The Myth of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations
November 11, 2013
As individuals, we share many basic values and desires. Yet when we join an organization, we’re immediately slotted into a hierarchy based on a caste system of “leaders” and “followers.” We then become trapped in what author Jeffrey Nielsen calls the “myth of leadership”–a set of false assumptions that divide our efforts, limit our growth opportunities, and rob us of meaningful, dignified work. In this unconventional book, Nielsen calls for an end to “rank-based” organizational structures, which foster miscommunication, corruption, and abuse of power. He argues that our obsession with leadership has blinded us to the fact that top-down, hierarchical control doesn’t work. It creates top-heavy, inefficient organizations that are slow to adapt to changing business conditions. Nielsen’s new model is the “peer-based” organization, which relies on peer leadership councils and cross-functional task forces. These new entities are better suited to making decisions based on organizational competencies and customer needs, rather than on static functional groups or other artificial divisions. The author uses real-world examples from contemporary peer-based organizations to help make his point for creating leaderless organizations.
The Myth of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations, by Jeffrey S. Nielsen. Palo Alto, Calif. : Davies-Black, 2004. 187 p. ISBN 0891061991
For more information on the availability of this title from the University of Toronto Libraries catalogue, click here.