All around the world, a great deal of money is spent on leadership development (more on this can be found below). What surprises me is that most people don’t even think about leadership in terms of an industry. Unlike other industries, such as the health or pharmaceutical industry for example, many people seem unaware of the fact that there are economic interests that influence the way leadership is portrayed.
Let’s take a look at why leadership has become such a successful industry:
1) It targets the right people
The leadership industry is targeting people with power, i.e. authorities and the decision makers. These are generally the same people who ultimately decides whether or not to invest in leadership.
2) It feeds their ego
Secondly, it tells the targeted group that they’re leaders and therefore important. They’re said to be the key to their companies, organizations or states success.
3) It encourages them to invest in themselves
Thirdly, it tells the targeted group that they must focus on themselves. They need to invest money in their own, personal development in order to improve their skills so that they can become even more influential and important.
4) It offers the power to rule people.
Finally, the leadership industry claims to offer a tool to rule people. The word
“rule” is avoided of course. Instead the industry uses words like “motivate” or
“inspire” people. The basic idea is still the same, however. A good leader is
said to be able to motivate people so that they do what the leader wants them
These above factors have made leadership into an
extraordinary industry that despite its magnitude manages remains more or less unchallenged.
Read more in “Beyond the Leadership Myth”