Is Leadership Dead?

Good leadership is necessary, and Jesus is the perfect example of how to lead.

Some strong current cultural trends may cause some to question whether leadership has become unnecessary, obsolete or even harmful.

In the past, the everyday citizen had limited access to information. Leaders were able to obtain, learn from and interpret that information for us.

Today, social media and the Internet have leveled the playing field, bringing power to the disenfranchised and a voice to the voiceless. Platforms are no longer the exclusive property of corporations, celebrities and political powerhouses, but are available to anyone who opens an account and builds a following.

Being an authority on a subject isn’t limited to professionals anymore. In fact, the professionals are sometimes viewed with skepticism because they are paid to do what they do.

And beyond the information we share and consume, there’s a growing resistance to being told what to do. This generation has stepped outside the old system of paying dues and playing by the rules. If it isn’t meaningful to us, it doesn’t happen.

Even some churches are asking questions about leaders. Some look at examples from the book of Acts and draw the conclusion that community-based leadership is the biblical ideal.

The Leaders We Don’t Want to Follow

Perhaps we feel like we don’t want leaders anymore because we’ve seen so many poor examples—leaders who have isolated themselves, abused power and led toward themselves. Consider some of the leaders people have experienced:

Self-serving leaders. They’re making headlines all too often—leaders whose organizations are failing, but their personal bottom line has never looked better. Leaders who interpret loyalty as blanket permission to bend the rules to their needs. Leaders who abuse their power by taking advantage of those who have none.

Impotent leaders. These leaders can’t make decisions based on experience, wisdom or prayerful introspection. Instead, decision-making lies in the hands of a committee (or several committees). Leaders shift their energy to reaching a consensus, and progress is typically slow or nonexistent.

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Isolated leaders. When leaders are propelled by fear and a lack of trust, they tend to set themselves apart from the people they lead and serve. Without accountability or perspective from others, it’s common to see erratic decisions and moral failures.

With all of the difficulties present in the leadership sphere today, many lose faith in the concept of leadership altogether and are left to question whether leadership is dead. Can’t we crowdsource our way to a better world?