You may not know this, but I’ve spent the past 10 years trying to understand why our society is obsessed with leadership. Billions of dollars are spent on leadership development every year. What difference has it made?
There are many aspects of leadership that are interesting. For example, did you know that scholars can’t even agree on what differentiates a leader from a non-leader? It’s true! In other words, we don’t know what a leader is! So how do we know that leaders are important?
Meanwhile, we’re about as interested in followership as my 95 year-old grandfather is about heavy metal, i.e. not at all. This is also peculiar since the whole idea about leadership is to lead followers. Things are improving though. When I first started, there was only one book on the subject. Now days there are plenty more, although I’d say most of them are just books on leadership but with a different title. They still regard the world from a leadership perspective.
Anyway, three years ago I was giving a lecture on followership at the University of Linköping in Sweden. We were having a break and I was looking out the window when I got an idea. Why not write a suspense novel about these issues, I thought. Then I hesitated. Memories from English class emerged. I remembered being forced to read books “with a meaning” that were so boring I’d rather spend the rest of my life watching the darn thing decay than finish reading it. Nonetheless, nine months later, while on a trip to Borneo with my family, I began working on the synopsis for the Eagle King’s Academy series.