Is Leadership Really Natural?



This popular video of seeming order amidst the chaos better know as “Indian traffic” may be a case in point of how we collectively make decisions. This may also be a model for the nature of distributed communications that is The Internet.

See, ‘till date organizations have taken cues from what I believe is an incomplete observation of nature. In nature there are “alpha” leaders of packs of wolves, deer and the like, but as soon as the 51st percentile of the population decide on an action like which way to go, the “alpha” leader is left to catch up with the pack. We see this with flocks of birds to ant colonies and beehives, yet our focus still seems to be on the individual that “seem” to call the shots.

If you’ve ever observed our modern day leaders like politicians and CEOs, you will quickly find this same “chaotic democracy” in action. The most influential leaders don’t really drive others to their own agendas, they find ideological groups already in agreement with where their agenda’s fit. In other words, the 51% leaning already existed before the “leader” showed up and capitalized on it!

Does that mean leadership is unnecessary, and we can self govern based on "true democracy"? We all know that's not the case! I think its more of how "democracy" is branded. Democracy in the modern sense sorta works because everyone participating within it believe that they are all "equals". In reality, EQUALITY never plays a role in true progress (in art, science, or politics), but the "belief" in equality is important for leaders to motivate action.

The traffic in India video above is a situation that works there (I know, I've seen it 1st hand many times), because everyone is concerned about managing their path within chaos and they automatically self-regulate. However, the rules of conduct (some unspoken) have already been determined (that's where the leadership piece fits).

Think about it. Not because I’m asking you to, but because thought leadership is real leadership. Especially when we live in a connected world where the participation of it’s citizen’s are already mimicking biological systems. Seeing the nature of chaos has advantages in your market ecosystem like never before! There’s a reason that “servant leader” buzzword came around...maybe Indian traffic and flocks of geese can really put it into perspective.

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