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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leadership gurus on the web

I recently commented on a well followed lady’s leadership blog website primarily because she had said something that I wholeheartedly agreed with – I don’t often agree with the guys//gals expounding leadership theory on these sites. Quite often, they have no idea about what they speak and more often they don’t really say anything close to the edge – maybe it’s a fear of being challenged if they do say something definite or more likely, they don’t really have the background, experience or knowledge to be discussing the topic they have just regurgitated mumble-jumble throughout the internet.

In any event, after checking back a day or so later, I found that the self-professed leadership expert (her website’s claim – not mine) had misunderstood my point. She had even gone so far as to speak my point for me (incorrectly, mind you) and then tell me where she differed with me in this area. If she had understood my point, it would be one thing, but to not have understood and then correct me, that’s another thing entirely.

I have a huge problem with these wanta-be-leadership-gurus. Most I find have never worked a day in real leadership positions, but have taught a numerous seminars here and there, maybe took a class and some even received a degree that allows them to squawk on leadership – but generally, they know not. The particular guru I communicated with claims to have “personally coached over 100 senior leaders” and has a background that allows “her to provide valuable insights about individuals and organizational systems.”

These people are dangerous especially if their followers believe strongly in them. The followship has only the very basic understanding of the subject as the gurus are never really clears and absolutely don’t answer any specific questions that would lead to better understanding of the role of a leader. My fear is that some will try to put these half-baked truths into practice and pay the penalty for the shallowness of the guru. A real misfortune in any event. Nobody is gonna learn LEADERSHIP over the internet – NOBODY!

Be careful who you follow, subscribe to, and put your faith in. There’s a lot of shallowness involved in the guru level of expounders on leadership.

As I peck this into my computer, another thought came to mind concerning these short answer//short idea//short advice websites. They just may be dumbing down their information and advice for the generation they see as their audience – the short attention spanners of today’s world.

Let’s hope the situation improves over time.


  1. I think you will find that this problem exists with most consultants. There are to many of them that have never done the work they are consulting on.

  2. Right. So what is it that makes them "experts" and why should anyone listen to their jabber? This is one area that those seeking advice and council need to be very careful in and insure they have vetted the help prior to taking them on.