The Ephemeral Nature of “Leadership”

It is encouraging to see increasing numbers of people from previously underrepresented groups being selected as leaders of colleges and universities.

However, if they feel empowered by the title of leader, they must beware of the trap. Though it has a long history behind it, leadership is a false concept and there are no algorithms for it.

Leadership is ephemeral. It motivates on the one hand and mocks on the other. It’s like a specter. No matter how much one studies and searches for it, it will not materialize. Ghost-like, it floats in front of one’s eyes urging a chase.  

As ubiquitous and as powerful as the idea of leadership is, my wish for these new leaders is that they will experience the incredible lightness of knowing that leadership should never be an end in itself.

3 responses to “The Ephemeral Nature of “Leadership”

  1. Gwen,
    So very well said! Your understanding of this is what makes you the incredible leader that you are.

  2. Charlotte Loveless

    Amen to that! Good point!

  3. Well written and so true. I do believe there is such a thing as leadership, but I like your use of the word “ephemeral.” Leadership should be held seriously but lightly as clinging to it can suffocate it and us. Thanks for these reflections.

    Betty Overton (BJ).

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