chapter  1
7 Pages

INTRODUCTION

ByMats Alvesson, André Spicer

Bill George’s claims about the importance of leadership are all too familiar. This is because we hear about the importance of true leadership in nearly every sphere of human endeavour. The leader has become one of the dominant heroes of our time. Of course we obtain information about leaders not only in business magazines and executive education programmes where many middle managers go to develop their ‘leadership skills’. But the appetite has grown significantly in recent years. Now, we demand ‘political leadership’. We think a captain of a sports team may have some serious insights on leadership. Schoolchildren are now having their lessons in more traditional fields of knowledge such as math - ematics and grammar cut back in order to create space for instruction in the mystical arts of leadership. When faced with major crises, demands for better leader ship inevitably appear. It seems that many politicians now believe that any serious public problem from a rising crime rate to a collapsed bridge can be confronted through more leadership. Whatever the problem, leadership has become the solution.