Why the Best Leaders Give Their Power Away

Fortune, Leslie Crutchfield

The students of Parkland, Fla., top Fortune’s 2018 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, and the #MeToo movement clinches the third spot. Movements matter—today as much as ever. Individual crusaders when joined together can collectively topple corporate executives, undercut industries, upend elections, and wreak havoc on policy plans.

With the advent of social media and other democratizing technologies, much is written now about “new power”—how decentralized networks often triumph over more conventional, top-down models. But new power is old news to social change makers.

While every movement embodies collective leadership, not all campaigns are created equal. Some successfully coalesce around a common vision. Others fail to gain traction, spinning out of control or momentarily flaring bright, then fizzling.

Whether a movement succeeds is determined by how it is led. Any group of impassioned people can mount a protest or organize a march on Washington, but social change making at the end of the day is an act of leadership.

Read more