There is a dearth of literature in the area of tourism leadership. This article identifies the theoretical aspects of distributed leadership which features collective responsibility and collective flexibility, and argues how it might be advantageous for tourism firms in general. A longitudinal qualitative case study is used to consider different forms of distributed leadership and their impact upon organisational outcomes. The analysis is presented in terms of the presence or absence of distributed leadership within the case organisation. Evidence is provided of where this style of leadership would support success, but also identifies why it has been so hard to recognise this and then maintain and support it over time. It is argued that it may prove advantageous for tourism firms to actively consider whether distributed leadership would potentially offer increased organisational performance.