A network view of leadership
Carroll School of Management, Boston College
Leadership is about the heart, not the mind. People follow leaders
because it makes them feel connected -- part of something bigger than they
are. In discussing religion, Freud referred to the "oceanic" feeling that
religion provided. Leadership is the same way (indeed, it is the same
thing as religion).
What leaders do is create groups out of individuals. They are most
effective in accomplishing this when their followers are recruited by
existing "members". As a result, a leader is the center of a network
Leadership includes the ability get things down, much like power, but
it is not about getting people to do things against their will. Instead,
leadership works by motivating people to want to do what needs to be done.
Unlike power-brokers, a leader is only successful to the extent that
his followers are successful. As a result, leaders empower followers and
create decentralized systems.
Contrast with Power
Leadership is an exchange.