The Leadership Paradox

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The following is a short book preview about bringing it all to work and the leadership paradox contributed by the Ohio State University Leadership Center.

Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work: A Guide for Leaders and Organizations
Tracy Brower, Bibliomotion Inc., (2014)

“Managers and leaders are central to employees’ experience of work and their experience within the organization. Leaders are always part of a broader organizational culture and the overall culture will outlast any individual leader’s efforts. Over time, leaders will shape the culture, but this takes years and affecting this type of change is more similar to steering a tanker – slow and deliberate.

On the other hand, it is also true that leaders create their own subcultures within the company. For example, an organization may be generally very command and control in its operation, requiring adherence to rules and hierarchy for decision making. Within that culture, a leader may behave in a way that is very participative, asking team members for input and making decisions that are more greatly influenced by employees. The subculture of the team can exist within the broader framework.

As another example of the leadership paradox, a broader organization may tout plenty of employee choice making, personal discretion, and freedom, but within that culture, a leader may manage team members closely, checking work, checking quality, and checking work process. Leaders create their own cultures, and the cultures leaders create are often mirrors of their own personalities. People join a company because the nature of the job and work. People leave a company because of the leader. One’s direct supervisor is one of the most essential factors in personal experience of an organization, job or work-life supports.”

Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work is available from the OSU Leadership Center.

Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at the OSU Leadership Center website.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On June 12, 2017
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