Leadership Without Easy Answers:Setting the Frame By: tylar Lewis

Within this first part of the book Leadership Without Easy contains three parts that discusses values in leadership, to lead or mislead, and the roots of authority.

The term leadership involves our self-images and moral codes. Common leaders that we always refer to are those of a gang, mob, organizations, those who are appointed authority by others regardless of their values. Being stuck in between values and being value-free has become a problem.
The difference in our common understanding of leadership clouds not only the clarity of our thinking and scholarship; it shapes the quality of leadership we praise, teach, and get. So the meaning of leadership has been defined in many ways according to values. -NO Neutral ground -Take sides -Support and challenge peoples conceptions of themselves, roles and ideas socially.

Difference in behavior when it comes to leadership various based on leadership images such as influencing the community to accept his vision and mobilizing people to tackle tough problems. Also in businesses we see an evolution of a leadership concept. And the military.

Hidden Values in Theories of Leadership

The 19th century notion poses that history in the story of great man and their impact on society. Based off of Thomas Carlyle's book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History he has examined the personality characteristics of "great men" that rises to power is rooted with heroic talents like skills and physical characteristics. With this theory situationalists think otherwise. Herbert Spencer suggested that the times produce the person and not the other way around.

Contingency theory, synthesis the great man and situational approaches, also began with a value-free image of itself.
Leaders do not only influence followers but are under their influence as well.
This theory suggest that people would most likely follow someone who they think fits their idea of a leader.
Now we are working towards a perspective concept of leadership. Four criteria are used to develop a definition of leadership that takes values into account. 1. Must sufficiently resemble current cultural assumptions 2. Should be practical 3. Point towards socially useful activities. 4. Broad definition of social usefulness

To Lead or Mislead

First things first living systems seek equilibrium. The responses to disequilibrium are the product of evolutionary adaptations that transformed into routine problems which were once nearly overwhelming threats.

Adaptation has evolved because of the curiosity of evolution. Evolution is the matter of chance a fortuitous fit between random variation and new environmental pressures. It has no purpose simply because survival is our only measure of its success and societies generate purpose beyond survival. Adapting to human challenges requires that we go beyond the requirements of simply surviving. During this chapter it recognizes the works of adaptation and values in reality.
Without equilibrium we are unstable meaning the levels of stress within the social, political and economic are decreasing or increasing. The patterns of disequilibrium takes 3 forms. 1. the current problem presents no new challenge and a response from the current repertoire may restore equilibrium successfully. 2. when the society has no ready solution for the situation, the social system may still try to apply responses from its repertoire, but may only restore equilibrium in the short term and at the cost of long term consequences. 3. the society may learn to met the new challenge. There are also 3 basic possibilities. Throughout the rest of this section it gives insight on threats from not adapting properly, how those reality tests the efforts to grasp those problems and how distinguishing work from work is not a science.
The Strategic Defense Initiative A new plan to develop a technological shield that would protect the U.S from Nuclear attacks was announced by President Ronald Regan on March 23, 1983. The Strategic Defense Initiative also known as "Star Wars" intended to make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." The problem was detected by the president, teller and a few others in terms of our vulnerability to attack. But the foreign policy thinks differently on the problem. SDI started to become a problem with advisers and people because they felt that it was being oversold as a space shield. Regan made his political campaign very effective because of his belief in the SDI and this presented leadership but reality hit which was mutual vulnerability.
The Root of Authority

Social living depends on authority. We often equate leadership with authority because we often associate leaders who achieve high positions of authority and not their lack of leadership they provide. Because we equate leadership with authority we never see the struggle of leadership and getting there.

The Function of Dominance to Primate Societies

Silverback gorillas are the leaders of the troop when they move as a group they are always the first in the line maintaining a general direction. They have an earth shaking chest thump that sends out a signal to other silverbacks and it has a terrifying effect. They are the focal point that orients others to their places when traveling for food. Also they have a control function that which is to mediate aggression within the group and maintain stability.

Human society has 3 caveats that are necessary for analyzing. 1. the hierarchies in primate societies involve small groups at least by modern human standards. 2. human societies may not coordinate themselves by the same mechanisms that other animals societies use. 3. we have seen the misuse of Darwin's theory in the form of social Darwinism the ideas that someone, should dominate and two those who do must deserve to.
Studies show that high-ranking studies are the dominant children. And those middle and low ranking spend their time focused on the high ranking students rather then themselves. A child that commands the most attention often initiated and organized games, interceded as a third party to break up disputes and initiated the group when interacting with another group. At particular phases of development development are children to picking up different receptive of lessons and cues like language, climbing or social grace. Those dominant chimpanzees resemble dominant gorillas and children.

Small adult groups have 3 generalizations: 1. when men and women who do not know one another form a new group and undertake a task, they routinely establish a hierarchy of roles. 2. the group often informally selects and authorizes one of its own members to chair the group in of the person designated by the scientist in charge. 3. the group looks to its chairperson for certain services.

From Dominance to Authority: Heifetz defines authority as conferred power to perform a service and useful to the practitioner of leadership as a reminder of these two facts: 1. authority is given and can be taken away/ 2. authority is conferred as part of an exchange. If you fail to meet the terms then that can result in a loss of authority. Coming from dominance to authority could give you an head start from what yo already know. As theoretical types of power relations, dominance and authority can be viewed as distinct. Dominance relationships are based upon coercion and authority relationships are voluntary and conscious.
Authority and Culture: Human evolution reached another major milestone with the development of the mental ability to internalize representations of authority as conscience. We learn lessons from the voices of our parents, teachers, and others and it is up to us to take that and apply it to our work. We can trace the richness, creativity, and complexity of our cultures and organizations to our ability as individuals to carry on internal debate with other voices including our own. Having a variety of cultures can be a good thing but it does not replace the need of a an authority.
Stress and Charismatic Authority: Situations and conflicts are daily workings for individuals. And authority has the know how to fulfill our expectations, what they don't do our prevailing cultural norms will cover. The founding fathers are remembered to be invested with charisma by those around him, over time the office of senior authority takes on a life of its own. When stress becomes overwhelming we seem willing to grant extraordinary power and give up our freedom. And charisma is given to those who voice our pains and provides us with promise. To add when our shared norms can no longer provide us with sufficient orientation the capacity of authority relationships to contain the stresses of society provides a key backup system.

Credits:

Created with images by 0kk3 - "The view"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.