The Paradigms of Leadership

             In the paper below, five differing paradigms of leadership are noted. Do you agree that considering leadership from differing paradigmatic perspectives is important as we enter the twenty-first century? Discuss your response. What do you believe to be the essential attributes for leadership in the 21st century?.

             The twenty-first century. What does this era represent for humankind? In order to discuss these issues, one must first identify the implications of this epoch. It is a time of speedy change, war, poverty, starvation, and advances in social science. Consequently, it is a time of immense changes and supercharged issues, we are well advised to adopt multiple views of leadership to anticipate, manage and implement those required changes. A willingness to listen, charisma, transformation, empowerment, are some of the keys to effective leaders. Examination of leadership from various paradigmatic perspectives is useful in attacking a multilayered issue such as leadership in the twenty-first century. In this discussion posting I will explore the various attributes of leadership that I feel are important for today's leaders and I will address the five paradigmatic perspectives provided in Fennel (2001).

             In order to relate effectively with others, one must learn to listen. Openness, patience, emotional strength, and a desire to understand are all character traits needed for true listening to occur. According to Covey (1989), it is simpler to operate from a low emotional level and provide high-level advice. In the business world during acquisitions and mergers this behaviour is often exhibited and simply does not work (p. 37). The employees are not fooled and a climate of low trust emerges rather than the more desirable high trust climate (p. 38). In this scenario the leader often utilizes their position and power to force the employees to acquiesce and follow their directives. In this structuralist paradigmatic scenario, the leader has borrowed strength from their position and authority which creates weakness in the borrower by reinforcing dependence upon external factors to accomplish tasks.

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