Rethinking Leadership

Businesses need a new approach to the practice of leadership — and to leadership development.

Joseph A. Raelin

SUMMER 2015

We have spent so much time and space, even in this magazine, looking for leadership in all the wrong places. Leadership is really not about leaders themselves. It’s about a collective practice among people who work together — accomplishing the choices we make together in our mutual work.

That’s not, of course, the conventional notion of leadership. Beginning in the 19th century, the “Great Man” theory of leadership held that the historical march of civilization occurs based on the deeds of great individual leaders. Furthermore, these great leaders were thought to have been born with particular traits ...

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