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From hollow hero to expert empathiser: leadership in transition

From hollow hero to expert empathiser: leadership in transition Leader-centred teaching has often taken as normal a cyclical pattern of business, which Marques (2014) argues is no longer the appropriate model. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current leadership curriculum paradigm and the case for an alternative pedagogy which better caters for the messy reality – without recurrent patterns or historical certainties – that global organisations and their business leaders currently often have to deal with. In particular, it addresses implications for the “hero” model of leadership.Design/methodology/approachThe empirical findings are elicited through a combination of case studies, qualitative surveys and action research methods which include organisational development which encourages leaders to develop skills and capability to enquire into and work with their own group processes and design. Arts-based methods, such as poetry, music, painting, sculpture or music are offered as a means to help cultivate the leader’s creative potential and reach into those vulnerable places which often remain hidden amongst traditional didactic methods of facilitation.FindingsThe empirical findings call for a deconstruction of the hero leader through increasing reflexivity to help leaders understand their own feelings, reactions and motives. It encourages bespoke leadership competencies which can be adapted for individuality. This suggests that contemporary leaders and managers first need to understand what capacities and deficiencies they have as individuals, and second how to build an appropriate mix of skills through understanding and reflecting on their own individual experiences and actions.Originality/valueThe paper introduces an approach to leadership training which takes account of the demand for organisations to serve a social purpose, and the need for effectively leading a workforce where the power of the individual is growing with millennials pushing this and questioning the very premises of corporate behaviour and economic and social principles which guide it. It acknowledges that the demands on leaders are shoulder-buckling at the best of times but proposes that business school teaching on leadership must address the messiness of reality and offer means and ways of thriving in spite of such chaos. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Development Emerald Publishing

From hollow hero to expert empathiser: leadership in transition

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0262-1711
DOI
10.1108/jmd-07-2018-0209
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Leader-centred teaching has often taken as normal a cyclical pattern of business, which Marques (2014) argues is no longer the appropriate model. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current leadership curriculum paradigm and the case for an alternative pedagogy which better caters for the messy reality – without recurrent patterns or historical certainties – that global organisations and their business leaders currently often have to deal with. In particular, it addresses implications for the “hero” model of leadership.Design/methodology/approachThe empirical findings are elicited through a combination of case studies, qualitative surveys and action research methods which include organisational development which encourages leaders to develop skills and capability to enquire into and work with their own group processes and design. Arts-based methods, such as poetry, music, painting, sculpture or music are offered as a means to help cultivate the leader’s creative potential and reach into those vulnerable places which often remain hidden amongst traditional didactic methods of facilitation.FindingsThe empirical findings call for a deconstruction of the hero leader through increasing reflexivity to help leaders understand their own feelings, reactions and motives. It encourages bespoke leadership competencies which can be adapted for individuality. This suggests that contemporary leaders and managers first need to understand what capacities and deficiencies they have as individuals, and second how to build an appropriate mix of skills through understanding and reflecting on their own individual experiences and actions.Originality/valueThe paper introduces an approach to leadership training which takes account of the demand for organisations to serve a social purpose, and the need for effectively leading a workforce where the power of the individual is growing with millennials pushing this and questioning the very premises of corporate behaviour and economic and social principles which guide it. It acknowledges that the demands on leaders are shoulder-buckling at the best of times but proposes that business school teaching on leadership must address the messiness of reality and offer means and ways of thriving in spite of such chaos.

Journal

Journal of Management DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 5, 2018

Keywords: Leadership; Management education

References