I think leadership is a concept that confuses many people. We live in a society that encourages all of us to think as leaders, but forgets that if everyone leads, there is nobody to follow. Though it may be true that everyone has the potential to lead, I believe that not everyone makes a good leader.
Being a leader requires a certain skill set that is not shared with everyone. At the same time, being a manager requires different types of skills that is also not shared with everyone. Society places such a premium on leadership abilities that everyone tries to be one, even if he/she is not suited for that position. However, I think different situations calls for different types of leaders and it’s a mistake to believe in the “one size fits all” model of leadership. For example, I know that if a high school English Department is interested in implementing a literature-based research project, I would be able to lead the project because of my background in English and education. However, if that same high school’s Math Department wished to also implement a math-based research project, I would have to delegate some of the responsibilities since my background in Math is weak. While I can help shape the research aspect of the project, I will not be able to provide any meaningful input about content.
Originally posted on my LIS 716 blog.