A Hypothesis: Executive and Legislative Leadership

Audio Transcript

The complex governance and diffuse power structures common in non-business lead me to a hypothesis, namely, that there are two types of leadership skill, one that we might call executive and the other that we might call legislative.

In executive leadership, the individual leader has enough concentrated structural power to simply make the right decisions. In legislative leadership, on the other hand, no individual leader, not even the nominal chief executive, has enough structural power to make the most important decisions by himself or by herself. Legislative leadership relies more upon persuasion, political currency, and shared interests to create the conditions for the right decisions to happen; and it is precisely this legislative dynamic that makes Level 5 leadership particularly important in the social sectors.

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