Superman Is Not Real, Neither Is SuperLeader 

businessman helping another businessman

By Hakan Kapucu

What do you look for in a leader? Are good entrepreneurs necessarily good leaders? Hakan Kapucu takes a dive into why leaders cannot be Supermen but good humanity should be the deciding factor for an ideal leader.

History has witnessed impactful business people, and today, there are innovative ones. When business-related environments speak of innovation and entrepreneurship, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs come to mind. Reading these entrepreneurs’ lives, it is clear they are neither omnipotent nor omniscient — they can neither do absolutely anything nor do they know everything.  

Having no consensus about the leadership definition 

Leaders are different, and so are their styles and leadership definitions. Democratic leadership style will radically differ from dictatorship, as Technoversal Leadership differs from Bureaucratic Leadership.  

A sweeping statement is inadequate to answer the question of who is a leader. When we think of human needs, there is a tendency to gather around leaders in times of chaos and disorder. So, leadership becomes the child of chaos and disorder. 1 

One is not enough; All is not possible 

There are different leadership styles, and each style is formed with its cores and describing concepts. Some examples are Transformational, Transactional, and Technoversal Leadership. Servant, Authentic, and Democratic are others. This list goes on and on.  

There is and will be an ongoing question about leadership styles, behaviours, and skills, i.e., best leadership. There is no quick wrap-up because a leader may have one particular style, or the leader can try to adopt characteristics of different leadership styles. The leader may face the reality that one style may not be enough to answer today’s and tomorrow’s goals, and all leadership styles cannot be possessed and employed by one leader. A leadership contradiction happens here. One is not enough; All is not possible.2 

Being an entrepreneur, being a leader, and above all, being a good human being 

Imagine a serial entrepreneur establishing a few companies and making a handsome profit in a decade. Is this entrepreneur a leader? If the entrepreneur is, what is their leadership style? In a world with an eagerness and need for digitalisation and many things running digitally, this serial entrepreneur can be a leader, or maybe the entrepreneur is of technical knowledge but not a leader. So, a good entrepreneur may not always be of leadership material. 

Now, think of a transactional leader — a task-oriented one. As this one is good at completing tasks, this manager fits into transactional leadership. But is this leader a good entrepreneur? Again, the answer can be yes, but probably is no. 

Let’s imagine we somehow found a great business person of any leadership style with an entrepreneurial spirit. So, is this entrepreneurial leader a good person? We should clarify the word Good as its meaning changes from person to person. Let’s make it as universal as we can for the sake of simplicity. Let a Good person be someone who cares about ethics and kindness

So, we quest for a person of leadership quality, entrepreneurial spirit, and good character — ethical and kind. I will only say if you find such a leader, please let me know where they are. I wish we had more of them. 

Why humanity must be part of ideal leadership 

Businesses are very impactful in today’s world. They reached a point where you might even hear, ‘’Businesses rule the world.’’ We cannot know for sure if businesses rule the world. But we know they are powerful. There are even companies whose total production outgrows some large countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is one of the reasons leaders with such an impact must also be good humans.   

Impact 

Leaders with such an influence area should think of others. Others are people, plants, and animals. Their ethics and kindness ought to look out for others’ best interests.  

Technology is crucial for businesses; good leaders also are for avoiding human impact on the wrong use of technology.

It is vital to be a good human to be a great leader, especially for the leader of the technology age. 

Wars, biodiversity loss, and other local and worldwide crises continue. Leaders generally will have to go beyond their business domains, particularly the ones with a global impact. They should also remember that these crises outside the business domain will eventually impact their business, lives, and families. 

Leaders can be a milestone in helping to solve problems owing to their impact on their followers, institutions, and social media. For all these reasons, good humanity must be part of ideal leadership. 

Understanding why ideal leaders are not Supermen 

Yes, a leader can have the aura, a distinctive educational background, the expertise, the experience, or all of these. But we know two things.  

  1. Finding a combination of a good human, leader, and entrepreneur is rare. 
  2. Even if number 1 is possible, One is not enough; All is not possible.  

As the title suggests, leaders are human beings, so we will never find omnipotent and omniscient leaders. But we can work for an ideal leadership.

About the Author

Hakan KapucuHakan Kapucu is a creator with co-founder and founder roles at many companies and projects. He is an MBA with summa cum laude & LinkedIn Top Voice. He authors for journals and magazines and is a globally highest-ranking Content Creator (2023). Hakan has 20 years of work experience in different sectors. He is analytical, a volunteer, traveler, & polyglot.

He tweets at https://twitter.com/1hakankapucu.

References 

  1. Kapucu, H. (2022). Technoversal Leadership for Biodiversity and Climate. Unsustainable Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.unsustainablemagazine.com/biodiversity-technoversal-leader/ 
  2. Kapucu, H. (2023). One Is Not Enough; All Is Not Possible. The European Business Review. Retrieved from https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/one-is-not-enough-all-is-not-possible/ 
  3. Kapucu, H. (2023). Technology Circles’ Impacts on Biodiversity and Environment. Unsustainable Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.unsustainablemagazine.com/technology-impacts-on-biodiversity/ 

1 COMMENT

  1. Someone knowledgeable in Leadership Science knows this article is a distill of massive data plus creative knowledge. Despite that fact, its language is so enjoyable and fluent that both laymen and authorities can take enough pleasure in reading it.

    It clears the minds of those on the path to becoming a leader that their job isn’t to be flawless but to be more than enough and to have good humanity. Reading from an expert that this mentality in the public’s mind ”Leader can do everything” is a myth, and it’s relaxing to leaders to know this and lightens the candidates and leaders’ burden. This understanding can reduce the amount of people who fail while trying to be a leader.

    The work is a must-read for those interested in leadership. 

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