Ever hear of "Leadership Leprosy"? I hadn't...
I was told a story the other day that introduced me to the concept of "Leadership Leprosy"... it went something like this.
A friend of mine was recently at a networking event and happened to meet someone who brought up the concept of "Leadership Leprosy"; the person went on to explain he had forwarded the concept onto his boss in an email (as part of a managing-up exercise I suppose), and was fired for it.
To this I asked, "What's Leadership Leprosy?" He went on to tell me and I then did some more research which I will say did not include reading the book entitled Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel R. Chand who introduced the term.
The book (I didn't read) also introduces this premise:
Growth = Change
Change = Loss
Loss = Pain
Thus, Growth = Pain
From there it was pointed out Leadership that doesn’t produce pain "is either in a short season of unusual blessing or it isn’t really making a difference".
The author also introduced his experience with lepers in India and how the disease impacts a person's ability to feel pain which severely damages parts of their body (noses, ears, fingers, and toes). This happens because those inflicted don’t sense the warning signs of pain to stay away from dangers - It is with this the author connects "Leadership and Leprosy"... so now you have it.
Leadership Leprosy is a term applied to a leader who avoids (or can't appreciate) "pain", reflecting their lack of ability to drive growth, change and "make a difference". - At least this is how I interpret it.
Is there a point to all of this other than information transfer? Not really... I just want to pass on a story and something new I've learned.
Wait... I guess I do have something more to say (again with the caveat that I haven't read the book so maybe what I am about to say is covered off), I do agree that Change = Loss but Change can also = Gain, and although Gain doesn't generally = Pain, getting to the Gain most likely does. In the end I guess I have a new leadership concept for my "tool bag" and as off putting as the term is, I suspect it does have utility.
And one more thing, if I take the story at face value and the person was fired for forwarding the concept of "Leadership Leprosy" onto his boss, he should either be glad that he is no longer part of that organization or he should be a little more reflective as to why he was really fired.
OK, now iamgpe
PS: I've just added Leadership Pain: The Classroom for growth to my reading list.