Chapter 4. Reframing Leadership

Lee G. Bolman

Terrence E. Deal

Leadership is universally offered as a panacea for social problems. A widely accepted canon holds that leadership is a very good thing that we need more of—at least, more of the right kind. Yet there is confusion about what leadership means and how much difference it can make. Sennett (1980, p.197) writes, "Authority is not a thing; it is a search for solidity and security in the strength of others which will seem to be like a thing." The same is true of leadership. It is not a tangible thing. It exists only in relationships and in the imagination and perception of the engaged parties.

Leadership is distinct from authority, though authorities may be leaders. Authority and leadership are ...

Get Business Leadership: A Jossey-Bass Reader now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.