Jim Stroup, whose Managing Leadership blog is consistently thought-provoking, looks at the fictions surrounding elites. An excerpt:
While the working and management environments have dramatically changed over the subsequent decades, it must be said that our instincts have not kept pace with that change. There remains a strong paternalistic trend in both the theory and practice of management even today, and even a strong attraction to that attitude by the rest of us.
The classic example of this is the still thriving modern leadership movement, with its characteristic emphasis on the exclusiveness of the club, not to mention the presumption of its natural superiority over mere management, which latter calling has come, in the modern age of organizations, to be dominated by commoners, however well-trained. And that impulse to hierarchically distinguish the two functions is the clue to the ongoing presence of the traditional discrimination between those few who believe they inherently can, and the accompanying conviction that the rest of us are the sadly benighted masses whose greatest privilege is to have these luminous exemplars among us.