Everyday Leaders

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Vicki R. TenHaken

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Abstract

For years business writers and speakers have focused on larger than life, charismatic Leaders, with a capital “L”. The implication is that the success of an organization is dependent on this one person and his or her ability to inspire everyone else to follow a unique vision. This focus on the Leader is at least a partial cause of the lack of trust we are witnessing in business organizations today. Leaders believe they must behave in some larger than life way. With the expectation that they must see things the rest of us do not, they make riskier and riskier decisions, desperate to prove they deserve the role. Perhaps now that we have seen the problems resulting from this Leader-focused approach to running our organizations, we can return to a more reasonable approach - one that is actually attainable by mere mortals - where many are called upon to be good, competent, everyday leaders. If educational institutions begin to focus on developing the skills and character of these everyday leaders, our organizations will not only be more successful, but surely more trusted than they are today.

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