The X-men are brilliant. While they do stem from a comic book stories they do have significant themes and makes comments on society, one key theme in it is the leadership styles and how they clash between Professor Xavier and Magneto, who were influenced by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X respectively. In a summary the mutant kind in the stories are a minority and Xavier believes they can cooperate with mankind while Magneto believes they are the superior to mankind. The reason I bring this up is that in one of the X-men movies Magneto goes to fight with his army and stops the significant characters and says “In chess the pawns go first”. This very much shows his leadership style as a command from behind and let the ‘unimportant’ members of the team take the risks.
Leadership styles have changed throughout history as environments have changed. Monarchies ruled for centuries, now Democracy is the norm in the Western world and who knows what could come next. Of course, business is not exempt from these changes and leadership has always been a hot topic. What is generally started to be realised in both the world of business and the psychological research is that the ‘lead from the back’ method is outdated to the modern world and could even be counterproductive.
Furthermore there is the double-edged challenge of leadership that you have to initiate the idea and then maintain progress on that change, creating the spark and then fanning the flames as it were. Many times innovative individuals will get that spark and be overwhelmingly excited by it but then don’t commit to it for whatever reason. Often as well there shall be individuals fuelled with energy with vast resources at their disposal but they lack direction. Both of these examples would make poor leaders as it is the combination that is required, while different leadership techniques can be taken into account these two factors need to be accommodated for.
Can you say your organisation has these kind of people? It’s not an easy thing to figure out or to measure, while you can discover personality traits such as diligence and innovation that won’t necessarily mean they have the ability to combine that into leadership material on their own. But given the right support they could have that potential. Many people would possess the individual traits but it’s that combination that makes someone a leader, but could your organisation be a leader of leaders? The right understanding of your workforce and the people coming into your organisation could allow them to be developed into strong, confident leaders that go on to help your business succeed.