What is the Purpose of Leadership?
I have today been reminded of a quote from Ralph Nader (American attorney, author, lecturer and political activist) who says
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
Although I understand the sentiment of the quote, I believe it misses the point about why leadership is needed at all. The purpose of leadership is surely to see that a vision is fulfilled and a cause completed. If the focus of leadership is just to produce more leaders then the effectiveness of the organisation diminishes to the point that it will become ineffective to achieve its purpose.
If the development of leadership is a byproduct of working to achieve the vision then it is beneficial. If a long term vision is in place then succession planning is essential. But to focus on just leadership is detrimental, it is just leadership idolatry.
So what is the purpose of leadership? To do what it takes to ensure the attainment of the vision.