Leadership can come from anyone.

April 8th, 2011

“In an age of obesity, our current concept of leadership is the most bloated idea in town.” – Mitch McCrimmon

Mitch McCrimmon recently has written some of the best critical thinking I’ve read about leadership. He’s a principal at the consulting firm Self-Renewal Group, Toronto, and has ideas that challenge conventional leadership theory. I was introduced to his paradigm-shifting concepts in the article he authored for the Jan/Feb issue of Ivey Business Journal, titled “The Ideal Leader.”

This is an energizing read that convincingly busts a few myths. In the context of brain food, it’s a meaty piece of solid protein. It trims all the fat from the culturally idealized image we have of leaders and zeros in on the core meaning of leadership: providing direction.

In much the same way that “a good idea can come from anywhere,” McCrimmon champions the concept that leadership can come from anyone. In our fast-faced, ever-changing, innovation-driven world of business, the ideas that rule are the ideas that show a better way of doing something.

McCrimmon makes the point that leadership is not a role or a type of person. Rather, he defines it as a process of influence where content – ideas, direction – is king. I see this as highly evolved thinking. Thinking that should empower anyone with an idea on how to improve something to speak up and take a leadership role in the needs and future success of his/her organization.

These are exciting ideas for any business. If you have the important role of CEO, you can be an ideal CEO by encouraging all employees to promote new ideas and show leadership. As McCrimmon states so well: Anyone with a better idea can influence change.


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