Leaving Yongsan Station. (c) Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Jaques and Clement on Leadership and Subordinate Behaviours

Forrest Christian Managing, Theory Leave a Comment

In their book, Executive Leadership, Elliott Jaques and Stephen Clement make the point that almost any personality type can be an effective manager — role that contains leadership. (They go to lengths to make it clear that leadership does not exist outside of a particular role performance.) These personality quirks are irrelevant until they become disruptive to the organization or the person’s performance. Thus, both aggressive and conciliatory personalities can be effective as long as the traits don’t deteriorate into bullying and caving in, respectively. They are pretty harsh at analogies that management “leadership” writers make with other relationships, such as parent-child, salesman-client and spouse-spouse.

…in particular are those analogies which try to persuade managers that if only they can get to understand the psychology of their subordinates they will be better able to exercise effective leadership and to ‘motivate’ them. Instead, it should be made clear at every level of the management hierarchy that it is simply not acceptable for individuals to behave in ways that are disruptive to their own working relationships with other or to relationships between others. In short, every individual can be required to leave his or her psychopathology at home…

How true.

Image Credit: Leaving Yongsan Station. © Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

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