The Myth of “The Leader”

People create and sustain myths to explain what they cannot – or do not – comprehend. They sometimes create myths to make simple what would otherwise strike them as being too complex to bear in mind.

But there is never one cause for what happens – no matter how much we might treasure our formulaic myths. Anything that happens has many seen and unseen “causes.” Leadership is an ideal example. We conceive of our leaders as the cause of how things turn out. If things turn out badly, we blame them. If they turn out well, we elevate them to celebrity-hood. This is fairy-tale thinking.

The hard truth is that our leaders cannot be any more competent in their role than we are in ours. Even then our leaders do not control the outcomes. We are following a dangerous path in the way we think about our leaders in this culture. We need to be able to distinguish between real leaders and counterfeit leaders. The Myth of the “Leader” reveals how to do that. It powerfully and insightfully unveils the myth of “the leader.”

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