The Fictional Leader

I spent this afternoon with a great team, putting together what the curriculum for a postgraduate qualification in Learning and Development would look like. We threw out ideas of ‘what would make someone excellent as a leader’. We were, if i say so myself, exceptionally enthusiastic. Borderline brilliant in fact. As we painted the picture of the Fictional Leader.

The Fictional Leader

Meanwhile, out in the real world. we have leaders who are figuring it out as they go. Not one of them matches our idealised standard. They are varied, colourful and probably not ‘fit for purpose’, if we assume that the Organisation knows what the ‘purpose’ is.

There is a strength in diversity: for all our efforts to seek out the ideal, we should remember that evolution relies on mutation. At heart, it’s the abnormal, the quirky, the ‘different’ and the outliers hat save us.

In the Social Age, that’s more true than ever: strong Social Leaders are active in diverse communities. Dynamic organisations operate diverse ecosystems of technology and engage with their teams fairly and socially. Difference is a strength if we can unite around shared values and purpose.


So it’s great to carry out an exercise in what’s perfect, so long as we remember that what we have is beautiful too. In a model of Social Learning, where we value the tacit and lived experience of the community, we have to recognise that the quirks make us stronger. That we alone do not have all the answers. In fact, we probably don’t even know the questions.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Leadership and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Fictional Leader

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  2. Pingback: The Fictional Leader – lifelongeduc

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