It seems that in the modern work environment, there is a growing expectation for leadership at every level.
Leadership is no longer something emanates solely from the executive ranks. Instead, it seems to be an expectation in every contributor's role.
This is a big departure from previous thinking where leadership was established as part of the organizational hierarchy, based on role and authority. Leadership in the traditional sense was more to about putting who were perceived as having the ability to lead in roles where they made decisions and enacted those decisions through command and control.
Today, we expect all contributors to understand their role in creating value for the organization. We expect employees to be empowered, solve problems, continually improve, innovate, influence others, mentor and coach others and provide superior service.
It seems like we expect some level of leadership from every employee. If this is the case, should we now consider leadership a skill, an expectation, or personal characteristic?
I am not sure.
I believe that the change in perspective of how we achieve success is rooted b on the rise of the knowledge worker. As Peter Drucker observed, the rise of the knowledge worker is proving to be a great challenge for modern managers.
Old ways of management which rely heavily on command and control don't have as much success. Instead, managers are expected to influence, motivate and empower employees.
The tactics used to do so align with l what most of us would recognize as leadership characteristics. In turn, employees begin to emulate these behaviors.
Does all of this water down leadership or make it a more powerful concept?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.