What Leaders Are and Are Not

As someone who loves to read about inspiring leaders and aspires to be one herself, reading Jeffrey Pfeffer's Leadership BS was difficult.

His main premise is that despite all the books, courses, and coaches out there, leadership and workplaces are worst off because of all the "BS" that's espoused by the "leadership" industry.

Although I may not agree with everything he says, he did make some good points I'd like to share:
  1. measure what you want to enforce;
  2. the characteristics we want from leaders don't get them to the top;
  3. leaders being humble and authentic needs to be taken and used in context;
  4. leadership is not an all or nothing or an either/or thing;
  5. pay attention to a leader's actions rather than his/her words;
  6. and sometimes leaders have to do bad things to do the most good.
So for example, a humble leader is great but humble people are rarely assertive enough to make it to the top. And yes, being "authentic" is desirable, but what does that really mean? Who you are changes, so which "you" should you be true to? And what if being true to yourself is inappropriate or bad for your company? 

Reading the last example made me mentally snort. Obviously a professional would not do something inappropriate but that does not mean you can't be yourself. To me being authentic is figuring out your own flavor of leadership, which also allows you to be the most fulfilled and best version of yourself.

Which of the six things that I listed above do you think "leaders" need most work on and why?

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