The problem with leadership theory is that we often try to get to a point where we generalize so much that the theory becomes irrelevant. Many American authors are guilty of this, including people like Kotter. The reality is that leadership behavior come to the fore in a variety of contexts, and it is often this context that dictate the style, the competencies and behavior that would be effective. I am of the opinion that classic leadership theory is not relevant anymore and it is for this reason that we are looking to other disciplines like philosophy, music (Zander et al) to try and find answers. On this note have a look at the following video that says something very meaningful about leadership control. Listen to what he says about creating a process (that is in the mind of the people, but also the environment so that each can “bring out” his/her unique story – the video can be downloaded to your Pod or desktop.
Generalization is only one aspect of research. Not all new theory is created through the process of generalization. (see diffferences between inductive and deductive reasoning in this regard). Leadership theory is as dynamic as the changing environments or contexts that we currently experience. That is perhaps also why such a plethora of different views currently describe leadership research and development…
This is so. In an effort to satisfy our own perspectives on what we believe leadership and management to be about, we tend to look for a clear, precise, and uncomplicated definition that we can apply to all contexts. We then become trapped by its limitations. We also become trapped in the context of workplaces.
Consider this: Looking back over your life, how many good ones have you known? Then explain that.