Oscar Miranda Reyes
Looking back on your business and personal experience, do you have any stories to tell that contrast the “old” and the “new” stories of leadership as Wheatley, describes them? Have you practiced or been informed by either leadership approach?
Wheatley (2007) describes the old story of leadership as “a story of dominion and control, and all-encompassing materialism.” It can be explained by analogizing it to a machine; a lifeless object that does not have the capability to think, feel, or make decisions. It, the machine, functions quite like the old story of leadership by where there are many more managers (machines) than leaders. An ideology that she credits to Western culture, which believes organizations, can create processes that people will carry out in a machine-like manner. Wheatley (2007) states that “we would engineer it to do what we saw fit, and we would fix it through our engineering brilliance” (p. 17). Managers utilizing the “old” style of leadership will create processes and expect the people to follow the process exactly as is with little, if any, room for deviation from that process.
By contrast, the new story of leadership encourages creativity and deviation from the “status quo”. Wheatley (2007) further argues that, people never behave like machines and often will resist change or “add their own spin” to directions. In the new story “key human traits as uniqueness, free will, and creativity” are essential to the organizations long-term success. Wheatley argues that allowing creativity helps organizations find those innovative “breakthroughs” that lead to success for the business. The new story of leadership is a notion, by where leaders interject reason, emotion, and ingenuity. Qualities viewed favorably in the new story of leadership. When these qualities are encouraged, supported and properly... [continues]
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