Can An Ultimate Leadership Guide Ever Exist?By Simon Oates
Leadership often comes across as a vast and confusing topic. There are many reasons why this is the case:
- Personal Development is an unscientific process, and therefore clear and simple techniques are hard to validate. Similarly, incorrect or harmful tips are impossible to disprove. For this reason, many 'rogue' leadership gurus exist on the internet, that pry on hopeful, aspirational or desperate individuals who want to gain leadership skills. These sites charge exortionate amounts for useless or poorly researched leadership advice.
- Leadership is often seen as a mythical or elite subject, that is only relevant for CEOs and directors of companies. While this is simply not the case, it certain puts many individuals from pursuing growth and development of their leadership skills. Anyone
- Conflicting views are seemingly presented on the same leadership topics, often by respected authors. This can create the impression that one author (or both) must be wrong.
- Leadership books and resources can be expensive, with single-day conferences costing £500 or more, and leadership courses setting you back by thousands.
Those are 4 of the most common reasons why leadership can seem overly confusing and overly inaccessible to some. They're also 4 great reasons why an 'ultimate leadership guide' is needed by today's budding managers and leaders. By 'Ultimate Leadership Guide', I mean a consolidated collection of views of the top authors and leaders of the modern world.
Does such a leadership guide actually exist? Will authors ever freely let their ideas be published when they won't be earning royalties? This legal issue is probably one of the largest barriers against an ultimate leadership guide. A large problem within this issue is that many famous authors such as Dale Carnegie are not alive today, and their vast estates are in the prudent hands of trustees and lawyers who will be unwilling to let their interlectual property be shared without from financial return.
Some people however are taking a proactive stance against these authors, and are creating their very own ultimate leadership guides for personal use. By collecting the core ideas from different leadership books and assembling their own 'diary' style guide to leadership - they create a strong connection with the leadership material and start to really apply the leadership principles to their own lives, using them almost like a journal to track their results.
Keeping a journal is this way can have a brilliant effect on an individuals leadership abilities, but is a very hard practise to share - because again, the legal constaints prevent anyone from producing and distributing a homemade leadership guide to the masses.
So, in conclusion - Do I think that we'll see an ultimate leadership guide in the near future? Yes, but it won't be 100% complete. The answer lies with the authors and lawyers. I believe that existing authors will be thrilled to see their work featured in a world-wide ultimate guide. But I firmly believe that the lawyers of late authors simply will never allow their property to be used in such a way. Its a shame, but a predictable outcome.
About the Author: Simon Oates theorises about The Ultimate Leadership Guide on his leadership blog: Leadership Expert.