Thursday, November 7, 2013

Food for thought

The traditional approach to leadership can encourage a submissive, dependency mentality in ‘followers’, while simultaneously setting up senior people to fail. As time passes, it becomes clear that ‘leaders’ are not the all-knowing heroes we hoped for, but are human and fallible. Then disappointment sets in. Organisations often respond by changing the people at the top in the hope that someone else may be tougher, wiser, more experienced and can do it better. They rarely do. And the organisation fails to reap the benefits they might have gained from encouraging more collective forms of leadership that could harness the experience and knowledge of all employees. We have to do better than this. 

We need to make better use of the knowledge, skills and experiences of all the people who are involved in the organisation and have a stake in its future. 

We suggest that anyone at any level can take a leadership action. (CDR Sean Heritage talks to this point on his blog HERE.) Therefore we suggest that we move away from this view of leadership as being about the people at the top. We need to find ways of tapping into the collective purpose and understanding of the organisation through creating a sense of community and shared ownership(I have been preaching this to a small but appreciative choir for 10 years.)

Questioning leadership
Moira Nangle and Christina Schwabenland 
University of Bedfordshire

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just so long as they do precisely what they are told to do I'm sure there won't be a problem. Remember the voice of the leader of the Group W bench? He was starting a movement!