Radical Leadership

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Radical Leadership (Ricardo Semler)

1.Describe Ricardo Semler’s leadership style. What do you think the advantages and drawbacks of his style might be?
Ask your students to select two leadership models that would help to portray Ricardo Semler’s leadership style. In his own words, Semler is the “leading proponent and most tireless evangelist” of participative management. He places little emphasis on traditional features of corporate management as he avoids written rules, policy manuals, dress codes, and organization charts. Semler empowers employees to make managerial decisions, including strategic plans and leadership positions for the company.

Challenges incurred in implementing Semler’s leadership style might occur in the recruitment of qualified individuals who are a good fit for this organizational culture and providing the training and development needed for employees in this type of work environment.

2.What challenges might a radically “hands-off” leader face? How could those challenges be addressed?
A manager who adopts a radically hands-off leadership style faces challenges as well as opportunities for managerial success. In using this style, a leader places a great amount of trust in the ability of employees and in their dedication to the achievement of organizational goals. The efforts required to reach these goals may require a willingness by employees to “go the extra mile” and to show a high degree of devotion to the fulfillment of the leader’s vision for the company.

A leader who uses the participative management approach should support training and development programs for employees in order to equip them for empowerment and leadership roles. This leader must be an individual who gives credit to the employees who are responsible for the successes of the organization.

Moreover, a leader who adopts the participative management approach should recruit and train for diversity. The implications for training involve...
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