The Leadership Boondoggle

Perusing the stacks of new books at the local library I noticed that the glut of business leadership and management books continues unstanched. The reason this field still thrives is because these books don't work. If it were simply a matter of implementing a few key actions and principles, an insane amount of people would be successful by now, obviating the need for the advise of the gurus.

Am I saying that their advise is no good? Not at all. Their advise is solid, and all successful entrepreneurs and organizational leaders probably do these things. So, while all good leaders do X, Y, and Z, doing X, Y, and Z doesn't ensure success. Success always contains major elements of good timing and luck. Plenty of people enact the vision of the business books but still fail due to a whole raft of random factors -- a situation that will keep the gurus flush for a good long time.

A related issue is America's mythologizing of the entrepreneur. Most people aren't going to succeed that way. Those that do often have a financial cushion, often inherited, that allows them to fail once or twice before hitting on a winner.


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