An interesting scenario unfolded in a recent training session I was co-teaching.  During some introductions, we asked the group to identify with a skill - leadership, testing, questioning / discovery, design.

The majority of the group (~70%) chose leadership as how they would identify themselves.

This is normal from what I have observed.  People either believe they are the leader, are given a leadership title, or believe that they should be leading.  Of course, something could be said about how organizations allow training - the most skilled get the most training, a self-defeating design in itself.  But I digress.

The results from running this exercise had me thinking - why is everyone so fast to want to be a leader?  What is the value of leadership, and, as Jerry Weinberg might say - could we achieve those benefits through other routes?

I believe that the desire to want to be identified as a leader comes through organizational titles and roles more so than anything else.  Though I don't find that space terribly interesting.

I find the discussion around the value of leadership to be far more interesting.

I offer the value of leadership isn't in decision making - which is how I see it applied corporately - so much as the value is something or someone to rally around.  When there is uncertainty, you look to 'leadership' to help you understand.  Not to guide you and answer all the permutations of questions, but to help you discover what you don't know.

With that premise, removing a person as a leader is trivial and leadership can be replaced by fellowship as Bob Marshall has often alluded to (see http://flowchainsensei.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/leadership-or-fellowship/ for a great post).

What do you think?  What is the value of leadership and could those benefits be achieved other ways?