The myth of leadership includes beliefs about motivation, human nature, and the romantic notion of a few heroic, gifted individuals. These beliefs ”born of Newtonian science, the Enlightenment, and Romanticism ”provide the dominant and unquestioned context for business organizations in which the few lead and the many follow.
These beliefs provide the justification for rank-based forms of organization that do not serve human dignity , meaning, and joy. Our concept of leadership, no matter how benign , is a rank-based concept and adopts almost of necessity the assumptions of the myth of leadership. Now is the time to ask the explicit question, Why have leaders ? We explore that question in detail in chapter 3.