In English

17.09.2015

Leader, homo sapiens?

Internet’s search for the word ’leader’ gives about 4.8 million results. The word ’leadership’ brings 590,000 hits. So obviously an important issue is at hand. What is leadership all about? Evil tongues say that consultants have mixed up the whole idea of leadership by creating numerous new concepts. In the literature on leadership and management, I have seen at least the terms coaching, leading by emotions, knowledge management, people’s leader, innovation management, managing change, process management, strategic management, leading by serving, as well as leading troops from the front. Because communication is obviously difficult, it is important to make sure that we are dealing with the same thing when we speak about leadership.

What is the point of further complicating an already many-faceted idea by using a cocktail of terms? A leader is a human being (homo sapiens) who makes use of his or her own personality, know-how, experience and emotions, but usually insufficient information when making decisions about matters for which he/she is responsible. In addition, a leader has to ensure that his subordinates have a safe environment and a work community based on trust, where everyone can use their know-how, do their best, and succeed in what they do. The outcome is almost automatically a successful organization. I believe that the saying that a leader has succeeded in his work when he has become the weakest link in his team, is at least partly true. It’s good if the leader notices that moment slightly before the others do.

Once again, Telma is full of interesting stories and fascinating pictures of people and their work. We look at leadership and management from many different angles. The stories arouse thoughts, enthusiasm and, hopefully, the desire to try out new things at workplaces. To be a tycoon, mayor, or rented manager – that is the question. When you have solved that, you can lead yourself to read Telma’s new web journal!

Kenneth Johansson

Editor-in-chief

kenneth.johansson@tsr.fi

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