Why have leaders ? The answer is, because rank-based logic requires it. Our whole concept of supervisors and managers follows the logic of rank-based, not peer-based, companies. The concept of individuals as either leaders or followers springs from a rank-based society, not a peer-based one. When we see one another as peers, there are no leaders and there are no followers. One day linking, not ranking, will be the primary power relationship in our social experience. Peer-based management will be not just the superior way morally, but competitively as well. Peer-based organizations will no longer have professional or tenured leaders.
A change of our social experience toward networks and away from rank and hierarchy alone will not eliminate the unhealthy context in which we understand our identity and the meaning of our relationships in terms of leaders and followers. The new social context of networks, however, will give competitive advantage to peer-based organizations and create better business opportunities to those who construct their sense of self and relationships to others within peer-based thinking. So-called leaderless organizations will gain momentum. Before looking at leaderless organizations, however, we need to examine the final aspect of rank-versus peer-based thinking, namely organizational practices.