In a previous article, I defined change as “the disturbance of repeating patterns”. And it is nigh on impossible to do this skilfully unless you can see, acknowledge and deeply respect the purpose that our cultural patterns and taken-for-granted routines serve. This requires going to source. The problem is, not many of us are able to cleanly see the causal […]
After having published an article on servant leadership and another on transformational leadership I became aware that several researchers had examined these theories in order to determine similarities and differences between them. Their purpose was to understand these theories.
A theory can indeed be understood in the way in which it differs from other theories. All knowledge is conceptually mediated […]
Rupert Murdoch, Marissa Mayer, Jean Marie Messier. What do they have in common? All of them are famous CEOs of successful or unsuccessful business empires and all, at some point, were accused for their hubristic personalities. The ‘hubris syndrome’ is a psychological state affecting leaders in positions of authority and power. It is characterised by an exaggerated self-belief, sense […]
Leadership ethics are a sacred phenomenon. We are here to preach heresy. But not too much! For who would listen? Our argument in a recent paper is that there is a romanticism that underlies established leadership ethics that is as destructive as it is seductive, as responsible for unnecessary dissonance as it is for building resonance.
A degree of utopianism […]
Here’s the big issue – most organisations/teams/individuals only embark on innovation if they can travel in ways that reinforce existing routines. We seek new results through habitual methods. I call this conundrum the difference between ‘action’ – busily launching lots of innovation initiatives yet not fundamentally shifting underlying mindsets and ways of operating, and ‘movement’ – rewiring the very […]
Given the appreciative response to my article on why we need a radical change in how we develop leaders, I wish to expand on its most quoted message: that leadership development in today’s dynamic landscape requires that faculty acts less as experts, and more as Sherpas.
The reason I contend this is that the leadership skills required to navigate today’s […]
Leadership has been a scientific discipline for more than one hundred years. The magnitude of research has increased tremendously. Many different objects of study related to leadership have been investigated with the ambition to solve a variety of problems that appear to be more or less relevant for those in leadership positions.
In this blog post, I present my own […]
If the purpose of research is to solve problems, then the question emerges of what the problem is and who has the problem. The purpose of medical research, for instance, is to provide those who practice medicine with knowledge that enables them to cure diseases, to relieve pain, and to enhance individuals’ health. Medical research thus benefits patients.
I believe […]
Some people contend that authentic leadership is more ethical and compelling. Authenticity depends on aligning what you do and say on the outside with who you are on the inside. They recommend looking inward to find your true self and core beliefs. Experts offer to help leaders bring to the surface what they find deep down.
Oddly, three celebrated philosophers […]
What is the electoral appeal in political candidates as different as Corbyn, Trump and Macron? Political commentary indicates that it is because they are “real”, true to themselves, and in that way, unlike the “typical” politician.
This commentary finds support in the academic literature on authentic leadership, where it is argued that the leaders who inspire confidence, optimism and trust […]
The disappearance of the iron curtain in the early 1990s led many social and political analysts to believe that liberal democracy had prevailed as the “winning” political system of humankind. At the same time, egalitarianism, positivity, and humanism (along with mainstream Western ethics) came to dominate the textbook versions of organisational life and leadership. At the very least, it […]
When we need to create change, the evidence shows that money and fear are poor motivators. Finding a common inspiration is an alternative that works. Leaders have the privilege and responsibility of generating alignment to a common purpose.
This is acutely true when there is a crisis or urgency to change the performance of a business. Arriving in these situations, […]
Leadership is the process of influencing a group of individuals to achieve shared objectives. The primary function of leadership is to produce change and movement, while the primary function of management is to provide order and consistency to organisations. As both leadership and management are processes, anybody can execute leadership or managerial functions at different times. Leaders cannot be […]
Leadership has been a scientific discipline for over 100 years. The magnitude of research has increased tremendously. A variety of leadership concepts and theories has been proposed. Now, I have identified types of leadership theories in order to understand the present fissured state of leadership research.
Leadership theories may be categorised according to the following criteria: (1) theoretical assumptions on […]
Successful leaders possess a personality disorder, and a modicum of psychopathology is a prerequisite for exceptional performance. Influenced by recent advances in neuroscience and genetics, I argue in a book that leadership and followership are evolutionary adaptations that developed in order to enhance group cohesion, to maximise chances for survival and reproduction, two basic functions of living organisms. A prodigious […]
A good sense of humour is often regarded as an important factor for successful leadership. It is an important way successful leaders motivate their followers and gain their support. For example, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was hit by an egg thrown by an angry protester in a rally. He responded humorously and said “this guy owes me bacon […]
Philosophy can teach us much about leadership and management, but you would not guess it from the two recent books by Robert Spillane and Jean-Etienne Joullié, Philosophy of Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought (Lexington). The premise of each is this: the roots of our thinking about leadership and management reach deep into ancient times, and we […]
During most of Steve Job’s tenure as CEO of Apple Inc. the company did not have any long-term debt obligations. Apple started an aggressive buyback program only after Tim Cook took over, simultaneously adding debt to its capital structure. Coincidentally, San Francisco, where Steve Jobs was born, experienced more disaster-related fatalities during Jobs’ formative years than Tim Cook’s birthplace […]