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On Leadership
Posted on May 20, 2010 | Author: Rakesh Khurana | View 226 | Comment : 8

Business schools and increasingly even universities have made leadership a central part of their mission, asserting that they educate and develop leaders for society.

And yet, if we look at the leading research universities and at the business schools within them, the topic of leadership is actually given fairly short shrift.

The gap between what is espoused and by the capacity to deliver is glaring. In part, I think this gap has grown because leadership is such a complex phenomenon.It's a phenomenon partly rooted in psychology with respect to the sense of identity that leaders have.

It is rooted in sociology in the sense that leadership is a social construct. It's also a negotiated relationship that individuals have with other individuals or that individuals have with society...

In addition, there is a cultural quality about what constitutes a leader that changes across social situations, whether we are discussing gender or issues in different countries where some styles would be regarded as leader-like and others not being as leader-like.

Leadership is also complex from an economic perspective because the consequences of leadership can't always be measured by financial measures. Some people we most honour as leaders sometimes have to deal with significant failure. So leadership can't be simply evaluated on its utilitarian outcomes.

Given the complexity of the phenomenon and its multidisciplinary nature, including its inability to answer basic questions such as whether leadership can be taught or developed, leadership research was neglected.

Comments (8)

As rightly said in the article, Leadership is multi disciplinary and complex; It can only be taught through Case Studies and Lab Experiments.
Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Language, Effective Communication and Public Speaking , ...The relevant theoretical portions of components of Leadership-quality need to be covered in theory and practice.
The specialised modules for Leadership training shoud be offered to candidates passing the aptitude Test.

Posted by OP Goel,Technical Director (Retired) at Ministry of Communication and IT|23 May, 2010

Yes, it can be taught just like any other subject, but needs more of practice and application for it to work.The result definitely depends upon the personality of the individual particularly the positive which produces great leaders since it empowers and generates team work.

Posted by BSPrabhu | 22 May, 2010

The leadership qualities can not be taught. One can be motivated to acquire the qualities of a leader if has the attitude. The business schools take the student through a series premeditated drills in the name of case studies and create only `armchair hunters.' If the individual has an ambition,a mission to accomplish,he creates a group and start leading them.A leader is born.

Posted by Pegatraju Prasad , Prof in english at MRPG COLLEGE,VIZIANAGARAM A.P. | 22 May, 2010

Sure Leadership is multidimensional. That is what makes it seem complex. There are various interpretations by various people. But having said that, there are certain characteristics which do apply universally to all Leaders and whether they are measured in terms of \'financials\' is not the issue, infact they need not be.

The point here though is that most \'preachers\' of Leadership 1)have a simplistic view of it 2)do not practice the chatacteristics themselves 3)pass on half baked information, without \'insights\' as \'Leadership\' development and training.

Posted by JPSingh , Management Consultant at Justplainandsimple Consulting | 21 May, 2010

Leadership qualities are multi-dimentional.If one examines the IQ parameters,it is clear that soclal intelligence aspect is more important for leadership thorough other paramaters do help depending on the situation and nature of leadership.

All individuals are not the same.In some,this IQ component could be more.If nurtured,may lead to great leadership.This is like an EM signal.Some inmdividuals may have strong leadership component in their IQ.if environment does not support and nurture it, it may fade away.Some may get a chance to nurture it depending upon family background.Some may study leadership phenomina and develop themselves into good leaders. throughj effort. Of course the basic component should prevail in their IQ even at a small level.

So society has a major role in nurturing leadership. This may come through education, training and opportunity giving.

Posted by Venkataramanaiah Chekuru,CEO at CVR SYNERGY MANAGEMENT SERVICES|21 May, 2010

it should be inculcated right from the childhood...from school days, so that every individual grows with leadership quality and leading attitude......the same should be properly nurtured at home by the kids more sence of responsibiliy with time and more freedom to act and decide will be one step in that direction!!

Posted by trinanjan | 21 May, 2010

I don't subscribe to the belief that leaders are born not made. Leadership can definitely be taught through theoretical and practical 'hands on' experience. We learn most effectively by doing and taking action and learning from our mistakes. We will also be influenced by the role models we have in life and at work that can inspire us to act either because they show the way or because poor leadership prompts us to take the reins because we have a burning desire to do things better.Leaders come in all shapes and guises and show up most prominently when they have clarity of purpose to what they are doing. All great leaders have failed but don't let setbacks or adversity stop them, rather it becomes the fuel to drive their passion to succeed. Society definitely needs more leaders and that ...See More needs to be cultivated by inspiring others to follow down a leadership path by right action.

If you are interested to read more see my article on this here: Leadership

Posted by Kath Roberts,|20 May, 2010

People follow the example of the best leaders.
The behaviour, conduct and practice of the leaders influence the behaviour of people.
Therefore people at leadership have great responsibility and duty to behave in the best manner.
They have to set examples and standards, so that the members of their team are inspired in the right direction. Thus inspired they will take the path of the best conduct and achievement and will become responsible leaders in their own right.
A good leader assists the development of more good leaders.
On the other hand, when people in leading positions behave in unfit or improper manner the people observing them will take up their incorrect practices and also openly express that they are just following the examples set by the leader.
So the leaders have to do their best to receive the same. Excellence begets more excellence.

Posted by Muddu Vinay , Director at Amity University,Jaipur | 20 May, 2010

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