In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
Many leaders dont operate ethically because they dont understand leadership. These executives may have MBAs from Ivey League schools or have attended leadership training. They may routinely read the best-selling management books. However, they dont understand what it means to be a leader. I dont mean they arent familiar with the terminology, but they dont model the way.
For this discussion, we will bring several concepts together so that we can gain a holistic view of leadership. The Stogdills Handbook of Leadership in 1974 listed 4,725 studies of leadership; however, all of this empirical data has not produced a mutual understanding of the term called leadership. We define leadership as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Sadly, many leaders dont take the concept of leadership serious.
Their organizational initiatives are often self serving; however, the emerging workforce isnt motivated by selfish managers. This selfish behavior often turns into unethical conduct. Winston, a leadership guru, suggests that the leaders behavior then helps to form followers attitudes that affect how followers behave. These negative vibes can spread like a dangerous virus. If my managers dont care, then I wont either. Effective organizations have leaders that do not compromise their principles. Therefore, highly performing managers know and understand what it means to be a true leader.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (1996). The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Winston, B. (2002). Be a Leader for Gods Sake. Virginia Beach, VA: Regent University.
© 2006 by Daryl D. Green