Myths About Post-Heroic Leadership

The concept of post-heroic leadership as a manager in a team-driven environment, who coordinates his subordinates in a firm that is run from the bottom-up (i.e., decisions are made at the lowest levels and bubble up from there), as opposed to the top-down leadership style.

This trend is popular with many companies, but it is only taken so far: companies seek to let the workers lead but, at the same time seek out superstar CEOs who can use their personal power to transform from the top-down. He suggests that this lack of faith in the bottom-up theory or organizational management is the result of widespread acceptance of a number of myths.

A few of these myths focus on the "softness" of this form of management, in that it tends to create teams that are harmonious, but not productive. In defense, the author indicates that performance is the goal, and that harmony should be subordinated to it.

A few other myths portray the post-heroic leader as being a facilitator who does not act decisively, and is discouraged from doing so. In defense, there are situations where the team is divided among possible solutions, and the leader must take sides, resolve the conflict, and get the team members to work together in spite of their differences.

And a the last few myths paint the method of organizational management as slow and cumbersome, unable to produce short-term results. But the defender points out that, if practiced properly, it can be more agile than top-down leadership, in which the demands of the leader be unwise, and it may take considerable time for the field to communicate, convince, and cajole leaders back onto the right track.

EN: In the end, I think the defender may be doing more harm than good. While he wants to combat myth with reality, he ends up defending a theory against how it has borne itself out in practice, hence doing his own cause more harm than good.