Are We On Leadership Overload?

by Lee Buford on March 12, 2010

I must confess:  I am a leadership junkie!

I read books on leadership, blogs on leadership, magazines on leadership, and quotes on leadership. I listen to podcasts and CDs on leadership. I watch videos on leadership. I read and follow pastors, coaches, teachers, business owners, and CEOs. And I learn something from most all of them on a regular basis.

But the fact is I probably consume way too much “leadership.”

Yesterday, as I was scanning my Google Reader, between glances at TweetDeck, I had an interesting realization…there is more “stuff” out there on the subject of leadership than any one human could possibly consume, comprehend, or implement!

I decided to gather a few random facts in support of this theory by searching the word “leadership” in the following locations, and here are the results:

Google Search Results

  • Web = 132,000,000
  • Images = 143,000,000
  • Videos = 157,000
  • News (2000-2009) = 3,920,000
  • Shopping = 177,442 products

 A Google search for leadership blogs returned 41,900,000 results!

Amazon.com returned 59,398 results…just in the “books” category! In fact, you may be surprised to find 4,791 results in searching the “Kindle books” category alone.

Finally, my impromptu YouTube search for “leadership” produced about 156,000 results.

WOW! So what does all this mean? Is it a good thing to have such an abundance of resources at our disposal, or does it create more confusion? Where do you start? Who do you read? Who even knows what they’re talking about? Who’s legit?

These are questions that can only be answered by the person seeking the information. As you are well aware…opinions do vary. It’s the age-old “beauty in the eye of the beholder” scenario.

Sure, there are many popular, mainstream “leadership gurus” whose books and resources are widely known to the masses. But there are also many so-called “unknowns” or “emerging leaders” who are sharing tons of best practices and leadership gems on a daily basis. In fact, I’ve recently become familiar with a whole new cast of leadership experts through various social media channels, as I’m sure you have as well. The fact is, you can pick up nuggets of leadership gold around any given corner, and you never know just when that will occur.

But at the end of the day it all comes down to application, right? We seek the ideas of those who share, those who’ve been successful in a particular career, field, position, or discipline…all in an attempt to master and apply them in our own lives. It really is, or should be, all about the application of proven principles and ideas which allow us to grow as individuals and have a positive impact on those around us.

What are your thoughts on leadership and the abundance of resources at your disposal? Are they helpful? Who are the leaders you most admire? Do you gain value from investing time in the pursuit of becoming a better leader? Do those around you benefit as a result?

If you don’t mind, take a minute to share your comments, thoughts, and ideas below. We will all benefit from the discussion!

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