leadership formation

Creating some handouts and preparing for a leadership programme Lifetree is facilitating and found this quote in Simon Western’s book ‘Leadership – A Critical Text‘ which has such a resonance to the philosophy of learning that Alan and I have developed for this work together with the client group.

Leadership formation steps back from the grandiosity and the hubris of the Messiah discourse, which aims at the transformation of organisations and followers. Transformation will be a by-product of Leadership Formation; seeking transformation before formation is premature, it reflects (western) societies’ preoccupation with immediate gratification. You cannot buy leadership from a quick course, or a popular manual. Leadership exists all around us, but so much of it present goes unnoticed and it uncherished, at the expense of organisational success and social well-being. It takes time, the right conditions and the right support to nurture the ‘leader within’. The leader within oneself, and the leadership within the organisation, both need nurturing and sustaining. Leadership Formation will reveal many manifestations of leadership that are currently hidden, if we are open to new forms of leadership, like creativity, it will surprise us.

Today’s leaders need to urgently address the question of how to prepare the way for the next generation of leaders; a way that enables leaders to engage ethically, with the whole ecosystem, and with leadership spirit.

This also reminded me of the amazing Go Dundee Learning Journey I was part of a few Saturday’s ago. We came across many what I termed ‘hidden heroes’ in the City. People who were carrying out significant acts of leadership, often in the face of real personal risk, to make a difference in others lives. And the ethos of the Go Dundee group to nurture some of these leaders by making opportunity to connect with others of like mind, like heart.

Mary Brooksbank – a risk taking Dundee leader from another era…

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2 comments… add one

  • Emma Dear

    Hi Joe

    I really like that thought in the leadership formation…………

    “prepare the way for the next generation of leaders”


  • Emma,

    thanks for commenting! Glad you appreciated it!


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