15. Let’s Talk about Leadership

Leadership on the job is rare, but talk about it is ubiquitous. Companies talk about it all the time.

The talk is usually about the adroit exercise of organizational power to accomplish a given end. It’s managers who lead. Managers are sent off to leadership training to enable them to better use their authority to direct those who work for them. In this view, leadership is something that happens down the hierarchy—leaders at the top, followers at the bottom. You are led by the person who is above you on the org. chart and you lead those whose boxes on the chart lie under yours with lines directly down from your box.

Leadership as a Work-Extraction Mechanism

One of those dreadful “motivational” posters tells us, ...

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