Imagine if we simply recognized good managers to be ordinary, natural leaders, in the right place, uncontaminated by MBA training and all that “leadership” hype. [Peter Drucker, the] man who put management on the map, said simply, “No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.”
Consider that little boy in the Hans Christian Andersen story who announced that the emperor wore no clothes. He could have been proclaimed a great leader. Was he? Was he even particularly insightful? Or especially courageous? Maybe he just did the most natural thing of all, unlike all those people around him (including the emperor).
How to get to such natural leadership? As Peter Drucker noted, we can start by stopping to build organizations that are dependent on heroic leadership. No wonder we can’t get past them: when one hero fails, we search frantically for another. Meanwhile, the organization — school, hospital, government, business — flounders. By the excessive promotion of leadership, we demote everyone else. We create clusters of followers who have to be driven to perform, instead of leveraging the natural propensity of people to cooperate in communities. In this light, effective managing can be seen as engaging and engaged, connecting and connected, supporting and supported.
— Henry Mintzberg