What exactly is ‘leadership energy’?

Despite the money spent annually on leadership development, writes Rejeev Peshawaria, CEO of Iclif Leadership and Governance Center, it is not working because it is based on five myths:

1. Democratic leadership is the best way to create breakthrough success.

2. Followership = leadership.

3. A position of authority = leadership.

4. Leaders are born, not made.

5. Leadership can be learned through case studies, role plays and competency models.

Peshawaria urges us to remember the following:

  • Leadership is the art of harnessing human energy toward the creation of a better future.
  • Leadership energy is the main ingredient of powerful leadership, and it emanates from deep clarity of values and a values-based purpose.
  • Most people go through life without clarity of values and purpose, and are therefore devoid of leadership energy.
  • Strong leadership energy can only be discovered through reflection based on emotional integrity, which is the courage to acknowledge what one really wants for oneself without using a societal lens.
  • Leadership energy forms the basis of practicing the five keys of positive autocratic leadership.

—Adapted from Open Source Leadership: Reinventing Management When There Is No More Business as Usual, McGraw-Hill Education.