When attending professional networks, in person and on internet, it is surprising how much talk there is about leadership, leadership training, leadership coaching, leadership crisis, etc. On the international level, every move and speech of such public figures as Obama, Merkel, Sarkozy, Putin and company are daily taken both as models or counterexamples of what leaders should or should not do and be. It seems that the concept of leader and issues concerning leadership are central preoccupations for people in general and for coaches, consultants, and trainers in particular.
But is this really the case for the population at large? Is this the case across cultural boundaries? Does everyone perceive leadership as such a central issue? Does everyone expect the same behavior and results from their leaders? Observing recent political developments in Continental Europe, there is ample room to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about the role of leadership in our society.