Leadership as Discovery
Leadership = doing things different, either doing existing things better or doing different things.
In simple situations it isn't hard to see a better direction and advocate it to others.
Here, new directions are taken on the basis of discrete, conscious decisions.
In more complex situations, it is often necessary to discover new directions through trial and error.
Here, new directions emerge through someone discovering a new way of doing things.
New directions emerging through trial and error is totally different from changing direction based on an all-or-nothing discrete decision.
As organizational environments become increasingly complex, more and more new directions will have to emerge through trial and error (organizational learning).
Here, the leaders are those employees who, regardless of their status or influencing skills, discover new directions to pursue.
Wherever complexity reigns, organizations that encourage leadership from all employees will be more successful than those that restrict the leadership function to managers.