The leadership gap

  • Zaleznik A
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Abstract

Zaleznik's article is a critical assessment of a mystique that places a premium on the team over the individual as practiced in business and taught in our business schools. It's an argument for substance over process that calls for restoring the individual to his or her proper place as the source of vision and drive that can make an organization unique. The image of leadership projected is one of substance, humanity, and morality, which are qualities Zaleznik believes are painfully short in our collective lives. Good ideas and exciting directions generate enthusiasm, support, and cohesion in an organization. Professional managers with their bag of tools can indeed coordinate and control, but have lost sight of the substance of work in business. Self-esteem follows, not from submerging oneself in the team and following process, but from facing problems, assuming responsibility, and doing good work. Zaleznik argues the business schools have served as socialization plants to fit managers for the life of process found in modern organizations. They have taken an uncritical stance to their main constituency and, as a result, have discouraged searching examination of business practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Authors

  • Abraham Zaleznik

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