Leadership in living organization

A summary of ‘Leadership in Living Organizations’ by Peter M. Senge

Thinking of leadership as an expression of a living system requires fundamental shifts. It requires a set of new definition, metaphors, principles and perspectives. However, the foundations for understanding leadership in a world of living organizations already exist. The word leader is typically used as a synonym for a top-level manager. This thought poses two problems. It does not allow everyone in an organization to be a leader except for the top-level managers and it restricts innovative thinking and action. Besides, if leadership is defined as top management, then it has no real definition. Real leaders drive change. In all type of institution a disturbing pattern is emerging. There is a need for significant change and we need to opt for hero leader rather than eliciting and developing leadership capacity throughout the organization. The improvement made by the hero leader does not last because new ideas do not spring forth from people on the frontlines. And as a result the price that we pay in the long run is incalculable.
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