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Rescooped by Hein Holthuizen from Change Leadership Watch!

There is no such thing as leadership – Peter Drucker classic, Change Leadership?

There is no such thing as leadership – Peter Drucker classic, Change Leadership? | No(n)sense |

Wes Balda has written a compelling piece on Peter Drucker and our overwrought attention to defining leadership, which is timely, seeing the new Pew report on negative media and presidental election coverage.



At lunch one day, [Wes] asked Peter to define leadership. He snorted in response, “There is no such thing as leadership.”


WB: He defended this by claiming it couldn’t be defined. He stressed that leaders were only labeled thus because they had followers.


PD: “At best, leadership may be a dimension of management,” he said, “and leaders could be identified because their actions were predictable, or perhaps trustworthy.”


Leading could be how we manage, or make knowledge effective through relationships, in powerless environments.



WB: ...Max DePree identified an important concept – the absence of power. Leading could be how we manage, or make knowledge effective through relationships, in powerless environments.

Results are achieved around or beyond the use of power. “Leading without power” may be the only way leadership works. By definition, then, using power in leading is not leading at all.


DN:  Perhaps it's just coercion, or intimidation.  From another article excerpted here, from Forbes, note the diagrammed split of leadership and management tools and the placement of "power tools."

WB:  So, when Drucker says leaders are only defined by the presence of followers, I believe he means that these followers first exist – and that they are absolutely free from all constraints in choosing to follow.

A well known video on being the first follower helps illustrate this point.


Power is absent, and the decision to follow creates the ultimate democracy. (Drucker, incidentally, was even more focused on civil society after Sept. 11, 2001.)

Read the full article here.


Photo credit:  by Jeff McNeill, CC


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Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 6, 2012 9:28 AM
In any organization, there will always be leaders and followers. It is true that many people hate the fact that they are just simple followers, the main reason why they often time make nasty comments about these leaders.But, despite all these negative comments, a true leader should never be onion-skinned, and should stand firm on what he believes is right and advantageous for the majority, regardless of any negative opinions.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, September 10, 2012 9:54 AM
@Victoria, thanks for your comment. It is true that "leaders" must have thick skins. Drucker's point, I believe, is that followers define the leaders, and that leaders may, in many, even most cases be an artifact of management, rather than the magical status we've given them over the years.

Indeed, where would Gandi, Nelson Mandela, Washington and Lincoln be without their first followers and the followings that emerged to turn the tides of public opinion to make significant changes in our histories.

It's a provocative article and I'm glad that people are rescooping it. ~ Deb
Erika Holthuizen's comment, September 25, 2012 9:58 PM
golden truth
Rescooped by Hein Holthuizen from Just Story It! Biz Storytelling!

How To Tell A Story -- Story Wars 10 Simple Strategies

This is a Change This PDF that you can view here: ;


I'm curating this because I like it and I don't like it -- and it is worth taking a look at the assumptions going on in this piece so we can get really smart.


This piece was put together by Jonathan Sachs, author of Winning The Story Wars. Sachs comes from the world of marketing and branding and this is reflected in his point of view.


Let's get what I don't like out of the way so I can chat about what I do like. Here is what puts my teeth on edge:

1. Sachs states that "we live in a world that has lost its connection to traditional myths and we are now trying to find new ones..." Welllllllll, if your slice of reality is the Hollywood, advertising, and branding world it is easy to get sucked into this notion. But we know from Jung, other psychologists, Folklorists, Anthroplogists, and neuroscience how this is not true. There is great irony in this "myth" that Sachs is perpetuating.

2. We are engaged in a war. Hmmmmm. Well, for millenium people have wanted to gain the attention of other people -- so nothing new there. Is this a war?  Could be. But if we are wanting to employ the power of storytelling to find solutions and create change as Sachs advocates, then war does not speak to the greater good but instead speaks to winners and losers where ongoing resentment is inherently built in. That sounds like the perpetuation of war -- same old same old. 


3. Sach's relationship to storytelling is still at the transactional level -- I'll tell you a story and you'll do what I want. While what he really wants it seems is storytelling at the transformational level. That requires a different mind-set and different story skills -- deep listening, engagement, story sharing, etc. And he completely ignores the relational level of storytelling.

4. Reliance on the Hero's Journey as the only story archetype to follow. Well, that's a narrow slice of reality and one geared towards youth. Yet other story archetypes are desperately needed: King/Queen, Trickster, Magician for example in order to affect change.


5. As a result, his 10 simple strategies stay at the transactional level with a few geared towards transformation (figure out what you stand for, declare your moral, reveal the moral). Now any great professional storyteller will tell you these that I've mentioned are essential for any compelling storytelling session. So they land in both worlds of transactional and transformational storytelling.

OK -- on to what I do like!

If you want to be heard, you'd better learn to tell better stories. The solutions to our significant problems these days depends on our ability to tell great stories and inspire people to think differently. Storytelling does not take long to learn, but it does take a lifetime to master, Know what a story is and is not Our abilitiy to disseminate stories is greater now than in the past -- because of technology. That is just a reminder to expend your use of different channels in sharing your stories that are now available to us.


Enough! Go read this piece yourself and decide what you think about it. It's a quick read.


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at ;

Via Karen Dietz
Meri Walker's comment, September 20, 2012 1:15 PM
Well, Karen! You made my day offering this terrific new Scoop. I'm enriched by the way you think, Karen. Especially about story... I guess we get really "bent" in a certain way by anthropological training and it's still pretty rare to find others who are looking through the kinds of filters you and I have installed in Mind. De-light-ful learning with and from you!
Jane Dunnewold's comment, April 8, 2013 4:42 PM
I'm behind the curve on this one, being new to scoop it - but as a teacher/artist I have to agree with your observation that delving into other archetypes would present rich opportunities to "language" storytelling in lots of environments. I use archetypes to get at the fears and struggles artists face in my workshops - and they aren't all about the hero's path! The Damsel in Distress is one that comes to mind...
Karen Dietz's comment, April 8, 2013 4:56 PM
I agree Jane. Archetypes can be so helpful in many ways. One of the ones I love for artists is the Trickster archetype, and the Magician. LOL on the 'damsel in distress'! Time to go put my 'big girl' panties on and deal with the next challenge :)
Rescooped by Hein Holthuizen from Gelukkig voor de klas!

Does Wisdom Bring Happiness (or Vice Versa)?

Does Wisdom Bring Happiness (or Vice Versa)? | No(n)sense |
"The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts," said Marcus Aurelius.

Via Jacqueline Boerefijn
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Rescooped by Hein Holthuizen from Just Story It! Biz Storytelling!

Data visualisation success hinges on solid storytelling skills

Data visualisation success hinges on solid storytelling skills | No(n)sense |
Learn more about the value of data visualisation. Tableau's Jock Mackinlay explains why data is inert and worthless without the twin practices of visualisation and storytelling.


This is a quick piece that makes some valuable points. Frankly, I'm not a hard-core data head. Yet I love looking at spreadsheets, bar charts, line charts and other visual displays of data in order to make meaning of the material and spot trends. 


There is a whole science to displaying data in meaningful ways (see Edward Tufte's work) that we don't need to go into here. But what I like about this article is that it points to the fact that all the data in the world is meaningless until you can tell the story about what it is saying and what it means.

Storytelling and data go hand-in-hand.


Truly, those of us in the field of business storytelling need to build our data skills. And data-geeks need to develop their storytelling skills. Sounds like a match made in heaven!


Here's another aspect of storytelling that this article alludes to: yes, we all know it takes time to share a story and in this fast-paced world, it is not uncommon to hear "But who has the time?! Just give me the data to share. We've got to get moving!"  Ahhhhh -- huge mistake! Taking the time to share a story in the beginning makes projects go much more quickly. 


That sounds counter-intuitive, but I experience this phenomenon again and again.


Read the article for additional points on how the marriage of data and storytelling make for better decision making. They are worth remembering.


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at ;

Via Bas Kooter, Karen Dietz
Samreen Sharif's comment, September 7, 2012 8:48 PM