Leadership: all it's cracked up to be?
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business climate, the question is often asked about what makes an organization or business thrive. The answers will vary, but they will often end up with something like “strong and dynamic leadership” or “visionary leadership at the top”.
Generally, our first instinct is to look at the apex of an organization in order to predict how effective or successful a venture is, or will be. But, in our common understanding of what effective leadership looks like, we might be missing some very important features - particularly if our focus is only about single individuals and their unique characteristics.
Henry Mintzberg, the renowned management theorist, points to other key factors within the context of successful leadership. Rather than simply looking to a leader with a grand strategy to drive its implementation through the ranks, he suggests that successful leadership (and management) is actually more of a “facilitating activity” – bringing out the best in people.[1 ]
The focus is not just on the leader or manager’s qualities so much as on developing the team, in effect, on building a strong community within the organisation, to support efficiency and effectiveness.
No one person can make an organisation successful, there must be good people throughout, empowered to offer their best skills, to be engaged in something larger than themselves. In fact, it is through working together towards a common goal (appropriately articulated by top leadership) that can make the organisation thrive and flourish.
 Mintzberg, Henry. Managers, not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of managing and management development. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004. p. 1