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roymogg posted this in Leadership on June 2nd, 2009

So what kind of leader will you be?

These days, you get dozens of results by searching for “leadership” and “economic crisis” on Google. The same happens when searching for “leadership” and “downsizing”. The general consensus is clear: during challenging times, individuals look to their leaders for inspiration, guidance and reassurance. But leaders are also the first to be blamed when things go wrong and people start losing their jobs.

The Telegraph suggests that the “Financial crisis calls for confident leadership”. Similarly, the Washing Post informs that a “Financial Crisis Offers a Study in Leadership Styles”.

It seems that Leadership is, yet again, at the centre of anything that is good and bad when it comes to the heart of the business. Lack of courage, reckless decision making, greed and dishonesty are some of the sins that leaders of today are said to be guilty of.

So what should leaders do in these critical times? The economic downturn is the ultimate test for those in charge and only the individuals that are most equipped with skills can maximise their chance of keeping their seats until the end of the rollercoaster ride. On the positive side, however, it is known that Leaders need not be responsible for their own demise. Through coaching and the development of self-awareness, leaders can learn how to avoid over-extending themselves and be able to make a conscious decision to not “cross the line” when compromised – the line that takes them to the unpopular side of business.

Leaders of today may not be the leaders of tomorrow. Much of the territory we are exploring today is of an unchartered nature. And perhaps, through a Darwinian lens, we may hypothesise that only the fittest, the strongest and the wisest may able to survive. We also suggest flexibility and adaptability as essential skills for effective and successful leadership.
And ultimately, of course, the building of self-awareness through coaching and development.

So, what kind of Leader will you be?

Andrea Facchini

Business Psychologist

Mentis Consulting Limited
1 Lyric Square
London W6 0NB
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)870 487 3100
M: +44 (0)75349 06322
F: +44 (0)870 487 3101

E: andrea.facchini@mentis-consulting.com
W: www.mentis-consulting.com

1 comment to So what kind of leader will you be?

  • So far much of the research concentrates on the positive impact of ‘good’ leadership, Conger (1997) suggests ways in which Transformational leaders may have negative effects, using examples of executive follies. Luthans et al. (1998) also discuss the ‘dark side’ of leadership, and it is clear that this particular form of leadership has ethical implications. One could suggest misuse of charismatic force may motivate employees initially, but later demotivate. Whilst this seems plausible, as so much research is correlational, changes in motivation over time has been insufficiently studied for any conclusion to be made.

    However, looking at some organizations (and more general history, e.g. of Nations) it is not hard to find examples of not just poor but downright unethical and purposefully negative leadership.

    What can leaders do to ensure they do not turn to the ‘dark side’ (excuse the SF pun)?

    Are there some people who should just not be allowed too much power, or are some good people ‘turned’ in the right/wrong circumstances?

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