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How Can We Train Leaders If We Dont Know What Leadership Is?

Article: How can we train leaders if we do not know what leadership is? – Barker -problem: Leadership is usually not defined, there are multiple definitions (skill, ability, role, action,etc…), the focus on the leader rather than upon the process of leadership -new revolutionary paradigm: transforming leadership definition leadership: leadership is the reciprocal process of mobilizing, by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political and other resources in a context of competition and conflict in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers -key points: oleaders admonition that the nature of the goals is crucial,oriented toward an end value oprocess is reciprocal and it happens within a context of competition and conflict -other points. Leadership focuses on the knowledge, skills, abilities and traits of the leader whoch are presumed to be the most successful in getting followers to do wha the leader wants them to do -Since this proposition it has been reduced to slogans, equated with economic success and manipulating people, associated with authority and know we know little if anything more about this topic -Almost every definition of leadership if in school or from practitioners, focuses on the most important knowledges, skills, abilities, and traits of the leader which are most successful in getting followers to do what he wants -Many writers don’t even define leadership, they rely completely upon a very old paradigm of leadership that is beginning to conflict with the realities of the modern world -Very old paradigm of leadership is beginning to conflict with the realities of the modern world The social construct of leadership -Rost found out that the word leadership is defined in contradictory ways and that everything the definitions of leaderships are confusing.

The reason for this is that old ideas are used to describe new phenomena. -feudal paradigm: construct of governance and social structure: oa powerful male atop a hierarchical structure directing and controlling activities towards the achievement of the leaders goals oeffective in organizations with hierarchical structures (military) -feudal view of leadership became permanent fact upon whch industrial leadership theories are supposed to be built •The term leadership is defined ostensively while pointing to someone who occupies a high position. The problem is that the old paradigm focuses too much on the leader rather than on the process of leadership – industrial leadership: transformational, transactional, charismatic, variation of the form “ man at the top” omgmt. trends indicate that successful organizations don’t have hierarchical structures at traditional sense, but circular and linear structures oIT instead of personal contact oTransforming leadership as relationship oLeadership as skill or abilitiy: Transformational leaders encourage charismatically led followers to develop their skills so that they might demonstrate initiative in working for leaders goals -Democratic leadership: leaders can help to develop followers emotional maturity and moral reasoning abilities 1. ) Leadership as an abilitiy -Almost all articles focus on leader abilities, traits, or behaviors.

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Transformational leadership is advocated as an effective method for manipulating followers into doing what the leader wants them to do. -So this view is not consistent with Burns’ definition of transforming leadership as a relationship, but is consistent with the view of leadership as a skill or an ability. -focusing on leaders abilities and traits serves two important social functions: ohope for salvation oblame for failure -problem of translation into real life is based in the gap between simplistic ways and steps and the complexities of social and organizational processes 2. ) management as an ability -ability of leader = ability of leaders to manage management includes the tasks of goal setting, strategic and operational planning, providing structure, organizing and directing activities of others controlling outcomes/customers etc -management can be also seen as set of skills or behaviour: oability to allocate and control resources oto achieve specific, planned objectives odrawback: from this definition everyone can be a leader, everyone has specific personal objectives -difference leadership and management: olies in respective functions for organizations and society function leadership: create change (=strategic change is non-routinem discontinuous change which alters structure and overall orientation) > creates new patterns of action and new belief systems function mgmt. : reate stability (=stability is created by managing routine, and continuous change by planning, organizing directing and controlling) o> purpose of mgmt. : to stabilize orientation of organization by maintaining successful patterns of action with standard procedures oprotects stabilized patterns and beliefs oprimarly a rational activity > function of mgmt. regarding change is to anticipate change and to adapt to it, but not to create it industrial paradigm -view of leadership as management ability is the basis of the industrial paradigm oleader as the giver of direction and manipulator of will, wo frames and solves specific mgmt. or social problems -limitations: owhen goals are not specific limitations become more evident as social issues, structures and problems become more complex >need for a new view of leadership that includes complex social and political problems >concept of transformational leadership relying on taints and abilities to manipulate employees motivations 3. ) leadership as a relationship •industrial paradigm frames the construct of leadership within a supervisor/subordinate relationship •Leadership seen like a relationship with a king (feudal touchstone) •Assumption: o1) loyalty by virtue of rank, o2) hierarchical difference in status, intelligence, ability, o3) serve always the kings wishes > Consequence: Everyone who holds a supervisory position is a leader and moral behaviour is defined by productivity political relationship: oCommon good emerges from chaotic, reciprocal interactions oInteractions include: mutual influencing, bargaining, coalition building, conflict over scare resources, competition in limited control oRational problem solving has no real effect •Leadership is based on interactions(not on supervision) oRost defined leadership as ”an influence relationship among leaders and their collaborators who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes” oNo followers because everyone is involved in same relationshp •4 additional elements •Relationship based on multidirectional influence •More than on leader; inherently unequal influence Intention to produce real changes in the future •Leader+ collaborators have common(mutual) purposes >Leadership is a dynamic, social and political relationship that is based in a mutual development of purposes which may never be realized 4. ) process of leadership •- Gemnmill&Oakley define leadership as “social process…of dynamic collaboration, where organization members authorize themselves and others to interact in ways that experiment with new forms of intellectual and social meaning” oPresence of well defined leaders can decrease groups ability to experiment oThis view diminishes the importance of leaders characteristics, abilities and behaviours oLeadership is a democratic process!!! ignore leadership roles, behaviours and characteristics – any group member performs some leadership function at some point in time oMove from concept of leadership as a relationship to concept of leadership as social process, containing complex relations oEmergingp aradigm characterizes leadership as “process of change where the ethics of individuals are integrated into the mores of the community” 1. Issue of the process itself •Leadership process is like a river(riverbed = culture, flowing in one direction, change speed and strengths, reshapes) •Social relationships oBased in a set of role expectation oLike contracts; with performance standards and evaluations •Social process oInclude Social relationships Further provide development and definition of roles/expectations oWays of how people have effect upon each other oLeadership relationships based on role expectations •Leadership process must be conceptualized before leadership relationships and role expectations!!! 2. Concept of ethics •Morals>set of rules, behaviours, principles •Ethics>subconscious guide toward life’s ultimate purpose; idea of life greatest good(summum bonum); based on culture and values •Ethics guide behaviour to an end goal/values, without which “leadership is reduced to management”(Burns) •Ethic and their place in social behaviour oMoral philosophy, like leadership need to be explained by a psychological model oMotivates people to behave 1.

Classify the sources of individual behaviour in a 2 tier model •Lower tier>dominated by subconscious behaviour that is subject to control of higher tier(= consciously directed behaviour) •>ethics= conscious and deliberate development of individual moral system 2. 3 tier framework •Lowest tier>subconscious subroutine of behaviour used to execute plans •Second tier> conscious rule system •Third tier>subconscious influence of social and collective processes and structures oEthic can be understood as a source of behaviour that originates within a socially constructed reality > culture, emotion and social values serve as guide lines oMores create ethics which in turn create morals oLeading process belongs to third tier: 1. largely subconscious, but profoundly compelling 2. Leadership align individual ethics towards are shared summum bonum 3.

Leadership is a mean for individuals to explore, understand, modify their own ethics and those of those of other individuals>visualize a common good oIts not the leader who creates leadership, its leadership that crates the leader oCreate a vision for the future good(new moral order) from collective members wants and needs>create community mores •Leadership by this definition must be founded in crisis oCrisis acts as a catalyst for the leadership process oCrisis=difference existing and desired social order oCrisis orients people to begin think about change, give people incentives to consider actions, sacrifices oCommunities in crisis are usually more unified oIf group objectives are not mutually created>managers use power to manipulate group >authority relationship>not leadership Limitations of the new paradigm •The new paradigm removes responsibility for outcomes completely from the leader and places it on the group. It does not justify: high executive salaries and perks, expectations for elected officials, traditional leadership training •The old scientific framework for analyzing is based on the Cartesian deductive system and has four assumptions: 1. )Leadership is usually treated as a platonic form, it is broken down into basic elements for study, these elements have been assumed to be the traits and characteristics of the leader and situational events. 2. )Leadership is normally studied with the specific goal of determining cause-effect relationships 3. ) focus upon cause-effect relationships is expected to lead to some level of predictability and control, many believe isn’t most important goal of science. 4. The assumption of constancy is applied to studies of a person as leader. For many problems these assumptions hold (military, etc. ), but for more modern problems a new frame for definition and solutions that is more effective is needed. (education, economic globalization) Leadership training Problems in effective leadership training arise especially through 3 problems in our world of liberal studies: 1. Empiricism and experimentation have replaced thinking and understanding as the basis of education. So the need to rationalize has overwhelmed the need to interpret which is not possible in leadership training. 2. The tendency for colleges and universities to view their curricula as professional training.

They focus too much on the tricks of the trade, or specific knowledge. So an advance in the field of study is often evaluated relative to its utility or application to productivity. cannot be made with leadership education, because it is not measurable. 3. The worst problem is that many academic disciplines may be build upon a fragmented, discontinuous, and misinterpreted set of theoretical propositions. •As a result, liberal studies can provide a framework for leadership studies, but they may not provide the support needed for exploring the relationships between socially constructed reality( point 1-3) and social processes( e. g. being a leader). What is really needed is a model of education that is consistent with the emerging paradigm of leadership,model consists of three parts; training, development&education. •The training of leadership should only focus upon those behaviours needed to “manage” the outputs of the process, so the changed or developed social structures, roles, and role expectations. Training can also mean developing skills such as communicating, coalition building, compromising, and negotiating which will help to minimize the conflict between the participants (employees? ). •Leadership development requires the exploration and development of personal values that will be needed to facilitate participation in the process.

Development should have as it’s goal the self-control needed for the individual to adapt and integrate personal wants and needs to those of the group. •Education is a cognitive exploration of social patterns and moral orders that produces an integration of conceptual knowledge, ideals, insight, experiences, and sources of behaviour. The purpose of education is “to connect man with man, to connect the present with the past, and to advance the thinking of the race”. •So managerial training must focus upon the skills needed to solve problems, to motivate people, and to manage organizations to accomplish goals. The aim of the training is to give managers ready tools to be used to minimize uncertainty and to avoid blame for uncontrollable outcomes. The aim of development is to prepare the manager physically and mentally for organizational politics, unreasonable expectations, incompatible co-workers and subordinates, and conflicting requirements for action. •Education must be understood as more comprehensive and less goal-oriented than training or development. Leadership education is little more or less than self-awareness in the Socratic tradition, where cause-effect relationships give way to the integration and synthesis of nonlinear phenomena. •So leadership is much more than cause-effect relationships and if we just focus on these relationships we exclude much of the experience of leadership.

According to Barker, leadership researchers traditionally focus on traits and behaviours of leaders (often without defining what leadership is, which leads to confusion among scholars and practitioners) and develop over-simplistic models of leadership training. –Leadership paradigm shift: Feudal – industrial – emergent paradigm –Leadership is a community development process –Democratic & political process (not a hierarchical process) –Applicable for solving complex problems –Leadership development: Knowledge, skills and ethical values (whole person) We need to change our conception of leadership: Traditional view of leadership: man at the top.

This is valid for hierarchical structures. Responsibility falls upon leader, instead of structure or firm. This view just does not apply to the real world anymore. > Paradigm shift: Leadership process is important (like a river-constantly changing and reshaping). Crisis act as a catalyst. “Leadership is a dynamic social and political relationship that is based in a mutual development of purposes which may never be realized. ” Leadership does not rely on just one person, but on “group processes”. Difference between management and leadership abilities: Management’s function is to create stability whereas the function of leadership is to create change.


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