Believe it or not, for most things, leadership is not a continuous need but a sporadic need, with each episode being somewhat unique and exceptional. Most things muddle along just fine without leaders, most of the time. Leaders usually get in the way when they don’t realize their job is not to steer but defend momentum. It’s better not to have them, because when they ignore momentum and try to steer, they create drag and make things worse. I’ve gotten radical on this point. Even in an ordinary org with no special architecture, 80% of activities don’t need to be led 80% of the time. If that doesn’t seem true there’s a better chance the org or activity is dysfunctional and possibly shouldn’t exist at all than that it is a real exception. A need for continuous leadership is a sure sign of organizational malaise; likely of a cancerous variety.

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