What is a ‘Valid’ test for leadership?

Next week is  ANZAC week in Australia.  A time to remember the immense contribution of the men and women who have fought under the flags of Australia and New Zealand.  It really makes me think about people who have had to lead those soldiers through the worst of human conditions.  The bravery of having to lead a group over the trenches, drive through unknown dangers or having to keep up the spirits of POWs as they buried their own.

When I hear the stories of those who have experienced and survived war, I must admit to feeling significantly humbled by those who have lead people through horrific situations.  I then think about those who lead in business and ask the question ‘Is our leadership capacity untested?’  Does the business arena really provide a valid arena for human beings to demonstrate their leadership capacity?’  Sanitised, in so many ways; a protected environment. Or is a leader simply as good as the environment they find themself in?


  1. A great question and if you find the answer please let me know, so I can share it with my 2nd year Organisational Behaviour students.

    I also think that Leadership is caught up with the time period and social fabric of the time. WE live in a very different society of values and patriotism than those of the 1920’s and 1940’s.

    Lest we forget.


  2. Great blog Stephen – yet i believe that two leaders are incomparable unless they are in the same situation and enviroment. I find it hard to believe that we can compare President Obama with Sir Alex Ferguson because the decisions that they need to make are on a tottaly different level. One impacts on the world and the other impacts simply on the performance of a team.


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