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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. It also limits independent reasoning, internal discipline, and growth in the employee. Consequently, both the leader and the employee are weakened through being forced to acquiesce and their relationship is eroded. Trust and cooperation is replaced with fear and intimidation leading in my opinion to lower productivity (p. 39).
Divergent views enhance collective decisions. Consequently in the leadership paradigm of the past diversity was a deterrent to good decision-making but in the leadership paradigm of tomorrow it is invaluable to producing effective group decisions (Patterson, 1993, p. 57). The point made in this statement by Patterson (1993) would support the situational theory supporting group goals and motivation (Fennel 2001).
In this scenario tomorrow's leaders embrace conflict as it generates differing perspectives among the group which could result in a better group decision. In today's leadership paradigm the semblance of harmony is desired which could overlook the superb solution generated through conflict and diversity (Patterson, 1993, p. 57). I feel that this situational paradigm is a usef
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Patterson, Weedon, Covey, Neihardt, Gail LaFleur, Grogan, Bentz, Shapiro,
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paradigm, leadership, Fennel, twenty first century, paradigmatic, organization, the twenty first century, group, trust, leadership qualities, transactional leadership, situational, charismatic leader, world views, spiral, model, employee, organizational climate, solution, scenario, nineteenth century, character traits, political agenda, deoxyribonucleic acid, political affiliation, sacred hoop, all things, social science, new ideas, community, common, motivate, tomorrow, acquiesce, circles, paradox, inquiry, Feminist, emotional, presentations, useful, a single, Poststructuralism, intimidation, post structuralism, structuralist, paper, mutable, borrower, fooled,