There is hope. Malaysia went close to the precipice but managed to step back. But hope creates expectations. It will take more than just the charm and charisma of the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia to bring about real transformations. It will take more than euphoria to rebuild a nation that has been scarred by hate politics and religious extremism. Once the euphoria is over and the dust has settled, the real challenges will begin. We must continue to hope, but we, the rakyat, must own the change.
We have to look at the past to discuss whether Distributed Leadership is the future. Specifically, we have to look back at the pivotal work by Burns and Stalker on the notion of organic systems. Their work was published way back in 1961. But like many new ideas, it took time to make its way into mainstream management thinking. It was more than 20 years later that their ideas became a part of the mainstream conversation in management and leadership.
Do we need strong leaders or strong institutions? Do our leaders need to be heroes who can protect and save us all the time or do we need leaders who build capabilities so that the organisation can remain strong even in their absence?
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