Leadership as Renaissance Exploration

Although the literature on leadership often quotes examples of explorers as good/bad/mediocre leaders it is less apparent that good leaders in lots of different organisations are actually explorers.

Granted very few use teams of Huskies to accomplish great feats of physical fortitude, but most are tasked with mapping the unknown, taking on challenges, seeking solutions all in lands which truly qualify for the appellation "Terra Incognita".

Once on the journey to these unknown lands the modern leader must combine a series of skills which are perhaps best related to the development of thought during the renaissance.

Mintzberg in his book Managing 2010, places the practice of management as the centre of a triangle bounded by Science- the analysis of systematic evidence, Art- creative insight and vision and finally Craft- practical learning and experience.  Leaders will recognise a similar trinity in their roles and if they are students of history the ideals of renaissance Italy will resonate strongly. 

So can it be said that leadership is renaissance exploration? Look to your leaders or co-leaders. Do they show that blend of science, art and craft that typifies the renaissance? Are they leading into new lands for the business?

Not every leader will have the style of Renaissance Exploration, few will have the experience and skill set to deliver such a style, but perhaps the odd one or two will thrive on the challenge of the unknown, demonstrate the trinity of skills balancing Art, Science and Craft and deserve the appelation Renaissance Explorers.