Focusing on Leadership Alone Leads to Failures and Dead-Ends.

Freedom Preetham
The Simulacrum
Published in
2 min readMay 3, 2024

--

A significant portion of management training and general education focuses on “Leadership Training” and the essence of such leadership focuses on core qualities like vision, influence, integrity and the ability to inspire and mobilize people towards common goal.

Majority of startups and organizations do not fail due to lack of leadership. Instead they fail due to lack of “Partnership”. Partnership is distinctively different from leadership (even though they are interconnected).

  • Co-founders unable to work with each other is a failure in partnership.
  • VPs and SVPs unable to collaborate, share responsibilities and collectively be accountable is a failure in partnership.
  • Team members not having cohesion is a failure in partnership.

Marriage, Love, Friendship, Politics, Societies and Nation States fail in the name of individualism!

“Partnership Training” should be the main focus of education and organization cultures. Most cultures across the globe is unfortunately moving towards a western notion of empowering “individuality”. Leadership is thought almost as if it is an individual mobilizing the collective and hence many believe it is “lonely at the top”!

Individuality while is a necessary tenant, is just the second step in the growth curve. IMO the growth of a human should probably encompass the following trajectory:

  • Learn to be a great follower.
  • Learn to be a great leader.
  • Learn to be a great partner.

I believe this is similar to the dependent, independent, interdependent trajectory one must eschew in becoming a well balanced human.

To effectively harness the potential of any organization, the development of partnership skills must be prioritized as equally, if not more important, than leadership skills. The journey from being a follower to a leader is undoubtedly valuable, but the transition from leading to partnering is critical for sustainable success in today’s interconnected world.

In shifting our focus towards “Partnership Training,” we not only enhance the ability of individuals to work cohesively but also strengthen the very fabric of our organizations and socities in general. It is time to challenge the glorified notion of the “lonely leader at the top” and embrace a model that fosters an environment of shared responsibilities and mutual growth.

Bring the “Round Table” back!

I invite you to an open discussion on how your organization can integrate effective partnership training into its culture.

  • What strategies have you found effective in promoting an ethos of partnership over individual prowess?
  • How can we collectively shift towards a more interdependent approach in our professional undertakings?
  • How should one incentivize and reward partnerships?

--

--