Tag Archives: Personality

SOCIO-TEMPORAL WORLDVIEW PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT. Now basic online tool/report for free!

A MORE RELEVANT AND HOLISTIC PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT. COME ON TO THIS PSYCHO-PHILOSOPHICAL ADVENTURE AT WWW.MATHIAS-SAGER.COM.

It’s not our circumstances that determine our lives; it’s our circumthoughts.

MATHIAS SAGER – PSYCHOLOGY

The ability to be aware and adjust the social and temporal scope in one’s thinking allows more effective approaches towards worries, remaining adaptive, and a sense of meaningful satisfaction.

Socio-temporal wheel SIMPLE EN

The scientifically and expert-validated novel Socio-Temporal Mental Schema Analysis (STMSA) provides a simple yet more relevant and uniquely holistic self-reflection tool that explores a person’s overall worldview. The tool, therefore, is an ideal starting point for further targeted and meaningful personal development.


Science and wisdom put into practice.
Based on the Socio-Temporal Mental Schema Analysis (STMSA).
Powered by Awareness Intelligence ™

The novel self-reflection online tool / Das neuartige Online-Tool zur Selbstreflexion (TRY IT OUT)

socio-temporal matrix
socio-temporal matrix

Wholeness and coherence of thoughts.

The Socio-Temporal Mental Schema Analysis (STMSA) and its awareness intelligence properties

It’s online now: The novel Self-reflection Tool STMSA. It offers a simple yet holistic approach to explore one’s mental world. The tool’s matrix-organized systematic allows to navigate thought preferences, which indicate mental schema constellations that can explain personality tendencies and related psychological properties. Want to deepen your insight, expand your horizon, and harmonize thought patterns for increased thriving, meaning, and well-being?

Try it out for free at www.mathias-sager.com (available in English and German).


Sozio-temporale Matrix
Sozio-temporale Matrix

Ganzheit und Kohärenz der Gedanken.

Die sozio-zeitliche mentale Schemaanalyse (STMSA) und ihre Eigenschaften der Bewusstseinsintelligenz

Es ist jetzt online: Das neuartige Selbstreflexions-Tool STMSA. Es bietet einen einfachen, aber ganzheitlichen Ansatz, um die eigene mentale Welt zu erkunden. Die matrixorganisierte Systematik des Tools ermöglicht das Navigieren von Gedankenpräferenzen, die auf mentale Schemakonstellationen hinweisen, welche wiederum Persönlichkeitstendenzen und damit verbundene psychologische Eigenschaften erklären können. Möchtest du deine Einsichten vertiefen, deinen Horizont erweitern und Gedankenmuster harmonisieren, um mehr Erfolg, Sinnhaftigkeit und Wohlbefinden zu erzielen?

Probiere es kostenlos unter www.mathias-sager.com aus (verfügbar auf Englisch und Deutsch).

Inspirational Leadership: Allowing the Soul to be Free

1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.

2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.

3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.

4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.

5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.

6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.

7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.

Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.

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Personality and Leadership Styles

 

Slides from our event, December 5th, 2018:

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The leader-follower relationship: Theories and related strategies

1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.

2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.

3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.

4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.

5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.

6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.

7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.

8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.

9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.

10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.

11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.

12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.

 

Slides:

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Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.

Slides:

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The Tripod Mindset (TM)

mathias-sager-tripod-mindset

Summary

There are individual, organizational, and societal human and technological approaches available today. However, there is little integration of these dimensions into a coherent mindset, educational concept, or cooperative platforms. Therefore, I’ve dedicated the last couple of years to the study of leadership, learning & development, psychology consequently from cross-culturally, multi-disciplinary, and inter-generationally cooperative perspectives. And I’ve performed intensive testing of a, as I think, new discovery of a pattern of the human mind, which I’m calling the ‘Tripod Mindset (TM).’ I have found that three logic matrix-derived socio-temporal conditions put together to a “tripod” mindset would eliminate random, imbalanced, and unconnected ways of traditional and contemporary human thinking in favor of more healthy attitudes and drive for positive human evolution.

Tripod Mindset (TM) Highlights

My background in education sciences, leadership, art, technology, and psychology have equipped me with different perspectives on individual, organizational, and socio-cultural functioning. My navigation between the philosophy of time represented by the past, present, and the future, and the intra-, inter-, and extra-personal dimensions of information and communication (technology) have led me to discover a, as far as I’m aware of, novel and lawful socio-temporal matrix in which our temporal thinking about ourselves, our relationships, and humanity consolidates.

The mapping of thousands of (scientific) resources to the matrix of aforementioned socio-temporal dimensions revealed the striking finding of three coordinates that jointly form a set of mental states that governs human psyche and thriving, which I’m going to call the “Tripod Mindset (TM).” The further study of TM as an interdisciplinary concept shall explicitly consider aspects such as the Internet as a tool for democracy and global citizenship. The time seems to be ripe for leading the way to more distributed and participative approaches including a broader range of stakeholders globally. For example, the TM can be translated into design principles, which would be informing the development of next-generation and more cooperative online platforms that integrate the intra-past, inter-present, and extra-future thought patterns necessary for progressing agile approaches and human flourishing in the virtual and physical world.

Also, the TM could be used to get a balanced view on how sustainable (from an individual and collective point of view) any kind of services and products are. Are they based on a mindset that is backward oriented, protective of the status quo, or facilitating innovation?  What does each of these temporal aspects mean for the individual, the team, and the broader communities’ respectively the human context? The consistent integration of such a coherent “tripod”-stabilized mindset view will guarantee not losing sight of all that is important for true next-generation solutions.

Impact

There are many apt formulations, and rich collections of human qualities proposed to be packaged into so-called mindsets that are deemed to be favorable for individual well-being, organizational performance, or societal functioning. However, looking at worldwide suffering, competitive challenges, and societal issues, there is, apparently, still a lot missing regarding a more holistic, systematically consistent, and continuous awareness that leads to positive human behavior. Technology progress, for example, may enable positive change, but it will not be without a change in human mindset that an improved development and use of technology will occur. The Tripod Mindset (TM) has the potential to inform a new type of guiding principles in sociology/psychology, education, communication, and technology with a disruptive impact on how humanity’s collective mindset, and participative and cooperative policies and economies further develop.

‘Developing Leadership Skills’ online course: Drop me a message for free access.

mathias-sager-developing-leadership-skills-voucher.png

Hello All,

As you know from past years, I have been researching, advising, and working with many successful global leaders. I have also read several hundred research papers and books on leadership from a managerial and psychological perspective.

I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!

My course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’

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My course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’

Hello Everyone!

As you know from my blogging activities, I’m doing a lot of research, writing and projects related to leadership and personal development.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on my first online course and today it’s officially live on Udemy, the platform for high-quality on-demand online courses!

You can find a description of my course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Leadership Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’ below as well as in this introductory/promotional video: https://youtu.be/TQQWZCn3R_A 

I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!

If you know of anyone else that’d be interested to learn developing leadership skills, I’d appreciate if you’d share this information with them too.

Thanks so much, and all the best!

Mathias


Course description

The course ‘Developing Leadership Skills’ is a compelling summary of latest research and good practices that may well become your passport to explore new ways of effective leadership styles, increased levels of motivation, and untapped creativity.

Whether you are an HR practitioner, an aspiring or current leader, an executive coach, or a student, this logically structured course will help you in becoming personally and professionally more effective and efficient. You are offered practical tools for insight and understanding of your possible

  • roles in team situations,
  • conflict management style,
  • successful negotiation strategies,
  • stress management,
  • motivation,
  • better decision-making, as well as
  • unlocking of your innovation capacity.

The goal of this course is to make sure you will find answers to the questions that are relevant for personal growth and a thriving career. Compact, straightforward, and with numerous references to further information, the interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural knowledge and perspectives presented in the twelve short lectures will benefit your well-being and success as a dynamic leader and the common good alike.

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Hope, Living with Uncertainties, and Tolerance for Ambiguity

Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are increasingly unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties. The promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance that leaves more room for thoughtful and empathic decisions. It will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all. What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

mathias-sager-hope-uncertainty-tolerance-ambiguity


The difference between ‘uncertainty’ and ‘ambiguity’

Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity often have been confused. Although IU and IA are overlapping concepts, they can be differentiated as follows: Intolerance of uncertainty refers future negative events that cause worries, and intolerance for ambiguity refers to adverse stimuli in the present [3]. Also, intolerance of uncertainty is built on the fact that information on outcomes of a situation is missing while intolerance for ambiguity is characterized by ambivalent or conflicting information available on the situation [5].

The effect of intolerance for uncertainty on tolerance for ambiguity

As per the discussion around the article https://mathias-sager.com/2018/06/12/tolerance-for-ambiguity-as-a-gateway-to-leadership-opportunity/ it became clear to me that tolerance for ambiguity respectively Intolerance for Ambiguity might be dependent a lot on context too. Thanks to all the involved for triggering that further research. While having assumed general business situations in times of relative peace in democratic countries in the last article, individual’s behavior in highly stressful (e.g., military) conditions in threatening environments needs to be looked at specifically, including both the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope this article can contribute to that discussion.

Tolerance for ambiguity of an individual can be reduced in the context of threat through uncertainty, and especially when there is increased intolerance of uncertainty. In other words, in the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context [4]. Besides, not only the threat itself but the possibly stronger propagation of stereotyping (e.g., of enemies) might promote black-and-white thinking that is hindering an open mindset as required to positively decipher ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger [7].

We generally have a choice between concern and cruelty. But as the example above showed, sometimes not-so-obvious factors influence our predispositions for one of the options because intolerance for an ambiguous situation, induced by threats of uncertainty, may trigger reactions of self-defense based on uncontrolled prejudices. Interviewing perpetrators in the Rwanda genocide revealed that individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power caused closed mental systems unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties [10].

Hope and resilience to endure uncertainty

In our times of continued pervasiveness of populations living in environments of war and disasters, resilience is a further important concept. Hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement [9]. That way, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions.

Growth versus safety orientation

Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being [1]. When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible [2]. Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason though. After World War II this became evident and powerful movements toward an open mind of tolerance of ambiguity emerged that could cater to both safety and growth needs [8]. It is a function of societies to prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all [6].

What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?

 

References

[1] Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

[2] Hartman, D., & Zimberoff, D. (2008). Higher Stages of Human Development. Journal Of Heart-Centered Therapies, 11(2), 3-95.

[3] Grenier, S., Barrette, A. M., & Ladouceur, R. (2005). Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity: Similarities and differences. PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, (3). 593.

[4] Neta, M., Cantelon, J., Haga, Z., Mahoney, C. R., Taylor, H. A., & Davis, F. C. (2017). The impact of uncertain threat on affective bias: Individual differences in response to ambiguity. Emotion, 17(8), 1137-1143. doi:10.1037/emo0000349

[5] Kirschner, H., Hilbert, K., Hoyer, J., Lueken, U., & Beesdo-Baum, K. (2016). Psychophsyiological reactivity during uncertainty and ambiguity processing in high and low worriers. Journal Of Behavior Therapy And Experimental Psychiatry, 5097-105. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.06.001

[6] Einwanger, J. (2014). Wie riskant ist Sicherheit? (German). Pädiatrie & Pädologie, 49(4), 33. doi:10.1007/s00608-014-0152-4

[7] Bright, L. K., & Mahdi, G. S. (2012). U.S./Arab Reflections on Our Tolerance for Ambiguity. Adult Learning, 23(2), 86-89.

[8] Rohde, J. (2015). Review of The open mind: Cold War politics and the sciences of human nature. Journal Of The History Of The Behavioral Sciences, 51(3), 343-345. doi:10.1002/jhbs.21739

[9] Wilson, M. J., & Arvanitakis, J. (2013). The Resilience Complex. M/C Journal, 16(5), 17.

[10] Böhm, T. (2006). Psychoanalytic aspects on perpetrators in genocide: Experiences from Rwanda. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 29(1), 22-32. doi:10.1080/01062301.2006.10592776

Tolerance for Ambiguity as a Gateway to Leadership Opportunity

mathias-sager-tolerance-for-ambiguity

The necessity for tolerance of ambiguity

Today’s professionals need to succeed in technology-rich environments [1]. Information age organizations are characterized by rapid change and uncertainty [2]. Progressing globalization poses challenges through ambiguities that are caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and workforce factors [3]. The ability to tolerate ambiguity, therefore, is increasingly vital for successful leaders and employees alike [1].

Definition

“The tolerance for ambiguity (or intolerance for ambiguity) construct relates to a person’s disposition or tendency in addressing uncertain situations” [4, p.1]. The concept is also described in organizational behavior as “a coping mechanism for dealing with organizational change” [5].

Tolerance for ambiguity as a performance driver

Tolerance for ambiguity was found to support organizational performance drivers, such as [2]:

  • Mindfulness
  • Receptive for cross-cultural work and collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Tolerance for failure
  • Taking risks
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Monitoring self
  • Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial performance, and
  • Managerial performance
  • A firm’s financial and market performance

Importance for (global) leadership

“Dealing with ambiguity is seldom taught, but higher-performing leaders tend to understand that uncertainty can be the gateway to opportunity” (6, p. 30).

Indeed, tolerance (or intolerance) for ambiguity influences one’s behavior and consequently leadership and decision-making style [4]. Studies have found that expatriates high on tolerance for ambiguity adjust and perform better in global work workplaces and cross-cultural environments [3].

Practicing tolerance for ambiguity

Leadership learning and development should adapt to the rapidly evolving business world, for example, by providing innovative learning strategies such as simulations [2]. Potential for improvement and learning progress related to tolerance for ambiguity can be measured with according psychometric assessments and accordingly monitored as a key leadership ability [3].

 

References

[1] Arlitsch, K. (2016). Tolerating Ambiguity: Leadership Lessons from Off-Road Motorcycling. Journal Of Library Administration, 56(1), 74-82. doi:10.1080/01930826.2015.1113063

[2] Brendel, W. )., Hankerson, S. )., Byun, S. )., & Cunningham, B. ). (2016). Cultivating leadership Dharma: Measuring the impact of regular mindfulness practice on creativity, resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, anxiety and stress. Journal Of Management Development, 35(8), 1056-1078. doi:10.1108/JMD-09-2015-0127

[3] Herman, J. L., Stevens, M. J., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M., & Oddou, G. (2010). The tolerance for ambiguity scale: Towards a more refined measure for international management research. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 34(1), 58-65. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2009.09.004

[4] Kajs, L. T., & McCollum, D. L. (2009). Examining tolerance for ambiguity in the domain of educational leadership. Academy Of Educational Leadership Journal, 13(2), 1-16.

[5] Judge, T.A., Thoresen, C.J., Pucik, V. and Welbourne, T.M. (1999), “Managerial coping with organizational change: a dispositional perspective”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 84 No. 1, pp. 107-122, doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.84.1.107.

[6] Shullman, S. L., & White, R. P. (2012). Build Leadership’s Tolerance for Ambiguity. Chief Learning Officer, 11(10), 30-33.

The Benefits of an Internal Locus of Control Personality

mathias-sager-locus-of-control

Summery benefits of an internal locus of control

  • Belief in one’s control over their life
  • Improved information acquisition
  • Better decision-making processes
  • Self-efficacy, job effectiveness, and higher achievement
  • Less risk of burnout
  • Generally increased happiness
  • Increase leadership adaptability

 

Rapidly changing leadership challenges

Leadership education has undergone a substantial shift. Life and working world seem to have become more complex with competing urgencies and over-dynamic developments of issues that challenge the required qualities of the next generation of leaders. Leaders today need to be able to find ever-new solutions and adaptations to challenging situations. This can be traced back, for example, to the growing world population and increased growth expectations in all areas of life and economy that cause growth issues in the following six areas [1]:

  • Space
  • Agricultural yield
  • Natural resource management
  • Energy production and consumption
  • Climate change, and
  • Global health

Organizations keep aspiring to increase profits, acting ethically, and promoting community and environmental sustainability. How will it be possible to optimize all these aspects while not doing it at the cost of others [1]? One answer is that it requires leaders who believe they can respond to these challenges in their own capacity, a concept that is coined as “locus of control.”

Definition of internal vs. external locus of control

Locus of control is about a person’s confidence that he or she can control events in their lives. Individuals with an internal locus of control have a strong sense of self-responsibility and that they have the power to change their lives. Externally-controlled individuals believe that they are not in control of their lives and it is instead chance, opportunities, and other individuals and events (i.e., the circumstances) that determine their destiny [2].

According to research, adverse consequences from an external locus of control are heightened levels of intolerance and anxiety, and finally higher burnout rates [4].

Internal locus of control, on the other hand, is associated with individuals gathering more information [3], which improves their decision-making process, effectiveness, and achievement. That internally-controlled individuals benefit from increased self-efficacy is in line with these results. For example, it was found that teams with individuals of relatively high internal locus of control are able of higher performance in a self-reliant way respectively without a leader [5]. Last but not least, people with an internal locus of control generally enjoy more happiness [4].

Adaptation of leadership style

Locus of control is one aspect of personality. Leaders with an internal locus of control can adapt their leadership style as required to achieve the leadership objectives effectively and efficiently [6].

What’s your locus of control?

LEt’s find out more about ourselves. You can find a couple of free online assessments related to locus of control. The following example structures the result along different dimensions of life, such as achievement, career, relationships, and health. Comparing different tests, you will see soon that it becomes quite clear how to distinguish between internal and external locus of control.

http://psychologia.co/locus-of-control/

psychologica locus of control test

Example result overview

 

References:

[1] Andenoro, A. C., Sowcik, M. J., & Balser, T. C. (2017). Addressing Complex Problems: Using Authentic Audiences and Challenges to Develop Adaptive Leadership and Socially Responsible Agency in Leadership Learners. Journal Of Leadership Education, 16(4), 1-19.

[2] Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2007). History of modern psychology. İstanbul: Kaknüs Psikoloji Yayınları.

[3] Boone, C., Van Olffen, W., & Van Witteloostuijn, A. (2005). Team locus-of-control composition, leadership structure, information acquisition, and financial performance: a business simulation study. Academy Of Management Journal, 48(5), 889-909. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2005.18803929

[4] Tas, I., & Iskender, M. (2018). An Examination of Meaning in Life, Satisfaction with Life, Self-Concept and Locus of Control among Teachers. Journal Of Education And Training Studies, 6(1), 21-31.

[5] Akca, F., Ulutas, E., & Yabanci, C. (2018). Investigation of Teachers’ Self-Efficacy Beliefs, Locus of Control and Intercultural Sensitivities from the Perspective of Individual Differences. Journal Of Education And Learning, 7(3), 219-232.

[6] Dumitriu, C., Timofti, I. C., Nechita, E., & Dumitriu, G. (2014). The Influence of the Locus of Control and Decision-making Capacity upon the Leadership Style. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 141(4th World Conference on Learning Teaching and Educational Leadership (WCLTA-2013), 494-499. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.086

[7] Cooper, C. (2010). Individual differences and personality (3rd ed.). London: Hodder Education. Retrieved February 3, 2015 from http://cw.tandf.co.uk/psychology//individual-differences- and-personality/

[8] Khan, E. (1998). Carl Rogers, More Relevant Today Than Freud. Retrieved June 6, 2017, from http://adpca.org/publicfiles/library/Carl%20Rogers%2C%20More%20Relevant%20Today%20than%20Freud_Edwin%20Kahn.pdf

[9] Saxena, M. K., & Aggarwal, S. (2010). Developing Emotional Intelligence in Children – Role of Parents. International Journal Of Education & Allied Sciences, 2(2), 45-52.

[10] Banai, B., & Perin, V. (2016). Type of High School Predicts Academic Performance at University Better than Individual Differences. Plos ONE, 11(10), 1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163996

[11] Salgado, J. F., Moscoso, S., & Berges, A. (2013). Conscientiousness, Its Facets, and the Prediction of Job Performance Ratings: Evidence against the narrow measures. International Journal Of Selection & Assessment, 21(1), 74-84. doi:10.1111/ijsa.12018

[12] Bertram, K., Randazzo, J., Alabi, N., Levenson, J., Doucette, J. T., & Barbosa, P. (2016). Strong Correlations between Empathy, Emotional Intelligence, and Personality Traits among Podiatric Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study. Education For Health: Change In Learning & Practice (Medknow Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd.), 29(3), 186-194. doi:10.4103/1357-6283.204224

[13] Boyle, G. J., Stankov, L., & Cattell, R. B. (1995). Measurement and statistical models in the study of personality and intelligence. In D. H. Saklofske & M. Zeidner (Eds.), International Handbook of Personality and Intelligence (pp. 431–433).

Cross-Cultural Transformational Leadership

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In an increasingly interdependent world, global leadership understanding for international collaboration [1] is vital for the development of cross-cultural leadership [2]. This essay provides some hints on what might be determining leadership prototype’s effectiveness from different global perspectives [3].

Universal and culture-specific features of transformational leadership

Transformational leadership facilitates change through shared vision, intellectual stimulation, and support of individual’s aspirations [4] and is therefore essential for solving contemporary threats that require change [5]. Social change movements need to be put into the context of globalization [6]. The effectiveness of general transformational leadership was found a cross-culturally valid concept [7]. For example, transformational leaders were able to motivate their followers independent of cultural context [8]. In contrast, the desirability and effectiveness of transactional leadership turned out to be culture-dependent [9]. On a more detailed level, also transformational leadership contains some culture-sensitive aspects [10]. For example, enabling others to act and challenging the process appeared to be culture independent, while inspiration through shared vision and showing the way was negatively correlated to cultural values such as uncertainty avoidance [11].

Societal and cultural beliefs and values

Following the rationale and evidence that the concept of leadership has to be understood against the backdrop of social, historical, and cultural context [12], what are these factors then? Leadership literature has been criticized for being US-centric [2]. Indeed, 98 percent of leadership concepts stem from Western values and don’t assume a cross-cultural view [12]. As change involves setting goals [13], and as beliefs about goals represent values, it becomes clear that leadership is not decoupled from the social and cultural context [14]. Consequently, subordinates may respond differently according to their cultural value orientation [15]. For example, while, besides a charismatic leadership style, a participative leadership dimension is most important in the US, Latin America prioritizes team-orientation, and Eastern Europe scored highest in team-oriented and human-oriented aspects [16]. According to the implicit theory of leadership, the bedrock of leadership is how a certain style like transformational leadership gets implicitly meaningful and fine-tuned by the cultural endorsement of values such as, for example, collectivism/individualism, power distance, and level of context [17].

Global leadership understanding for international collaboration

Despite significant differences measured on national mean levels, individual differences shouldn’t be forgotten when examining cross-cultural differences [18]. Especially power distance orientation has proven to provide a better individual-level measure than individualism/collectivism as the central cultural value [4]. Power distance orientation describes the degree of acceptance and expectation of unequally distributed power [19, 20]. For example, emotional commitment to a transformational leader was higher among followers low in power distance [21]. Beyond national culture, there are even more relevant variables, such as politics, language, feminine and masculine tendencies, and organizational culture [22]. Person-job fit was fund to mediate inclusive leadership and employee well-being [23]. In an increasingly interdependent world, global leadership understanding for international collaboration [1] is vital for the development of cross-cultural leadership [2]. This essay provided some hints on what might be determining leadership prototype’s effectiveness from different global perspectives [3].

photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)

References

[1] Huffman, J. B., Olivier, D. F., Wang, T., Chen, P., Hairon, S., & Pang, N. (2016). Global Conceptualization of the Professional Learning Community Process: Transitioning from Country Perspectives to International Commonalities. International Journal Of Leadership In Education, 19(3), 327-351.

[2] Rakesh, M., & Steven M., E. (2016). Social power and leadership in cross-cultural context. Journal Of Management Development, (1), 58. doi:10.1108/JMD-02-2014-0020

[3] Jung, D., Yammarino, F. J., & Lee, J. K. (2009). Moderating role of subordinates’ attitudes on transformational leadership and effectiveness: A multi-cultural and multi-level perspective. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(4), 586-603. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.04.011

[4] Kirkman, B. L., Chen, G., Farh, J., Chen, Z. X., & Lowe, K. B. (2009). Individual power distance orientation and follower reactions to transformatioal leaders: A cross-level, cross-cultural examination. Academy Of Management Journal, 52(4), 744-764. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2009.43669971

[5] Berger, R., Romeo, M., Guardia, J., Yepes, M., & Soria, M. A. (2012). Psychometric properties of the Spanish Human System Audit Short-Scale of transformational leadership. The Spanish Journal Of Psychology, 15(1), 367-376.

[6] Chen, S., & Kompf, M. (2012). Chinese Scholars on Western Ideas about Thinking, Leadership, Reform and Development in Education. [e;ectronic book].

[7] Petia, P., & Herbert, B. (2017). Cross-Cultural Variation in Political Leadership Styles. Europe’s Journal Of Psychology, Vol 13, Iss 4, Pp 749-766 (2017), (4), 749. doi:10.5964/ejop.v13i4.1412

[8] Wang, Z., & Gagné, M. (2013). A Chinese–Canadian cross-cultural investigation of transformational leadership, autonomous motivation, and collectivistic value. Journal Of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20(1), 134-142. doi:10.1177/1548051812465895

[9] Hussain, G., Wan Ismail, W. K., & Javed, M. (2017). Comparability of leadership constructs from the Malaysian and Pakistani perspectives. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 24(4), 617-644. doi:10.1108/CCSM-11-2015-0158

[10] Lam, Y. J. (2002). Defining the Effects of Transformational Leadership on Organisational Learning: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. School Leadership & Management, 22(4), 439-52.

[11] Ergeneli, A., Gohar, R., & Temirbekova, Z. (2007). Transformational leadership: Its relationship to culture value dimensions. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 31(6), 703-724. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2007.07.003

[12] Ryu, S. Y. (2015). Kunja leadership: Concept and nomological validity. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(6), 744-764. doi:10.1108/LODJ-12-2013-0167

[13] Clarke, G. A. (2009). An Essay on Leadership, Especially through South African and New Zealand Cultural Lenses. International Journal Of Leadership In Education, 12(2), 209-216.

[14] James C., S., & Joseph C., S. (2001). Leaders and values: a cross-cultural study. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, (5), 243. doi:10.1108/01437730110397310

[15] Louw, L., Muriithi, S. M., & Radloff, S. (2017). The relationship between transformational leadership and leadership effectiveness in Kenyan indigenous banks. South African Journal Of Human Resource Management, 15(1), 1-11. doi:10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.935

[16] Suzana Dobric, V. (2017). Charismatic, Transformational, and Servant Leadership in the United States, Mexico, and Croatia. International Journal Of Business And Social Research , Vol 6, Iss 12, Pp 25-34 (2017), (12), 25. doi:10.18533/ijbsr.v6i12.1003

[17] Yang, I. (2016). Lost overseas?: The challenges facing Korean transformational leadership in a cross-cultural context. Critical Perspectives On International Business, 12(2), 121-139. doi:10.1108/cpoib-09-2013-0036

[18] Lee, K., Scandura, T. A., & Sharif, M. M. (2014). Cultures have consequences: A configural approach to leadership across two cultures. Leadership Quarterly, 25(4), 692-710.

[19] Hofstede, G. (1980), Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.

[20] Hofstede, G. (2001), Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations, 2nd ed., Sage, Newbury Park, CA

[21] Newman, A., & Butler, C. (2014). The influence of follower cultural orientation on attitudinal responses towards transformational leadership: Evidence from the Chinese hospitality industry. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 25(7), 1024-1045. doi:10.1080/09585192.2013.815250

[22] Chin-Chung (Joy), C. (2011). Climbing the Himalayas : A cross-cultural analysis of female leadership and glass ceiling effects in non-profit organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, (8), 760. doi:10.1108/01437731111183720

[23] Choi, S. B., Thi Bich Hanh, T., & Kang, S. (2017). Inclusive Leadership and Employee Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Person-Job Fit. Journal Of Happiness Studies, 18(6), 1877-1901.

Leading the Threat of Change

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Change: Improvement or loss?

Choosing not to change risks failing if change is understood as improvement [1]. In organizations, mainly the investors, but also drivers like competition, globalization, technology, and employees require change [2]. Change always signifies loss that prompts threatening emotions, which cause resistance. Therefore, resistance to change needs to be understood from an individual’s emotional perspective [3]. For example, people mostly don’t alter their change decisions related to moral dilemmas solely based on reason [4]. Often, leaders and managers have a better understanding of the organizational situation than of individuals [5]. Change antecedents, reactions to and consequences from changes like, for example, organizational commitment and job satisfaction, have to be carefully considered. Commitment can positively correlate with a favorable perception of proposed change, while commitment to the status quo can be negatively related [6].

Personality differences in predispositions to resist change

Helping conquering limitations in improving is a core function of leadership, and it is relieving for people to feel understood in their resistance to change [7]. Indeed, supervisory support is a key factor in positively influencing people’s commitment to change [8]. However, there might also be personality differences in predispositions, i.e., having negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors towards organizational change [9]. It is more difficult to positively influence job satisfaction for people characterized by lower levels of openness to change [10]. Increased mindfulness (i.e., engagement in new and healthy thoughts and habits) and tolerance of ambiguity (i.e., tolerance of lack of clarity and uncertainty) predict a more positive attitude toward change [1].

Trust and authenticity in transformational leadership

Change follows a process [11], most simply described as ‘unfreeze,’ ‘mobilize,’ and ‘re-freeze’ [2]. To help people through these phases, understanding their emotional and intellectual needs seems to be essential. Transformational leadership ought to consist of these qualities, but some researchers suggest a broader integration of leadership dimensions, including spiritual elements to bridge the gap between profit strategies and quality of life [12]. Studies found that transformational leadership, regardless of the leaders’ behavior, was positively associated with promoting acceptance of change. Even change-specific leadership behavior could not compensate for transformational leadership, especially when there was a lot at stake personally for the change receivers. A history of long-term trustful relationships with their followers may be the reason for this as consistent research of authenticity in leadership evidenced too. In cases where the job impact of the change was low, rather than transformational leadership, proper change management practices were sufficient for effective change. This finding speaks for a close integration of the change leadership and change management disciplines [13]

We change for what we have chosen for ourselves

Resistance can be a capacity for change itself [14], sometimes coming from positive intentions too [15], and providing feedback from people who may know best about the day-to-day operational details [16]. To support effective change, leadership should involve change-related training [17], possibly also in early developmentally sensitive school years [18]. It is crucial to help individuals experiencing close and successful participation in the change process [19] because people are more likely to adapt what they have chosen for themselves [20].

Photo credit: Geralt (pixabay.com)

References

[1] Dunican, B., & Keaster, R. (2015). ACCEPTANCE OF CHANGE: EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG PSYCHOMETRIC CONSTRUCTS AND EMPLOYEE RESISTANCE. International Journal Of The Academic Business World, 9(2), 27-38.

[2] Higgs, M. (n.d.). Change and its leadership. [Video]. Retrieved February 10, 2018 from http://hstalks.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/main/view_talk.php?t=1104&r=396&c=250

[3] Bailey, J. R., & Raelin, J. D. (2015). Organizations Don’t Resist Change, People Do: Modeling Individual Reactions to Organizational Change Through Loss and Terror Management. Organization Management Journal (Routledge), 12(3), 125-138. doi:10.1080/15416518.2015.1039637

[4] Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A. M., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2017). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, doi:10.1037/xge0000368

[5] Clarke, H. (2013). Context, Communication and Commiseration: Psychological and Practical Considerations in Change Management. Perspectives: Policy And Practice In Higher Education, 17(1), 30-36.

[6] Oreg, S., Vakola, M., & Armenakis, A. (2011). Change recipients’ reactions to organizational change: A 60-year review of quantitative studies. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 47(4), 461-524.

[7] Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2001). The Real Reason People Won’t Change. Harvard Business Review, 79(10), 84-92.

[8] Jaros, S. (2010). Commitment to organizational change: A critical review. Journal of Change Management, 10(1), 79-108.

[9] Erwin, D. G., & Garman, A. N. (2010). Resistance to organizational change: Linking research and practice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal31(1), 39-56.

[10] Hinduan, Z., Wilson-Evered, E., Moss, S., & Scanell, E. (2009). Leadership, work outcomes and openness to change following an Indonesian bank merger. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 47(1), 59-78.

[11] Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review, (March-April), reprint No: 95284.

[12] Gill, R. (2002). Change management or change leadership? Journal of Change Management, 3(4), 307-318.

[13] Herold, D. M., Fedor, D. B., Caldwell, S., Liu, Y. (2008). The effects of transformational and change leadership on employees’ commitment to a change: A multilevel study. Journal of Applied Psychology93(2), 346-357.

[14] Ford, J. D., Ford, L. W., & D’Amelio, A. (2008). Resistance to change: The rest of the story. Academy of Management Review, 24, 274-288.

[15] Clayton, M. (2016). RESISTANCE TO CHANGE. Training Journal, 16.

[16] Ford, J. D., & Ford, L. W. (2009). Decoding Resistance to Change. Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99-103.

[17] Whelan-Berry, K., & Somerville, K. (2010). Linking Change Drivers and the Organizational Change Process: A Review and Synthesis. Journal of Change Management, (2). 175.

[18] Haig, E. L., & Woodcock, K. A. (2017). Rigidity in routines and the development of resistance to change in individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal Of Intellectual Disability Research, 61(5), 488-500.

[19] Choi, M. (2011). Employees’ attitudes toward organizational change: A literature review. Human Resource Management, 50(4), 479-500. doi:10.1002/hrm.20434

[20] Kettleborough, J. (2014). Time to change the way we change. Training Journal, 60-63.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer: Inspiration for the Leader in All of Us

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Father of Motivation and Sage of Maui

The life and work of author and speaker Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who died at the age of seventy-five in 2015, provides the opportunity to reflect on leadership from a holistic perspective beyond a specific organizational setting or national politics. Dyer’s many best-selling books on the practical psychology of personal development towards a positive transformation for all of humanity [1] brought him the nickname of the Father of Motivation by his fans [2]. Writing and meditating on Maui on Eastern Philosophies like Taoism, the Sage of Maui covers the self-conscious wisdom category of the self-help genre [3]. Like in the book ‘Wisdom of the Ages,’ Dyer’s messages focus on virtuous love, inspiration, and patience as found in Confucian, Christian, and Thoreauvian teachings [4]. Having written ‘Erroneous Zones,’ one of the most famous books of all time [5], and if leadership is about influence, Wayne Dyer was an enormous leader in influencing masses around the globe [6]. Although not limited to an organizational goal setting context, the topics Dyer was promoting represent the core of the study of leadership and address change, motivation, inspiration, and influence [7].

A practical, humorous, personal, and sometimes too self-confident leader?

As a Welch proverb puts it aptly: “The hand will not reach for what the heart does not long for” [8], p. 38. In that sense, Dyer’s messages speak empathically to the core desires of people through practical, humorous [9], and personal [6] stories, presented as inviting offerings rather than pushing rules. Practical intelligence is of high importance for leaders [7]. Indeed, Dyer focused on outcome rather than intellectualization [13], one possible reason why he chose the career of an independent writer rather than continuing his university job, which he saw limited to producing papers for the sake of a small self-serving academic community [14]. It was Dyer’s high self-confidence that allowed him to, for example, tell “the shocking truth” he was so convinced about publicly [10] and therefore intuitively take required risks to advance his growth as a leader [11]. Dyer got accused of plagiarism of Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) [12]. However, he did seemingly ignore what other people think of him [4] and unwaveringly continued his mission.

Life transitions and openness to experience

Assertiveness is the candid expression of one’s desires, opinions, and feelings and may help to get the recognition that is a powerful human motivator [7]. Wayne Dyer’s public exposure of his style in writing and speaking may have also reflected a personality tendency of extraversion. In the US, extraversion is a personality trait showcased to create a societal image of openness and friendliness [15]. It is therefore difficult to say how much Dyer’s demonstration of extraversion is part of his working brand to reach the goal of spreading his messages as much as possible, and how much, in comparison, he enjoyed his extended writing retreats on Maui from a more introvert perspective. In any case, according to his children’s accounts, he naturally loved to lecture and entertain others with his vast knowledge [16]. Extraversion and openness to experience are personal characteristics that strongly relate to leadership effectiveness [17]. Wayne Dyer’s openness to experience may be well seen in his demonstration of mindfulness that allowed him to accept new and demanding situations, to further develop his self-image, to promote changes, and to let go of attachments [18]. Dyer went through different career transitions and lived over time with three wives and eight children [3]. He also underwent a spiritual transformation in his “meaning stage” of life. These may be lessons of what Dyer framed in his film ‘Shift’ as “What was true in the morning has become a lie in the afternoon” [19].

Between charismatic mentorship and rescuer syndrome?

Regardless of the leadership position, it seems that the opportunity to help others’ personal growth, rather than sources of satisfaction like power, salary and status [7] represented the main motive of meaningfulness for Wayne Dyer throughout his life. Dyer spent parts of his childhood in foster homes. However, he described himself as seeing and remembering mainly the positive aspects, what helped him already at the age of three to help others in overcoming their despair [10]. It may be this “naturally” developed talent of soothing others distress that adds a charismatic quality [20] to Dyer’s personality. In his thirties, Dyer visited his father’s grave and could resolve his anger towards that person who had left a wife with small children in a difficult situation. This pivotal event of forgiveness might not only have unlocked Dyer’s potential as a writer [10] but may have been necessary not to let the urge to mentor other people become a self-serving compensation for emotional and psychological issues; which would also be known as the rescuer syndrome [21].

Holistic leadership: inspirational motivation, trust, and loving service

Like Einstein and Emerson, Wayne Dyer believed in the Transcendentalist ideas [3] of the human soul being able to intuitively connect to the spiritual truth that creates a collective consciousness [22], itself capable of reconstructing the world [23]. Wishing to lead a God-realized life [24] and occasionally named a self-help guru [25] and pied piper of the movement [5], Dyer could be suspect of suffering self-perceptions of grandiosity [20]. However, Dyer believed, and that’s the position of equality that might have been so appealing to his diverse readers, that the divine realm is available to all [1]. Such an uplifting vision is inspirationally motivating and contributes to a new-genre leadership style that emphasizes an environment of trust and feelings beyond what is necessarily found in transformational leadership [26]. Dyer may be an example of one of the newest leadership theories, that is authentic leadership, and which is true to its values [27]. As a friendly, amiable, assertive, and serving ‘soft leader’ [28], Dr. Wayne W. Dyer lived the messages he taught [6]. It is loving service and unselfish love that makes holistic leadership [29].

 

References

[1] About Dr. Wayne Dyer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drwaynedyer.com/about-dr-wayne-dyer/

[2] Percival, J. (2004). Desire vs intent. Nursing Standard, 19(7), 27.

[3] Valiunas, A. (2010). The Science of Self-Help. New Atlantis: A Journal Of Technology & Society, 2885-100.

[4] Bauman, A., Post, M., & Cooper, P. (2000). Catching Up With…Wayne Dyer. Runner’s World, 35(9), 15.

[5] Rogers,  J.  (2015, September 1). Wayne Dyer, author of ‘Erroneous Zones’, dies at 75. Retrieved from http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/sep/01/wayne-dyer-author-of-erroneous-zones-dies-at-75/

[6] Inam, H. (2015, August 31). Wayne Dyer On Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/hennainam/2015/08/31/wayne-dyer-on-leadership/#5a62d3ea3012

[7] DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

[8] Zufelt, J. M. (2016). Leadership vs Pushership. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 33(9), 37.

[9] Robbins, T. (2015b). Dr. Wayne Dyer interview with Tony Robbins | Power Talk! | Part 2 of 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXpBW4w9ZnY

[10] Robbins, T. (2015a). Dr. Wayne Dyer interview with Tony Robbins | Power Talk! | Part 1 of 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBYO4M_c9UY

[11] Singh, A. (2009). Leadership Grid between Concern for People and Intuition. Leadership & Management In Engineering, 9(2), 71-82. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1532-6748(2009)9:2(71)

[12] Wayne Dyer. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Dyer

[13] Manifesting What You Want. (2016). IDEA Fitness Journal, 13(7), 111.

[14] Dyer, W. (2015) I Can See Clearly Now, Hay House, Inc.

[15] King, F. (2012). RUNNING DEEP: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. NATIONAL REVIEW -BRISTOL CONNECTICUT THEN NEW YORK-, (11). 45.

[16] Anders, N. (2016) Wayne Dyer: Himmel auf Erden ist kein Ort, es ist eine Entscheidung.: Zusammenführung der 55+ höchsten Lebensweisheiten von Dr. Wayne Dyer (German Edition). Freiheit. JETZT! Kindle file.

[17] DeRue, D. S, Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psychology, 64, 7-52.

[18] Day, D. )., & Gregory, J. ). (2017). Mindfulness as a Prerequisite to Effective Leadership; Exploring the Constructs that Foster Productive Use of Feedback for Professional Learning. Interchange, 48(4), 363-375. doi:10.1007/s10780-017-9307-0

[19] Waghmare, H. [Good Health 24/7] (2015). The Shift – Wayne Dyer – Positive Attitude – English [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfT8Ts6wPFs&t=732s

[20] Doyle, M. E., & Smith, M. K. (2001). Classical models of managerial leadership: Trait, behavioural, contingency and transformational theory. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/leadership/traditional_leadership.htm

[21] De Vries, M. K. (2013). Are you a mentor, a helper or a rescuer?. Organizational Dynamics, 42(4), 239-247. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.07.001c

[22] Williamson, A., & Null, J. W. (2008). RALPH WALDO EMERSON’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AS A FOUNDATION FOR COOPERATIVE LEARNING. American Educational History Journal, 35(1/2), 381.

[23] Barney, J. B., Wicks, J., Otto Scharmer, C., & Pavlovich, K. (2015). Exploring transcendental leadership: a conversation. Journal Of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 12(4), 290-304. doi:10.1080/14766086.2015.1022794

[24] Altersitz, K., Bechtel, B., & Mullin, D. W. (2010). ‘Father of Motivation’ offers advice for the self-actualized life. Ocular Surgery News, 28(4), 15.

[25] A Tribute To Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. (2015). Leadership Excellence Essentials. p. 5.

[26] Bonau, S. (2017). How to become an inspirational leader, and what to avoid. Journal Of Management Development, 36(5), 614-625. doi:10.1108/JMD-03-2015-0047

[27] Billsberry, J., & North-Samardzic, A. (2016). Surfacing Authentic Leadership: Inspiration from “After Life”. Journal Of Leadership Education, 15(2), 1-13.

[28] Rao, M. (2013). Soft leadership: a new direction to leadership. Industrial & Commercial Training, 45(3), 143-149. doi:10.1108/00197851311320559

[29] Dhiman, S. (2017). Holistic leadership : a new paradigm for today’s leaders. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Self-Leadership and ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’

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Content

  • Self-leadership process and the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’
  • Emotional self-leadership and authenticity
  • Educational, physical, health, stress, and coping benefits of self-leadership
  • Self-leadership competences in leadership development, recruitment, and work performance

Self-leadership process and the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’

Modern leadership at increasingly challenging workplaces tends to move away from the mere function of supervising employees but aims to empower the workforce to improve organizational effectiveness, e.g., managers being able to rely on their people [1]. “Self-leadership is the process through which individuals target their cognitions and actions toward desired outcomes” [2]. Desired outcomes may be intrinsically motivated [3], or externally influenced, i.e., being learned as, for example, when being asked to set performance goals in an organizational setting [4]. Such task motivation, as well as cognitive thought strategies like visualization, positive affirmations and the examination of personal beliefs, are positively related to career development [5]. These strategies are also supporting a charismatic leadership style [6]. Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ profile can be used to measure self-leadership competency and includes the following seven habits [7], p. 1424:

  1. Be Proactive (take responsibility for your own behavior),
  2. Begin with the End in Mind (have a clear vision of what to achieve and accomplish),
  3. Put First Things First (focus heavily on highly important but not necessarily urgent activities),
  4. Think Win-Win (look for synergistic solutions to problems),
  5. Seek First to Under- stand (listen with the intent to fully understand the other person, both emotionally and intellectually),
  6. Synergize (believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts), and
  7. Sharpen the Saw (seek continuous improvement).

Emotional self-leadership and authenticity

Cognitive and behavioral processes also involve emotional responses as evidenced by neuroscience [2]. Emotion regulation is part of emotional intelligence [8] and together with self-leadership could be conceptualized as emotional self-leadership [9]. When situations cause a person to hide or express feelings differently than the actual emotions, compromised authenticity comes with negative consequences for an individual’s well-being. Inauthenticity may also affect the interaction with others and therefore impact relational effectiveness, be it in private or at the workplace [9].

Educational, physical, health, stress, and coping benefits of self-leadership

Self-leadership can, as a related training program with soldiers showed, significantly improve educational and physical achievements. Further benefits are higher levels of self-efficacy and reduced stress [10]. Healthy self-regulation in high-stress environments as studied in academia can potentially be even increased when combining self-leadership with mindfulness training [11]. For example, cancer patients with self-leadership skills were found to cope better with their disease [7].

Self-leadership competences in leadership development, recruitment, and work performance

Some researchers suggest that self-leadership may help women leaders reflect on themselves to improve their leadership of others [5]. Similarly, the concept seems to be promising for leadership development and recruitment in general [12]. By supporting unsatisfied employees (e.g., contractors concerned about their status of employment) in their self-leadership, perceptions of the workplace can be improved [1]. Extended to the team and societal context, self-leadership is helping team development and performance that will stimulate socio-economic growth [13]. Despite all these general promises, in an organizational workplace context, the following differentiation has to be made. Behavioral strategies such as goal setting are indeed effective strategies, but self-navigation by natural motivation and constructive thought patterns did not positively influence performance in organizational work environments [14].

References

[1] Jooste, K., & Le Roux, L. Z. (2014). The practice of self-leadership in personal and professional development of contract nursing staff in the environment of a higher education institution. African Journal For Physical, Health Education, Recreation & Dance, 275-285.

[2] Yefei, W., Guangrong, X., & Xilong, C. (2016). Effects of emitional intelligence and self-leadership on sstudents’ coping with stress. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 44(5), 853-864.

[3] Ho, J., Nesbit, P. L., Jepsen, D., & Demirian, S. (2012). Extending self-leadership research to the East: Measurement equivalence of the Chinese and English versions of the MSLQ. Asian Journal Of Social Psychology, 15(2), 101-111. doi:10.1111/j.1467-839X.2011.01366.x

[4] Catarina, G., Luís, C., António, C., & Pedro Marques, Q. (2015). Better off together: A cluster analysis of self-leadership and its relationship to individual innovation in hospital nurses / “É melhor em conjunto”: Uma análise de clusters à auto-liderança e a sua relação com a inovação individual em enfermeiros hospitalares. Psicologia, (1), 45.

[5] Dizaho, E. K., Salleh, R., & Abdullah, A. (2017). Ascertaining the Influence of Task Motivation and Constructive Cognition of Self-leadership on Career Development of Women Leaders. Global Business & Management Research, 9439-454.

[6] Anyi, C., I; Heng, C., Amber Yun; Ping, L., Hsien Chun, C., & Yingtzu, L. (2011). Charismatic leadership and self-leadership : A relationship of substitution or supplementation in the contexts of internalization and identification?. Journal Of Organizational Change Management, (3), 299. doi:10.1108/09534811111132703

[7] Yun, Y. H., Sim, J. A., Jung, J. Y., Noh, D., Lee, E. S., Kim, Y. W., & … Lee, S. N. (2014). The association of self-leadership, health behaviors, and posttraumatic growth with health-related quality of life in patients with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 23(12), 1423-1430. doi:10.1002/pon.3582

[8] Furtner, M. R., Rauthmann, J. F., & Sachse, P. (2010). The Socioemotionally Iintelligent Self-Leader: Examining Relations Between Self-Leadership and Socioemotional Intelligence. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 38(9), 1191-1196. doi:10.2224/sbp.2010.38.9.1191

[9] Manz, C. C., Houghton, J. D., Neck, C. P., Fugate, M., & Pearce, C. (2016). Whistle While You Work. Journal Of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 23(4), 374-386. doi:10.1177/1548051816655993

[10] Lucke, G. A., & Furtner, M. R. (2015). Soldiers Lead Themselves to More Success: A Self-Leadership Intervention Study. Military Psychology, 27(5), 311-324.

[11] Sampl, J., Maran, T., & Furtner, M. R. (2017). A Randomized Controlled Pilot Intervention Study of a Mindfulness-Based Self-Leadership Training (MBSLT) on Stress and Performance. Mindfulness, 8(5), 1393-1407.

[12] Ross, S. (2014). A conceptual model for understanding the process of self-leadership development and action-steps to promote personal leadership development. Journal Of Management Development, (4), 299. doi:10.1108/JMD-11-2012-0147

[13] Kristina, H., & Udo, K. (2012). Self-leadership and team members’ work role performance. Journal Of Managerial Psychology, (5), 497. doi:10.1108/02683941211235409

[14] Curral, L., & Marques-Quinteiro, P. (2009). Self-leadership and Work Role Innovation: Testing a Mediation Model with Goal Orientation and Work Motivation. Revista De Psicologia Del Trabajo Y De Las Organizaciones, 25(2), 165-176.

The Benefits of “Sharedness” in Leadership

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Summary. Shared leadership as part of modern transformational leadership style has proven to favorably influence team effectiveness and the achievement of an organizational balance between opportunity-seeking and advantage-seeking innovation, which positively impacts company performance. Mastery goal orientation (i.e., learning and development) rather than performance goal orientation (i.e., competition and social comparison) results in better group performance as required to solve complex problems. Therefore, questioning hierarchy and leadership is critically important to improve teamwork. High professional identification and altruistic and service-oriented goals are necessary for the successful development of collaboration competency and collective leadership.

Shared Consensus in Decision-Making in Animal and Human Studies

Unshared consensus and single leaders were assumed to be the norm in species like macaques and horses. However, studies have found that, in fact, also these animals take decisions based on consensus shared among group members [1]. In human leadership research, shared leadership (including collective and distributed leadership) as part of modern transformational leadership style evidently has a positive effect on team effectiveness [2]. Indirectly through the creation of organizational adaptability that enables finding the balance between opportunity-seeking and advantage-seeking innovation, shared leadership favorably influences company performance [3].

Leadership Style Depending on Relational Trust and Goal Orientation

In healthcare, flat hierarchies and shared decision-making structures that empower leaders on all levels, are suitable strategies to add to patient safety and employee well-being [4]; [5]. Learning is another area for which collaboration is beneficial [6]. Although the most effective way to enhance student achievement is the creation of professional learning communities, many middle schools still focus on managing test scores instead of enabling team learning processes in a collaborative learning environment [7]. Regarding tensions between official functions and citizens, for institutions like police departments, transformational leadership with a shared cooperative vision is imperative [8].

Trust was found to increase the likelihood of collaborative engagement between teachers [9], and to be a success factor for re-culturing schools [10]. Trust seems to be the necessary condition to enable the exchange of knowledge [11]. Shared information and knowledge elaboration allow diverse groups to develop practical solutions to challenging problems [12]. As studies in groups of children showed, leadership styles may depend on whether set goals are related to learning and development (mastery goal orientation) or competition and social comparison (performance goal orientation). Mastery orientation proved to contribute positively to shared responsibility and resulted in better group performance (i.e., solving a complicated math problem) than the performance condition in which lack of communication, member dissonance, and exclusion led to the use of forceful domination instead of cooperative leadership [13].

Challenging Hierarchy and Leadership to Improve Teamwork

Besides individual characteristics such as enthusiasm, vision, and knowledge, organizational culture, political situation, and member composition are influential factors for the development of shared leadership capacity [14]. Questioning hierarchy and leadership to improve teamwork [15] may be necessary but also challenging within traditional settings [16]. Group processes can be problematic for individuals who are used to concentrate high power [17]. Low professional identification as well as weak focus on, for example, patient safety or student success hinders support for shared leadership too [18]. Not insisting in mere self-reliance in information elaboration [12] and valuing altruism and service towards others are critically important for the successful development of collaboration competency and collective leadership [19].

References

[1] Bourjade, M., & Sueur, C. (2010). Shared or unshared consensus for collective movement? Towards methodological concerns. Behavioural Processes, 84(3), 648-652. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2010.02.027

[2] Wang, D., Waldman, D. A., & Zhang, Z. (2014). A meta-analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 99(2), 181-198. doi:10.1037/a0034531

[3] Volberda, H., Jansen, J., Baagoe-Engels, V., , , , & … Volberda, H. W. (2014). Top Management Team Shared Leadership and Organizational Ambidexterity: a Moderated Mediation Framework. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(2), 128-148.

[4] Moore, S. C., & Hutchison, S. A. (2007). Developing leaders at every level: accountability and empowerment actualized through shared governance. The Journal Of Nursing Administration, 37(12), 564-568.

[5] Chen, W., McCollum, M., Bradley, E., & Chen, D. T. (2016). Shared team leadership training through pre-clerkship team-based learning. Medical Education, 50(11), 1148-1149. doi:10.1111/medu.13170

[6] Landini, F., Vargas, G., Bianqui, V., Mathot y Rebolé, M. I., & Martínez, M. (2017). Contributions to group work and to the management of collective processes in extension and rural development. Journal Of Rural Studies, 56143-155. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.09.014

[7] Thompson, S. C., & McKelvy, E. (2007). Shared Vision, Team Learning and Professional Learning Communities. National Middle School Association.

[8] Can, S. H., Hendy, H. M., & Can, M. E. (2017). A pilot study to develop the police Transformational Leadership Scale (PTLS) and examine its associations with psychosocial well-being of officers. Journal Of Police And Criminal Psychology, 32(2), 105-113. doi:10.1007/s11896-016-9204-y

[9] Thornton, K., & Cherrington, S. (2014). Leadership in Professional Learning Communities. Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood, 39(3), 94-102.

[10] Olivier, D. F., & Huffman, J. B. (2016). Professional Learning Community Process in the United States: Conceptualization of the Process and District Support for Schools. Asia Pacific Journal Of Education, 36(2), 301-317.

[11] Dearmon, V. A., Riley, B. H., Mestas, L. G., & Buckner, E. B. (2015). Bridge to shared governance: developing leadership of frontline nurses. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 39(1), 69-77. doi:10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000082

[12] Resick, C. J., Murase, T., Randall, K. R., & DeChurch, L. A. (2014). Information elaboration and team performance: Examining the psychological origins and environmental contingencies. Organizational Behavior And Human Decision Processes, 124165-176. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2014.03.005

[13] Yamaguchi, R. (2001). Children’s learning groups: A study of emergent leadership, dominance, and group effectiveness. Small Group Research, 32(6), 671-697. doi:10.1177/104649640103200601

[14] Nowell, B., & Harrison, L. M. (2011). Leading change through collaborative partnerships: A profile of leadership and capacity among local public health leaders. Journal Of Prevention & Intervention In The Community, 39(1), 19-34. doi:10.1080/10852352.2011.530162

[15] Van Schaik, S. M., O’Brien, B. C., Almeida, S. A., & Adler, S. R. (2014). Perceptions of interprofessional teamwork in low‐acuity settings: A qualitative analysis. Medical Education, 48(6), 583-592. doi:10.1111/medu.12424

[16] Lingard, L., Vanstone, M., Durrant, M., Fleming-Carroll, B., Lowe, M., Rashotte, J., & … Tallett, S. (2012). Conflicting messages: Examining the dynamics of leadership on interprofessional teams. Academic Medicine, 87(12), 1762-1767. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e318271fc82

[17] Hildreth, J. D., & Anderson, C. (2016). Failure at the top: How power undermines collaborative performance. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 110(2), 261-286. doi:10.1037/pspi0000045

[18] Forsyth, C., & Mason, B. (2017). Shared leadership and group identification in healthcare: The leadership beliefs of clinicians working in interprofessional teams. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 31(3), 291-299. doi:10.1080/13561820.2017.1280005

[19] Brown, S. S., Garber, J. S., Lash, J., & Schnurman-Crook, A. (2014). A proposed interprofessional oath. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 28(5), 471-472. doi:10.3109/13561820.2014.900480

Humor as an Effective Leadership Strategy

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Transformational leaders who are utilizing humor are more effective in winning trust and affective commitment from their followers. However, not every leadership style is similarly suited to employ humor as a co-existing leadership characteristic. Several types of humor have to be differentiated, such as, for example, constructive and aggressive humor. Shared laughter avoids conflict, creates teams and sparks innovation. Despite cultural specifics in how followers appreciate leaders’ humor, effective leaders globally may employ humor as a powerful means to harness emotional and diplomatic effects that enable the formation of positive leader-follower exchanges and the leadership of change.

Humor and Leadership: A Bi-directional Relationship

Research has not yet managed to compile a holistic theory of humor and is continuing to study the influences of humor in leader-follower relationships [1]. The expression of positive, such as affiliative [2], constructive [3], and self-deprecating humor as a leader’s offer to bridge authority gaps between him and his followers [4] might increase acceptance of leadership. The effect is two-sided, i.e., a leader’s humor can improve the leader-follower relationship and consequently also creates the atmosphere supportive for further use of humor by the subordinate too that, which on its part reinforces the positive emotions involved on both sides [5]. Transformational leaders who are utilizing humor are more effective in winning trust and affective commitment from their followers [6].

Matching Types of Humor and Leadership

For leaders who set clear expectations related to goals and rewards, humor increases their effectiveness. Interestingly, these leaders are perceived even more persuasive when they use aggressive humor that is pointing to a common threat [3]. However, aggressive humor causes defamation, decry, disrespect, embarrassment, and ridicule of groups and individuals [7]. An aggressive and offensive humor style potentially creates the feeling of exclusion [8], but only among those followers who are not in favor with the leader [9]. For the targets of aggressive humor, the results are often negative impacts on private and professional life, such as related to performance, attendance, safety, and health [7]. Leaders with a rather laissez-fair style can’t afford humor style as it may be seen as a tactic of self-enhancement and a proof for taking the situation not seriously enough [3]. Such dependencies also depend on followers’ need for certainty and guidance; light-heartedness in the form of humor may better resonate with followers who need less structure [10].

The Usefulness of an Organizational “Jester”

The use of humor as a specific aspect of leadership processes can be used to produce shared laughter that is allowing to raise critical topics in a group in a conflict-alleviating way [11]; [12]; [13]. Scientific experiments showed that the stimulation of laughter increased the subsequent creativity of study participants thanks to better mood and a sense of safe environment [14]. The Hallmark Card Company in Kansas City introduced an organizational role with the unofficial description of “jester” that used humorous storytelling in leadership workshops, e.g., in the form of caricatures, to disarray gridlocked hierarchical structures in the firm and foster innovation [15]. While storytelling is helpful to soften unnecessary direct critique, it can also be misused to disinform followers [1].

Humor appreciation depends on cultural context

The extent to which different cultures value humor as a related leadership characteristic may vary significantly. For example, Chinese employees, compared to US workers, emphasize more seriousness than humor in a “serious” work environment to build leader-follower relationships [16]. In conclusion, though, effective leaders globally may employ humor to create emotional and diplomatic effects enabling the lead of change [17].

References

[1] Auvinen, T. P., Lamsa, A., Sintonen, T., & Takala, T. (2013). Leadership Manipulation and Ethics in Storytelling. Journal Of Business Ethics, 116(2), 415-431.

[2] Pundt, A., & Herrmann, F. (2015). Affiliative and aggressive humour in leadership and their relationship to leader-member exchange. Journal Of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 88(1), 108-125. doi:10.1111/joop.12081

[3] Tremblay, M. )., & Gibson, M. ). (2016). The Role of Humor in the Relationship Between Transactional Leadership Behavior, Perceived Supervisor Support, and Citizenship Behavior. Journal Of Leadership And Organizational Studies, 23(1), 39-54. doi:10.1177/1548051815613018

[4] Hoption, C. )., Barling, J. )., & Turner, N. ). (2013). “It’s not you, it’s me”: transformational leadership and self deprecating humor. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(1), 4-19. doi:10.1108/01437731311289947

[5] Maruyama丸山, 淳., & Fuji 藤, 桂. (2017). 職場におけるフォロワーが表出するユーモアの循環的影響. (Japanese). Japanese Journal Of Psychology, 88(4), 317. doi:10.4992/jjpsy.88.15076

[6] Hughes, L., & Avey, J. (2009). Transforming with levity: Humor, leadership, and follower attitudes. Leadership And Organization Development Journal, 30(6), 540-562. doi:10.1108/01437730910981926

[7] Huo, Y., Lam, W., & Chen, Z. (2012). Am I the Only One This Supervisor is Laughing at? Effects of Aggressive Humor on Employee Strain and Addictive Behaviors. Personnel Psychology, 65(4), 859. doi:10.1111/peps.12004

[8] Tremblay, M. (2017). Humor in Teams: Multilevel Relationships Between Humor Climate, Inclusion, Trust, and Citizenship Behaviors. Journal Of Business & Psychology, 32(4), 363-378. doi:10.1007/s10869-016-9445-x

[9] Robert, C. )., Dunne, T. )., & Iun, J. ). (2015). The Impact of Leader Humor on Subordinate Job Satisfaction: The Crucial Role of Leader–Subordinate Relationship Quality. Group And Organization Management, 41(3), 375-406. doi:10.1177/1059601115598719

[10] Pundt, A., & Venz, L. (2017). Personal need for structure as a boundary condition for humor in leadership. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 38(1), 87-107. doi:10.1002/job.2112

[11] Holmes, J. (2007). Humour and the construction of Māori leadership at work. Leadership, 3(1), 5-27. doi:10.1177/1742715007073061

[12] Watson, C., & Drew, V. (2017). Humour and laughter in meetings: Influence, decision-making and the emergence of leadership. Discourse And Communication, 11(3), 314-329. doi:10.1177/1750481317699432

[13] Purcell, D., Heitmeier, B., & Van Wyhe, C. (2017). Critical Geopolitics and the Framing of the Arab Spring Through Late-Night Humor. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 98(2), 513-531. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12296

[14] Teske, J., Clausen, C. K., Gray, P., Smith, L. L., Al Subia, S., Rod Szabo, M., & … Rule, A. C. (2017). Creativity of third graders’ leadership cartoons: Comparison of mood-enhanced to neutral conditions. Thinking Skills And Creativity, 23217-226. doi:10.1016/j.tsc.2017.02.003

[15] Bleich, M. R. (2014). The jester of leadership. Journal Of Continuing Education In Nursing, 45(9), 382-383. doi:10.3928/00220124-20140825-13

[16] Yang, I. )., Kitchen, P. )., & Bacouel-Jentjens, S. ). (2017). How to promote relationship-building leadership at work? A comparative exploration of leader humor behavior between North America and China. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 28(10), 1454-1474. doi:10.1080/09585192.2015.1089065

[17] Vetter, L., & Gockel, C. (2016). Can’t buy me laughter – Humour in organisational change. Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift Fur Angewandte Organisationspsychologie, 47(4), 313-320. doi:10.1007/s11612-016-0341-7

Leadership Philosophy Illustrated by the Example of Robert Owen, Pioneer of the Cooperative Movement

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What are your beliefs and perspectives regarding leadership? What do you think makes an effective leader? Illustrated by the example of Robert Owen, the acknowledged pioneer of the cooperative movement, a leader’s goal, effectiveness, and fellowship is assessed. The brief analysis bases on evidence from research in relevant leadership theories.

General Definition of Leadership

Many of the greatest villains in history were, in some way, successful leaders when the definition of leadership is considered independent of good or evil intentions [1]. In that sense, leadership is generally defined as the “ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals” ([2], p.2). In a capitalist economy, the most basic organizational goal is to compete for profits. Socially responsible and socially irresponsible behavior both are equally present in corporate environments as either of them is exerted only as long as they are underrepresented and therefore providing for a competitive advantage [3].

Robert Owen: Father of the Cooperative Movement & Transformational Leadership

I have chosen British man Robert Owen, who acknowledgedly spurred the cooperative movement as a visionary of cooperative values to address societal issues [4], such as improving labor conditions, reforming education, and banning child labor in factories [5]. Rather than relying on authoritarian power to keep people complying with leadership [1], Owen emphasized benevolence and the desire to promote the welfare of others [5]. Owen’s leadership style was, rather than transactional, much more transformational, i.e., visionary and appealing to people’s good nature [6]. Owen may be even an example of an authentic leader. Authentic leadership is one of the latest theories in the field and focuses leaders authenticity of values, trustfulness, and open communication [7].

Leadership as a Context-sensitive Process

While earlier leadership theories studied individual traits and behavior of leaders without appropriate attention to context [6], modern leadership research integrates bidirectional processes between leaders and followers that are context and time sensitive. [8]. As a reformer and pioneer of socialism in Britain, Robert Owen non-violently led change [9] that may have informed later human resource development (HRD) approaches towards fair and nurturing workplaces [10].  Owen’s communitarian society experiments like ‘New Harmony’ in the US became, albeit not directly achieving its aspirations, valuable for progress in scientific research and the co-operative movement. Owens inconsistency between his optimism to radically change society on the one hand, and his sense for the need of gradual change on the other hand, helped him to inspire a broad variety of different people over time [11]. Because of his persisting beliefs despite failure [11], his courage to lead, his rhetorical skills, and his progressive view on the determining impact of the environment on character contributed positively to Owen’s persuasiveness [12].

Leadership Grandiosity and Followers’ Motives

Some researchers put leadership facets like grandiosity into the context of a narcissistic personality type that is characterized by the belief of superiority in achieving social needs through the self-motive of helping others [13]. The propagation of the advent of a new moral world by the second coming of Christ as a common transatlantic aspect of Owenism [5] may have resonated with followers desire for psychological safety [14]. Other motives to follow the Owenite movement were community creation, self-employment, and exclusive and profitable business opportunities [15]. Figures like Ernestine Rose, an American representative of the women’s rights movement of the 19th century, became followers of Robert Owen because he helped them to reinforce their belief in the possible change towards a more just society [16].

Photo credit: Eliens (pixabay.com)

References

[1] Paschen, M., & Dihsmaier, E. (2013). The psychology of human leadership: How to develop charisma and authority. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

[2] DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

[3] DeMaCarty, P. (2009). Financial Returns of Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Moral Freedom and Responsibility of Business Leaders. Business And Society Review: Journal Of The Center For Business Ethics At Bentley College, 114(3), 393-433.

[4] María Fernanda, L. G. (2013). La teoría sobre la naturaleza del hombre y la sociedad en el pensamiento de Robert Owen como base del socialismo británico (1813-1816) / Robert Owen’s Theory on the Nature of Man and Society as a Base for British Socialism (1813-1816) / A teoria sobre a natureza do homem e da sociedade no pensamento de Robert Owen como base do socialismo britânico (1813-1816). Historia Crítica, (50), 213.

[5] Harrison, J. C. (1968). THE OWENITE SOCIALIST MOVEMENT IN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES. Labor History, 9(3), 323.

[6] Doyle, M. E., & Smith, M. K. (2001). Classical models of managerial leadership: Trait, behavioural, contingency and transformational theory. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/leadership/traditional_leadership.htm

[7] Billsberry, J., & North-Samardzic, A. (2016). Surfacing Authentic Leadership: Inspiration from “After Life”. Journal Of Leadership Education, 15(2), 1-13.

[8] Dinh, J. E., Lord, R. G., Gardner, W. L., Meuser, J. D., Liden, R. C., & Hu, J. (2014). Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 36-62.

[9] Sirucek, P. (2015). Polozapomenute postavy ekonomickeho mysleni–Robert Owen. (Half-Forgotten Personalities of Economic Thought–Robert Owen. With English summary.). Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, 23(4), 78-85.

[10] Hatcher, T. (2013). Robert Owen: A historiographic study of a pioneer of human resource development. European Journal Of Training And Development, 37(4), 414-431. doi:10.1108/03090591311319799

[11] Mclaren, D. J. (1996). Robert Owen, William Maclure and New Harmony. History Of Education, 25(3), 223-33.

[12] Lambert, P. (1966). A New Light on Owen and Co-operatives of the Pre-Rochdale Type. Annals Of Public & Co-Operative Economy, 37(3), 305.

[13] Humphreys, J. )., Hayek, M. )., Pane Haden, S. )., Williams, J. )., Novicevic, M. )., & Gibson, J. ). (2016). Disharmony in New Harmony: insights from the narcissistic leadership of Robert Owen. Journal Of Management History, 22(2), 146-170. doi:10.1108/JMH-05-2015-0167

[14] Raes, E., Decuyper, S., Lismont, B., Van den Bossche, P., Kyndt, E., Demeyere, S., & Dochy, F. (2013). Facilitating Team Learning through Transformational Leadership. Instructional Science: An International Journal Of The Learning Sciences, 41(2), 287-305.

[15] Thornes, R. (1981). Co-operation and the English Working-class movement 1816-44. Bulletin — Society For The Study Of Labour History, (43), 4-5.

[16] Anderson, B. S. (2017). The New Moral World. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756247.003.0003

Escaping (Psycho-)Logic Traps for Better Solutions

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Summary. Social traps are situations in which individuals take rational (and often egoist) short-term decisions that, however, lead to negative collective results in the long-term. Some psycho-(logic) traps involve an isolating and limiting view on available behavioral choices. Because everyone needs to feel competent to take future action, the failure trap lets people deny their potential for further learning and engage in task-irrelevant actionism. The sunk cost fallacy is such an example in which, due to already made investments, there is a reluctance to change the unsuccessful course of behavior. Most social issues are not unfortunate events; they have to do with whether we base our solution design on observations rather than assumptions, and whether we accept our duty to act as if we trusted others, although there is always evidence for peoples untrustworthiness. Rather than limiting our fight for survival on individual competition, we can act as institutional entrepreneurs, guiding groups, and societies towards a better future.

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