According to Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman, successful leadership comes from a collaboration of people with a common mission. Such cooperation of great minds is what creates great works with ease than what an individual can do. Though the society lives in the mindset of one hero - one leader, the sophistication of the current situation now demands teamwork and collaboration in order to achieve the meaningful success. Even in leadership of large corporations, there is a paradigm shift where there is no individual but a society of leaders. As a result, they are able to deliver effectively.
The cooperative leadership as put across by the author tends to bring creative people together. Thus, the group can deliver the task ahead with great efficiency. As a leader it is what is expected by the team members. A leader should creatively seek ideas and means to complete the task at hand. Also, according to my opinion, leadership should be energizing and motivating. Such point conforms to the author’s viewpoint about group leadership where a group is always motivated and remains focused on a particular goal.
Leadership exists when there is a leader and one or more followers. Such concept is also in lines with the writer’s view, when he explains the extraordinary leaders in great groups like Steve Jobs and Walt Disney. Leadership, according to me, should bring a behavior in the followers that are goal-oriented and purposeful. It is also what the author has written in the book. The seven examples given depict a group of people that formed an alliance to achieve a particular goal or mission.
The trait theory has some similarities as well as differences with the writer’s group theory. One of the similarities is that the trait theory has a leader with ambitious and goal-orientated trait. It is true with the author’s view in group leadership where those perceived as leaders in the groups had great goals, visions and ambitions. For example, Steve Jobs in the Apple when making the Mackintosh or Bob Taylor at PARC.
Another similarity is the cooperative trait in the trait theory as well as the group theory. For successful leadership, the leader must be able to foster cooperation among the members so that total participation is achieved among all members of the group. Alertness to the social environment is also another shared similarity between the trait leadership and the writer’s view. The book explains that even being gifted, one person has to consult others for some connections or solving some problems.
However, the trait leadership style contrasts with the author’s view on several issues. One, the trait theory views leadership to have a dominant leader who influences others, while the writer’s views are that, in a great group each member is allowed to work as they fit. The trait theory heavily relies on the individual traits, such as assertiveness, empathy and decision-making for effective leadership. For the group leadership such traits are not considered as most members are focused to a particular goal.
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