Are You Really a Leader?

The following transcription from Dee Hock's Birth of the Chaordic Age says it all. Whenever I'm asked about leadership, I always fumble around with some incongruent response that only makes sense to me. What I really need to do is memorize this and just regurgitate it.

If you lead a team, consider this.

Leader presumes follower. Follower presumes choice. One who is coerced into the purposes, objectives, or preferences of another is not a follower in any true sense of the word, but an object of manipulation. Nor is the relationship materially altered if both parties accept dominance and coercion. True leading and following presume perpetual liberty of both leader and follower to sever the relationship and pursue another path. A true leader cannot be bound to lead. A true follower cannot be bound to follow. The moment they are bound, they are no longer leader or follower. The terms leader and follower imply the freedom and independent judgement of both. If the behavior of either is compelled, whether by force, economic necessity, or contractual arrangement, the relationship is altered to one of superior/subordinate, management/employee, master/servant, or owner/slave. All such relationships are materially different than leader/follower.

The remaining paragraphs do an amazing job picking that apart and diving into how "there is no spoon."

Somewhat aside, this is an amazing book.

Jud Valeski

Jud Valeski

Parent, photographer, mountain biker, runner, investor, wagyu & sushi eater, and a Boulderite. Full bio here:
Boulder, CO