Leadership Theories Are Dangerous

There are thousands of books on leadership. There are even more videos on YouTube, articles in journals, and experts offering training classes in hotel conference rooms.

Each one presents you, the reader, with a choice. “Do what I am telling you”, the expert says, “and you will find great success, all the wealth you desire, and many people who want to be you.”

“Just like I did.”

And what each of these theories says might be true.

True in part, true in full for some situations, true for a specific individual.

Or not true at all — the idea may be useless or counterproductive, or simplistic to the point of nonsense.

Yet the promise of the idea remains. “Do what I say, and you will be a leader.”

That this idea has great power over us can’t be denied. Every one of us wants success. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to make yourself better, if you weren’t interested in ideas about how to influence or inspire others. You would be watching cat videos or reading the latest news.