The terms leader and leadership carry around so much baggage in the form of the assumptions of the myth of leadership, that both need to be shelved for a while and neither used nor abused. We can admit that a leader's actions matter, that leaders can play an important role, and that not all leadership training is detrimental. But ultimately we need not heroes, but models of exemplary lives ”what we all can achieve not by becoming like them, but by becoming our own unique selves. The many excellent new ideas in management thinking over the past two decades have been minimized by the absence of peer-based relationships. Only with the method of peer-based thinking can important disciplines, habits, and emotional intelligence come to full maturity.
Indeed, my own personal mission as an organizational consultant is to mentor organizations and individuals in becoming more healthy , meaningful, and prosperous. By healthy , I mean to become whole, complete, and dignified. By meaningful , I mean to experience joyful work and caring relationships. By prosperous , I mean to be profitable and economically secure. Designing, managing, and working in organizations should be a joyful thing. We are constantly re-creating our organizations. That's a fact, so how should it be done? I believe it will be through peer mentoring, not rank-based command and control, that both organizations and individuals can realize the strategic qualities of their "diamond strength": alignment, openness, transparency, and competence. They need to be aligned with their basic needs and desires. For individuals, this also implies that they must apply peerbased thinking at home as well. And they must maintain their integrity, stay teachable, be receptive to feedback, constantly learn, and work to discover their own strengths and weaknesses.
Peers don't need a leadership bureaucracy ”they can together decide on issues and then implement their decisions. For the sake of efficiency, they may at times need to designate one of their members to be first among equals, as a facilitator of the process or coordinator of the decision implementation. And they will be more successful and prosperous than their rank-based rivals.