Perspectives on Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart

Perspectives on Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart

Perspectives on Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart

Perspectives on Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart

Synopsis

In tracing the intellectual roots of business leadership over the last one hundred years, award winning author Gilbert W. Fairholm argues that until recently, spirit and soul have been absent from the major models. After outlining the elements of the five major ideas about leadership, he goes on to define and make operational a new focus that must exist in order to truly understand the leaders' role in relation to workers.

Excerpt

Leading others is not easy. Senge says the leader bears an almost sacred duty to create conditions that enable people to grow and have happy and productive lives (Senge, 1990). The new leadership ideas put forward in the last 10–15 years begin to define this kind of leadership dealing with followers’ core values. Yet, most established authors and some practitioners are locked into traditional thinking and have largely ignored these ideas. Nevertheless, the real leaders among us think in these terms and practice this kind of leadership, and they have done so for generations.

The problem is that theorists and practitioners have developed a mind-set that defines one kind of ‘‘leadership truth’’ and excludes any other alternatives. Any ideas about leadership that differ from this mind-set are generally rejected out of hand. Indeed, we do not easily move out of one reality into another. What we now believe to be true, given our particular experience, often seems to be the only truth. Some outside force must trigger reevaluating and rethinking. That triggering force to intellectual growth may be a new idea, a new situation, a new value, a new boss or some other significant emotional event—like a new book.

In the meantime, while theory tries to catch up with practice, leaders lead, writers write and trainers train, and the real basis of leadership continues to elude us. Certainly past leadership models have identified some critical elements of the leader’s task. None fully describes current

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