Saturday, 12 April 2014

Appointment to positions in the organization and leadership.

Reading through a text on leadership, i came across an assertion by the author that appointment into a position in the organization is not synonymous with been a leader. He further asserted that to become a leader out of the position requires one to work to earn the appellation of leader. And what does one need to do to qualify for the tittle? Well, it is counter-intuitive to say that a leader must inspire confidence in his followership for him to achieve the desired organizational goals. You must project yourself into the minds and consciousness of your sub-ordinates for them to see where you are headed with them and the organization. The outcome of such a projection will determine whether one is a transformational leader or a transactional one.

Burns(1978) characterizes for instance  the transactional leader as a manager whose remit is solely the upholding of policies and procedures(gatekeeping),dispensing of rewards, good or bad(politician),and the management of the organization by exception rather than the rule.
Transformational leadership on the other hand, is one he characterizes as charismatic, based on personal relationships;creativity ,good communication, futuristic, empathy and selflessness. It is one based on group think as opposed to the former which is individualistic in disposition.

But Sun Tzu has to my mind the definitive model on the subject in the manner of Confucianism. He stated: " Leadership is a matter of intelligence,trustworthiness,humaneness,courage and on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness .Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty(Kim Jong Un;North Korea, (italics mine)).When one has all five virtues, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader.While it may be okay to "want to be told what to do", in the conventional sense of leadership,we should rather apply critical thinking to the supposition that all persons appointed to positions are automatically leaders.This assumption is tepid.I choose Noam Chomsky's critical path of questioning followership,moreso when such persons are not by any shadow of the doubt,SME's,meaning Subject Matter Experts,in their appointed positions.They must prove themselves;they must earn their spurs to gain the respect that positions and power draw attracts. Positional leadership bereft of earned respect is transactional

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