I have come to look forward to the AFR
BOSS True Leaders List each year. This is the fourth edition
of the list and I’m feeling that although it’s still a good read, the
format is getting a little tired. (And I wish Catherine Fox wouldn’t
start every article with “We’re over…” — this time it’s "We’re
over the heroic chief executive and the charisma factor…"
— as though fads are something true leaders are slaves to. Can’t
we have something deeper?)
Fox’s introduction is really just a collection of quotes from panel
members without any real attempt to develop themes. I think I would
have preffered some headings with the quotes listed underneath. Fox’s
slim prose just gets in the way.
Editor Helen Trinca’s piece on Bill Clinton — The Leader
as Storyteller — is a gem but all too short. Now that would
have made a good introduction. The idea that a leader is someone who
tells a story that makes sense of what’s happening around the team.
That would have given the feature some depth.
Amanda Sinclair challenges with an overview of the central themes from
her book — Doing Leadership Differently (a new edition
of which is due out in September).
It’s also good to get an overview of the challenges facing our leaders
and how several of them deal with them.
Overall I’m disappointed that what started out as a challenge to find
a different kind of leader has become just another list trying to emulate
a format. I’m not yet ready to ditch the True Leaders List but I hope
it gets a facelift next year.