The term ‘inspiring leadership‘ is almost certainly a pun knowing Don Hill . He is a media thought leader based out of Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). This is the title of his show on CKUA radio. Two things – it may imply leadership that is inspiring and suggest that you are going to be exposed to some through his various interviews and spoken pieces. The more interesting interpretation of the term ‘inspiring leadership’ is reading it as a question. In other words how do we inspire leadership? What will it take to cause people to rethink leadership? Should leadership be evolving to meet the needs of the age we live in? What will it be like? I believe these are some of the questions Don is attempting to explore in his series on CKUA.
My own take is that leadership per se is becoming less important unless it is connected to the concept of ‘followship’. If we are to move from highly stratified structures within organizations and society, toward a flatter network, leadership becomes something that flows through a group of people. Rather than hanging around the usual suspects, networks allow leadership to travel to where it is needed depending on the circumstances. Followship in this case is the ability is giving up the leader role for the good of the group as a whole. I don’t know about you, but I was not brought up to think like this.
I think Don is asking some of the cleverest questions about leadership that I have heard for a long time. I of course begin wondering what sort of leadership is required to allow our collaborative intelligence to expand. Watching ant and termite colonies it is hard to identify any leaders, at least in the human sense of the word. Ants and termites have been organizing themselves in colonies for well over 40 million years. Maybe there is something to learn here? I wonder what out society will look like when we have been at for 40 million years – better still – could we learn to collaborate more effectively without it taking that amount of time?