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Frontal Lobotomies Are Not Required

Frontal Lobotomies Are Not Required

The MBA for leadership blaggers – Part 4

In  “Beware the ‘Heathrow Airport’ school of leadership”we introduced the last centuries’ key theories on leadership: 

  •       Trait theory
  •       Behavioural theory
  •       Contingency theory
  •       Transformational theory
  •       Authentic leadership

Having looked at the first two, lets look at the last three on one final bite of potted leadership history.

Contingency Theory: eventually researchers started to realise that you couldn’t just study the leader – the situation in which they found themselves was also important – and one situation might call for different leadership behaviours than another.  That’s contingency theory.

Transformational theory: Finally the penny also dropped that the set up between leader and follower wasn’t static either.  It is so much more than a transaction, where two parties look to trade one thing for another, but there is a process of transformation that takes place as they interact. The transformation includes the followers, their goal and the leader themselves.  Transformation is a fundamental part of leadership.  That's Transformational theory.

Authentic leadership: then some bright sparks came up with the idea that maybe we DON’T need frontal lobotomy’s to become true leaders.  We just need to be true.   This theory puts forward the idea that anyone can be a leader, but it starts with having a clear understanding of who we are, what our values are, what our strengths and weaknesses are and behaving in a transparent way that puts all of these things together.  The Authentic leadership theory is still in its infancy and working its way through some tricky growing pains – but it’s definitely one to watch.

So let’s leave you with three questions to ponder: 

1 – Do I do the same things in every leadership situation – or do I work with different people and different situations in different ways?

2 – Am I generally looking to make trades and transactions with my team, or do I look at how we can all fuse together and create something else between us?

3 – To what extent do my team see the real me?  Am I wearing a mask, or being truly authentic?

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