CHAPTER NINE

Toward a More Adequate Myth

The Art of Leadership

LIKE MOST of our ways of life, acts of leadership are informed by tacit metaphors and unexamined myths. Making these more visible can be a first step toward enlarging our range of possibility and choice. In chapter 6, we observed that the practice of adaptive leadership as Heifetz and his colleagues have developed it can shift perception and behavior and has enduring usefulness, in part, because it is distilled in a compelling set of metaphors. It is my growing conviction that these metaphors are mere stepping-stones to a yet more significant shift—the transformation of the prevailing myth of leadership from hero to artist.

It has become almost a cliché among leadership theorists ...

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