Leadership is not given, it is taken. Leadership is not management. Leaders are born. With managers, it is a little bit different. Some managers are born, some are trained. Every person can be a good project manager if he can manage a big shopping on Saturday: buying all goods in one go, covering minimal distance and picking up only the stuff which was written on the paper. Testing for leadership is different. Whether someone is leader or not you can only feel – the answer is based on the instinct alone. It is the same in the animal world, and in that respect, leadership is a million years old job description.
What kind of leadership we know about? According to one Chinese philosopher, there are 4 types of leaders: Ones you don’t notice, next to them are the ones you admire, the ones you fear, and finally leaders you hate. Make no mistake, all four types of leadership work. Motivation to avoid pain is many times higher than motivation to seek pleasure. If you are a leader – you are one of these 4 types. Which one is your choice, not others people choice. Like Seneca said once “You are your choices”.
Does any place need a leader? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it has one. In most cases, the office place has a manager, but as I said, the same person is not necessarily a leader. It might be that a given place has both, and it can be that these roles are not owned by the same person. Something else is also possible, that the place has more than one leader, even though with some of the 4 leadership archetypes is harder to imagine that.
Does every place pretend it has one? Sure it does, as every place needs a leader and people naturally seek to have one. Does your place have one? Well, as I said, you know it already.
So, what it has to do with agile development you may ask? Nothing really. Just it helps to have one – if you are into agile development.