For the past two decades, North American society has been searching for credible, inspirational leaders. Hundreds of books and countless articles have extolled the virtues of leaders with vision who can guide us through the turbulent waters of our time. More often than not, we are treated to the leadership “secrets” of CEO celebrities or major historical figures – each discussion offering the promise of a long-term quick fix to some really complicated challenges. In some ways, it’s like the perennial addiction of golfers to buying new equipment to solve their basic swing problems. But in this case, the market is for leadership ideas and recipes.
Believe me, it’s hard work just keeping track of the titles and the latest jargon. I should know, since part of my daily bread comes from introducing students to leadership wisdom across the ages. Increasingly, my challenge is to find the wisdom amid all the junk mail of current leadership fads.