Monday, February 13, 2006

Tom Peters "sayings" on leadership

Tom Peters is someone I admire greatly, and I read his blog every day. However, it seems to me that his ideas of leadership are defined in the usual terms.

In a recent post on his blog, he says he was asked to provide some sayings on leadership. So he gave several such as "Dream. The Only Worthwhile Reality.""Beware Those Who Agree With You." "Seek Dissidents. Nurture Dissidents. Cherish Dissidents."Enthusiasm, the Ultimate Virus." "Technicolor Times Demand Technicolor Actions." However, Tom doesn't say anything about leaders being elected. The closest he get is, "Leaders 'do' People. Period." (you can get the full list from his blog,

Tom asked readers of his blog to provide their sayings, and most responses were along the lines above. This is a common perception everywhere - that leaders are people with a bunch of certain skills/attitudes. In short, when you ask "who is a leader?", you get the answer to a different question, ie, "what skills/attitudes should a leader have?". The answer to "who is a leader" is simple: a person who's been elected.

The problem is, with the current mis-perception of leadership simply being a bunch of skills and attributes, we get less of real 'leadership' and more of real 'dictatorship'.

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