Transformational Leadership and Value Congruence

Feb 06

My latest research paper in Leadership focuses on the relationship between leadership and the alignment of values, both between leader and follower and relative to their organization. The research demonstrates that “The state of value congruence occasions a number of efficiencies, including similarity of cognitive processes and communication systems. The predictive character of behavior among people with value congruence further streamlines cooperation between leaders and followers and among peers. The levels of follower satisfaction and commitment both increase when values are aligned interpersonally and organizationally.” You can read the paper below: Download Transformational Leadership and Value...

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Leadership Erosion

Jan 11

Values represent those principles and desires to which individuals ascribe meaning and purpose. In the extreme, values guide individuals in life and death situations. In routine daily activities, values inform decisions that affect quality of life, happiness and even personal liberty. Values guide the assessment of outcomes and in many cases compose an image of an ideal society. Peaceful, harmonious society is most often a reflection of common shared values. Contentious societies result when there is discord related to core social values. Alignment of values and its effect on communities is central to a discussion of leadership. The effectiveness and power of a leader is proportional to both alignment of and individual commitment to common values. Where there is alignment and commitment, leaders can effect transformational changes in a society. Where alignment and commitment are absent, leaders will struggle to establish consensus and unity. Leaders and followers must share common values in order for a leader to be effective in his position. Erosion of Leadership As consensus regarding core social values erodes, so does the ability of leaders to emerge and create unity. As value segmentation increases, the scope of a leader’s influence diminishes. This erosion of leadership with its inherent dangers was a principle concern to the founders of America. In his farewell address, George Washington cautioned that segmentation of this nature could be used to undermine the power of the people. “However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” There is evidence of this having occurred in the persistent gridlock of American government today. Segmentation of common values is indicated by the growing number of political parties which represent increasingly diverse constituents. When the influence of powerful lobbying groups is factored in, the overall effect of leadership erosion is significant. When no single leader or value base can rally a majority opinion, there can be no society wide movement or change....

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My Position on Business Ethics

Dec 09

One uniquely human characteristic lies in our desire to hear and tell stories, fiction and non-fiction alike. By way of story we vicariously experience emotion and conflict through another person or object. The human quality of empathy binds us to the characters in story in such a way that we ask ourselves what we would do in similar circumstances. This introspection is what makes literature so powerful, and so meaningful. After all, it is in the moment of anguish or bliss, when nothing will be the same, when an irreversible choice is in front of us, that we discover who we really are. Context When the moment of decision comes, what will I do? Will I become sharp, focused and relentless, as Jonathan Harker did when striving to save his dear Mina? Will I surrender to my lusts as Claude Frollo did when entranced by the beauty of La Esmeralda? Will my resolve crumble in the face of fear and torment, as Winston Smith did when tortured or could I so completely change my constitution, as did Sydney Carton, and surrender my life to save the life of the man who would be my rival in love? Great literature provides an expansive collection of contexts in which to explore the depth of human choice. Some characters grow into strength while others shrink into oblivion. There is enormous value in these vicarious choices, made through the movements of well scripted characters, particularly when those choices result in resolutions. When the moment comes to make the same types of choices in our own lives, a comfortable library with ample time to review these literary works is unlikely. The choices were made long before that crucial moment, just as with the characters mentioned above. Gap in Reality (Pressure) In his book Story, Robert Mckee explains that story, like those mentioned above, happens whenever there is a gap between subjective and objective reality. The subjective reality is what the character anticipates will happen. Objective reality is what actually happens. For example, when I pursue a business arrangement, I anticipate that all parties will be honest and forthright. That is my subjective reality. When objective reality fails to align with my subjective reality there is a...

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