The Myth of Leadership

If this article leaves you scratching your head, while humming, I would think that I have done justice and conveyed my thoughts. Enjoy Humming

By Umer Raza


Leadership is, perhaps, one of the most debated and talked about subject for centuries. Ages have passed, seasons altered, standards changed, norms devised, technology revolutionized, humans grown….yet the subject remained at peril to be misunderstood, known and even eulogized.

Time and again we come across “gems of wisdom” from “anyone” who throws light on the subject, based on his/her own understanding or rather misunderstanding. All the gems spread around mostly in theory and seldom in practice for ordinary people like me to collect a bit of it and try practicing it in real life, unfortunately to our disappointment at times.

If not millions, thousands of books been written on the subject. Leaders biographies mention their traits signifying one or the other leadership qualities in them, while claiming that these were the best.

As though humans were not enough, certain animals, especially Eagle, Lion and Tiger (sometimes wolf also added) are mostly used metaphorically defining certain characteristics of leaders and leaderships.

I believe all those traits, qualities and standards as explained by teachers, trainers, writers etc. give us some more closeness to the concept, though never uncover the subject completely. Still there are many more layers from the concept to be uncovered and these might continue uncovering.

I think this is the beauty of the subject and that is what Leadership and Leader means in essence. It is never complete, never final, never ending, it has depth and breadth.

I was about to define another trait of leadership (as a gem of wisdom from me), but hesitatingly stopped myself. I or for that matter no one will perhaps ever be able to define and read the true leader and leadership qualities. Those who claim “ultimate leadership book”, “the pinnacle of leadership” “the most successful leadership training”, “the true leader workshop” all but just attempt to sell selfishly their material, earn, to gain attention of ordinary people. They understand the concept unfortunately only that much which is good for them to allure people. He who has to “capture” people’s mind, use “catchy jargons” without much “character”, “market themselves” to sell people best of leadership concepts, market themselves to “sell themselves” and gain finances out of such things, how it is possible that they know the depth and breadth of leadership. May i be forgiven for this blasphemy

We all see on social media, new theories and clips of someone’s leadership understanding or any leader’s lesson. Just a few days ago, I happen to come across such a statement by a person on social media who said “Myth of Leadership is that leaders lead from front, but the true leader stays back and leads through others without coming in front”. While on the face of it this sounds a pretty decent statement and most if not all might agree, as was done by some in the comments of the post. However, if anyone knows the person in side out, who shared such a comment, (I unfortunately knew him), one might conclude from the statement that “of course a fraud always leads from back, never coming in front and let’s other face the heat while saving his own skin all the time, being at the back……….”.


Anyway that was just a thought and might as well add towards another direction/dimension for humanity’s endless definitions of Leadership. This dimension is that you might regret knowing a person very very very closely, who claims to be a leader, as it may alter your thoughts about that leader but help you understand the myths of leadership. Happy Humming.


Published by Umer Raza

He is currently Managing Partner for Abundance Business and Consulting and previously held full time positions at Trans World Associates as Head of Human Resource & Training, Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Islamabad Serena Hotel as Manager Human Resource & Training and Crescent Bahuman Ltd. as Team Lead HR & Training He is authorized trainer, consultant and Coach for National Business Development Program of Government of Pakistan for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and a nominated trainer and visiting faculty member for Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Center (PITAC).   He is Chartered Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK. and author of three books “Choose or be chosen”, “Chahat (The Want)”, “Becoming an Entrepreneur”. Umer is married to Dr. Atika and the couple has three daughters. He can be reached at and his twitter handle is @BhuttaUmer

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