Paradigms of Leadership

October 8, 2013
Paradigms of Leadership

      Driving home from work, I noticed a marquee sign at the local veterinary clinic.   It read, “Leaders are successful when they create more leaders, not more followers.”   I related this to my career as a human resources director and began to envision ways to create more leaders within the organization, rather than creating more followers.
      To be a good leader, one must influence others in a way to realize a common goal.   Many in our organization refer to this process as managing the people.   However, there is a difference in managing and leading, although it may appear to be a discrete one.   Leadership involves change, inspiration, vision, innovation, and overcoming obstacles; whereas, management involves more tangible activities such as implementation, maintenance, and administration of more stable processes.
According to R Gill, five facets of leadership behaviors include:
    1. Identifying vision and mission
    2. Creating strategy
    3. Building shared values among the group
    4. Empowering followers
    5. Influencing, motivating, and inspiring followers
      The three paradigms that are identified as facets of leadership behaviors that are most aligned with human resources (in my opinion) include empowerment, people and relationships, and diversity.   In contrast, under the old paradigm of management, these would have been control, things, and uniformity.
      Empowerment is a difficult change for individuals who were raised in organizations where a classical paradigm of management was accepted.   The leader was in command and had power and authority over all.   In more recent leadership paradigms, employees are empowered to make decisions and be accountable for helping organizations reach common goals for the overall success of the business.   Business environment has necessitated this change due to the inability to prosper without the support of others within the organization.   Empowered...