No more supermen

In their Human Capital Trends 2013 paper, Deloitte seeks to prick a hole in one of the great myths of modern management – the quest for the ideal leader. However, while they set out on a noble effort to challenge the status quo, one could argue that Deloitte does not go far enough and that the logic of their own arguments shows a need to radically reinvent our approach to leadership.

Deloitte’s logic

Deloitte quite rightly points out the flaw in the concern many companies have with developing the perfect leader or the perfect leadership style. In the modern world, a company faces all sorts of different challenges. One single leadership style will not be appropriate for every occasion, nor will one single leader.

Their solution is a more flexible sort of leader, one able to use chaos, risk and failure to their own ends. Someone who can adjust their approach on the fly, looking to squeeze efficiency and excellence from even the smallest opportunity.

Is this actually a challenge to what Deloitte labels the ‘superman myth’ of leadership? Or, is it just a different kind of superman/superwoman?

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