Leadership: The ghost at the trillion dollar crash?
Leadership has been largely overlooked by bankers, regulators, policy-makers and scholars trying to discern the cause of the global financial crisis. The paper suggests that this is odd, given the attention (both theoretical and practical) commanded by the subject over the past 30 years. Drawing on the author’s experience in executive search and analysing critically the lessons proposed by the UK’s inquiry into bank governance, this paper argues that common ways of leading and of thinking about leadership, in conjunction with systems thinking, helped cause this crisis and are already contributing to the next. While some scholars have offered important and relevant critiques, the dominant discourse on leadership remains dangerously unperturbed.