Leadership & Dark Matter

Roles & Requirements:

Leadership is a pervasive property
of all groups, organizations, and communities, i.e., the dark matter of
collective life. Its presence cannot be directly demonstrated, but is only
inferred from the actions and behavior of people — through “leadership
events.” What’s more, it requires some congruence between the goals of the
leader and those being led. (Robbins & Judge, 2010, p. 182) In other words,
leadership is not restricted to the influence exerted by someone in a
particular position or role; colleagues are part of the leadership process,
too. (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2009, p. 10)

It is leader identity, leader behavior, follower identity,
sociocultural context, and organizational setting all working together
concurrently. (Jackson & Parry, 2008, p. 34)

It is not a vehicle for individual advancement, but instead is
based on a collective orientation and responsibility. (Bordas, 2007, p. 24)

It is hard work but mostly involves sharing the task and allowing
others to exert their own leadership too. (Tubbs, 2004, p. 214)

Leadership certainly refers, on the
one hand, to a certain kind of position in an organization: a leadership
position, and on the other hand to a kind of performance: behaving in a
leader-like way. (Hogan, 2007, p. 32) Leader is one of the roles in any
established group. (Gardner, 1993, p. 1) Even so, knowing where to look for
leadership – a particular position or role – or how to identify it –
leader-like behavior – still does not clarify what leadership itself is.

Bass & Bass (2008, p. 18 and
96) tell us that leadership is not passive occupancy of a position or
acquisition of a role but as a process of originating and maintaining the role
structure, i.e., the pattern of role relationships. It is a working
relationship among members of a group in which the leader acquires status
through active participation and demonstration of his or her capacity to carry
cooperative tasks to completion. Goldman (2009, p. 55) adds that leadership
sets the tone and the agenda.