The Case for Choosing Not to Lead

The Leadership Crescendo

Many organizations designate high-performing employees as future leaders. Rising to leadership positions typically requires business acumen and performance.  However, outstanding leadership demands so much more. Leadership, particularly at the highest levels, is a sacred territory and a privilege that should be granted to the few. Sadly, many organizations do the opposite.  Leaders are often selected based on current business performance and metrics rather than for their intrinsic leadership behaviors and ability to motivate and inspire others.  Candidates often are placed in succession boxes and enticed with potentially lucrative rewards.  In addition, there is tremendous pressure to enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to assume higher positions of leadership.  If the successor is not perceived as enthusiastic and passionate about the new position, his or her career may be adversely affected, or their value to the organization may diminish.

To borrow an analogy from the world of science, outstanding leaders have qualities that…

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