Creativity without control

Posted by Anonymous
9 November 2011 - 9:59pm

Why leaders need to be more like hosts and less like heroes.

"Our beliefs feed our trust in heroic leadership: “Leaders have the answers.” “High risk requires high control.” When we believe this, we give away power. We wait for our leaders to act, assuming they know what they’re doing. But we’re caught in a terrible illusion. When problems are complex, there are no simple answers; no one person, no matter how brilliant, can make things better. We all love a hero. Something keeps us hoping that somebody somewhere knows what to do and will get us out of this mess. If a hero rushes in, we’re off the hook for solving our problems. We’re so hungry for heroes that we create them out of thin air, no act of bravery required."

In her new book 'Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now' (Berrett-Koehler), Margaret Wheatley challenges reliance on the 'leader-as-hero' and argues for a new type of leader, the 'leader-as-host' - someone who is able to rely on other people's creativity and commitment, to trust that most people want to work on behalf of something greater than themselves, and, in some case, serve as mirrors so people can see their skills and potential.

Read an adapted excerpt of the book at and see for more information on the book.