not  using  social  media  of  any  kind  for  the   purpose  of  connecting  with  their  boards,  employees  and  customers.  According  to  Barbara  Kellerman,  they   are   missing   out   on   a   considerable   advantage   and   wasting   an   opportunity   to   lead   and   manage   in   cyberspace.   “This  is  not  to  say  that  CEOs  don’t  reach  out—they  do.  But  the  large  majority  of  them  continue  to  do  so  in   ways  that  are  decidedly  old-­‐fashioned,  by  being  quoted  in  the  news  or  by  speaking  directly  to  different   audiences  at  different  events.  This  leaves  only  about  a  third  of  CEOs  who  engage  with  their  stakeholders,   their   followers,   by   employing   technologies   such   as   their   own   corporate   websites,   podcasts,   blogs,   or   YouTube  channels,  or  through  social  networks  such  as  Facebook,  Twitter  and  LinkedIn,”  Barbara  Kellerman   explains.   The  new  social  contract   On  March  14th  2012,  Greg  Smith  handed  in  his  resignation  after  almost  12  years  of  service.  It  was  an  act   that  must  have  caused  his  bosses  at  Goldman  Sachs’  headquarters  in  New  York  to  choke  on  their  coffee  as   they   sat   down   to   read   the   morning   newspaper.   In   the   opinion   section   of   The   New   York   Times,   his  
  5. 5. resignation   was   delivered   in   the   shape   of   a   frank   column.   Mr.   Smith,   who   was   the   head   of   Goldman’s   United   States   equity   derivatives   business   in   Europe,   the   Middle   East   and   Africa,   claimed   that   clients’   interests  were  side-­‐lined  in  how  the  firm  operated  and  thought  about  making  money.  According  to  Mr.   Smith,  leadership  in  the  firm  used  to  be  about  ideas,  setting  an  example  and  doing  the  right  thing.  But   something   went   wrong   along   the   way.   And   the   now   former   employee   blamed   this   cultural   change   personally  on  Goldman  Sachs’  CEO,  Lloyd  C.  Blankfein  and  its  president,  Gary  D.  Cohn.   The  incident  shows  how  the  life  of  leaders  is  more  and  more  exposed.  But,  according  to  Barbara  Kellerman,   it  is  also  a  manifestation  of  a  changing  social  contract  between  leaders  and  followers.   “We  presume  that  people  get  elected  president  or  prime  minister,  or  for  that  matter  mayor,  because  they   deserve   to,   because   their   capacities   attest   to   the   legitimacy   of   their   claims   to   power,   authority,   and   influence.  And,  similarly,  we  presume  that  people  are  selected  to  be  chief  executive  officer  based  on  their   excellence,  a  professional  history  that  testifies  to  their  superiority  as  leaders  and  managers.  But  when  the   contract  between  leaders  and  followers  is  based  on  merit,  as  opposed  to  self-­‐interest,  the  game  changes.   That  is,  if  merit  is  perceived  to  be  lacking,  either  because  the  leader  is  seen  as  being  in  some  serious  way   corrupt,  or  because  the  leader  is  seen  as  being  in  some  serious  way  inept,  the  contract  is  weakened  or  even   abrogated  altogether.  Again,  we  go  along  with  our  leaders  and  managers,  particularly  in  the  workplace,  for   any  number  of  self-­‐interested  reasons,  including  the  benefits  of  material  reward  and  the  fear  of  personal  or   professional   punishment.   But   the   best   reason,   certainly   the   ideal   reason,   to   follow,   is   that   we   want   to   follow  −  because  we  genuinely  believe  in  the  integrity  and  competence  of  those  with  power,  authority  and   influence.  Small  wonder,  then,  that  when  merit  matters  most,  and  when  merit  is  viewed  as  meagre  or  even   absent  altogether,  disappointment  and  disillusionment  set  in,”  says  Barbara  Kellerman.     “A  good  leader  must  be  ethical  and  a  good  leader  must  be  effective.”       Tarred  and  feathered   Maintaining  privacy  as  a  leader  is  harder  than  ever  with  smartphones  present  on  every  street  corner  and   24/7  publication  channels  like  Twitter  and  YouTube.  In  this  day  and  age,  followers  feel  entitled  to  pry  into   their  leaders’  private  lives  −  and  to  hold  them  accountable  for  what  they  do.  As  the  culture  changes  and   technology  along  with  it,  followers  today  are  familiar  with  the  flaws  of  leaders,  with  the  foibles  of  leaders,   as  they  never  were  before.  Chief  executives’  every  move  is  scrutinised,  analysed  and  criticised,  not  only   what  they  do  in  the  present,  but  also  what  they  did  in  the  past.   “Barack   Obama,   for   example,   has   been   looked   at   every   which   way:   where   he   was   born;   what   was   the   impact  on  him  of  his  black  African  father  and  his  white  American  mother;  what  is  the  nature  of  his  faith  and   of  his  marriage;  how  does  his  mind  work  and  what  motivates  him;  what  is  his  core  character  and  is  he   introverted  or  extroverted;  what  is  the  nature  of  his  leadership  style;  and  what,  given  everything  we  know   about  him,  will  he  do  next?  This  brings  us  to  the  leader’s  position.  Whether  president  or  prime  minister,   chancellor  or  royal,  senator  or  mayor,  the  office  at  the  top  has  been  diminished  −  and  is  unlikely  ever  to  be   restored  to  its  former  glory,”  says  Barbara  Kellerman.   It  seems  like  the  more  we  know  about  how  leaders  lead  and  managers  manage,  the  more  they  tend  to  
  6. 6. shrink.  What  this  familiarity  has  bred,  according  to  Barbara  Kellerman,  is  contempt.   ”CEOs  of  large  publicly  held  companies,  will  increasingly  come  under  the  same  kind  of  pressure  as  political   leaders.  They  already  are.  The  tenure  of  corporate  leaders  is  shorter  than  it  used  to  be.  The  number  of   corporate  shareholder  activism  is  going  up  and  in  my  view  it  is  not  much  longer  before  shareholders  will  be   able  and  will  make  use  of  the  technology  for  connecting  and  for  voting  against.  We  have  already  seen  this   with  increasing  frequency,  whether  it  is  voting  against  pay  raises  for  CEOs  or  decisions  CEOs  would  like  to   make.  Both  blogs  and  shareholder  activists  will  be  more  difficult  for  CEOs  to  deal  with  in  the  future  than   they  have  been  in  the  past,”  says  Barbara  Kellerman.   In  2011,  the  German  Minister  of  Defence,  Karl-­‐Theodor  zu  Guttenberg,  one  of  the  country’s  most  popular   politicians   and   widely   regarded   a   potential   future   chancellor,   was   forced   to   withdraw   from   politics.   His   downfall  was  caused  by  a  persistent  group  of  online  activists  that  proved  he  had  plagiarised  large  parts  of   his  four-­‐hundred-­‐page  doctoral  thesis.  The  online  campaign  against  him  was  so  relentless  that  he  finally   withdrew  from  public  life.   Lessons  for  leaders   When   King   Juan   Carlos   of   Spain   broke   his   hip   on   the   way   to   the   bathroom   in   a   luxury   safari   camp   in   Botswana  earlier  this  year,  he,  too,  was  taught  a  lesson  in  modern  leadership.  The  accident  revealed  that   the  King  was  in  Africa  to  hunt  elephants  during  one  of  the  worst  crises  in  Spain’s  history.  When  this  became   known  to  the  general  public,  it  caused  a  previously  unheard-­‐of  public  outcry  in  Spain.  The  King  was  openly   criticised   for   setting   a   bad   example   and   for   being   insensitive   to   both   the   endangered   animal   and   the   economic  situation  in  the  country.  In  the  end,  the  King  finally  did  apologise  for  his  actions.   The  End  of  Leadership  is  packed  with  examples  of  leaders  who  have  not  understood  how  the  recent  years’   cultural  and  technological  changes  impact  their  profession.  In  her  book,  Barbara  Kellerman  refrains  from   providing  a  ready-­‐made  recipe  for  how  to  develop  better  leaders,  but  she  suggests  that  we  take  a  stroll   back  in  time  when,  in  many  ways,  leadership  was  taken  much  more  seriously  than  now  and  where  mastery   thereof  was  perceived  to  be  a  journey  of  lifelong  learning.  Two  of  the  world’s  leading  thinkers,  Confucius   and  Plato,  were  both  strong  advocates  of  this  viewpoint.   According  to  Confucius,  the  ideal  leader  was  a  role  model  and  a  gentleman  worth  emulating  and  following,   because   he   was   older,   wiser   and   more   farsighted.   Whereas   Plato’s   ideal   education   would,   in   effect,   be   lifelong   and   deeply   rooted   in   a   range   of   topics,   most   of   them   not   in   any   obvious   way   connected   to   leadership  as  we  perceive  it,  including  literature,  music,  basic  and  advanced  mathematics,  philosophy  and   metaphysics,  physical  exercise,  and  experience  in  both  the  civil  service  and  military.   “If  we  are  talking  about  growing  people  who,  whether  in  the  economic,  political,  religious  or  educational   realm,  have  a  broader  approach  to  the  common  good,  then  we  need  to  re-­‐examine  the  way  we  are  raising   or  educating  leaders  and  even  followers.  Plato’s  idea  of  how  you  grow  a  leader  is  not  exactly  by  taking   leadership  courses,  from  one  semester  to  one  weekend  or  two  months.  I  am  not  saying  that  we  have  to   adapt  it  precisely,  but  I  think  there  are  some  valuable  lessons  to  be  learned.  It  was  a  far  longer  process,  a   much   richer   process.   He   believed   that   in   order   to   grow   leaders,   it   was   years   of   learning,   years   of   experience,  different  kinds  of  experiences  in  everything  from  music  to  math  –  he  believed  in  the  broadest   possible  approach.  
  7. 7. And  so  did  several  of  the  great  leader  thinkers  who  go  back  in  many  cases,  hundreds  and  in  some  cases   thousands  of  years.  It  is  the  contemporaneous  type  of  leadership  industry  that  has  assumed  without  any   other  evidence  whatsoever,  that  leadership  can  be  taught  to  many  people  simultaneously,  a  large  class  of   people,  and  that  it  can  be  taught  in  a  very  short  period  of  time,  and  those  are  the  assumptions  that  I  very   much  question,”  Barbara  Kellerman  finishes.    About  Barbara  Kellerman     Barbara  Kellerman  is  the  James  MacGregor  Burns  Lecturer  in  Public  Leadership  at  Harvard  University’s  John   F.  Kennedy  School  of  Government.  She  was  the  Founding  Executive  Director  of  the  Kennedy  School’s  Center   for   Public   Leadership,   from   2000   to   2003;   and   from   2003   to   2006   she   served   as   the   Center’s   Research   Director.  She  also  served  as  Dean  of  Graduate  Studies  and  Research  at  Fairleigh  Dickinson,  and  as  Director   of   the   Center   for   the   Advanced   Study   of   Leadership   at   the   Academy   of   Leadership   at   the   University   of   Maryland.   Kellerman   was   cofounder   of   the   International   Leadership   Association   (ILA),   and   is   author   and   editor   of   many  books,  among  others:  Bad  Leadership  (2004);  Followership  (2008);  Women  and  Leadership  (co-­‐edited   in  2008  with  Deborah  Rhode);  Essential  Selections  on  Power,  Authority,  and  Influence  (2010);  and  The  End   of  Leadership  (2012).   Visit  Barbara  Kellerman’s  personal  blog.   Barbara  Kellerman  discusses  some  of  the  core  topics  of  her  book  in  this  video.   Get  inspirered  from  this  video  entitled:  Leadership  from  a  dancing  guy.