Author's Construct Theory Book Report

Pages: 4 (1409 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Leadership

¶ … Theory/Construct of on Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis' (2003) work on Becoming a Leader deals with many of the same issues that other leadership books address. However, Bennis' (2003) approach is not necessarily the same. Each author in the field of leadership brings something new and unique to the table when he creates a particular work, especially if that work builds on the past works of others. The main focus that Bennis (2003) looks at is leadership as a long-term pursuit. In other words, being a leader for a day is often relatively easy, but being a leader for a long period of time and remaining efficient and effective is far different. Leaders have to be human, and they have to appear human to their followers, or they will not be as likely to retain a strong following. Unfortunately, too many leaders fail to realize that until it is too late for them and they have been replaced by someone else - who will most likely make the same mistakes.

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Some companies have good leadership, where the people want to follow along and they are very happy. Other companies do not have anything close to that, and the people who work in those kinds of companies struggle to find their way because they do not have effective leadership to help them. Bennis (2003) points out that leaders have to know who they are, before they can do anything to help out their followers or the company or organization that they are trying to lead. While it is very unfortunate, this knowing oneself is not a concept that the largest majority of leaders adhere to. They often see it as something that is done by people who are weak, or people who are 'touchy-feely.' Bennis (2003), though, indicates that knowing oneself is a vital part of being a good leader because everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

TOPIC: Book Report on Author's Construct Theory Assignment

If a person, as a leader, understands that about himself, he is more able to recognize characteristics and traits in other people so he can work with the strengths and weaknesses of his team. Bennis' (2003) work adds a great deal to the pursuit of leadership with his basic theory that leaders must know themselves so they can know and understand their followers. Another part of Bennis' theory is that leaders must shape events, rather than allowing the events that they are involved in to shape them. This is innovative learning, and when leaders use it they can end up much better off than they were before, because they are forced to adapt what they are doing to the task at hand, rather than attempt to force the task to adapt to the way they have always done things.

One significant part of Bennis' (2003) construct is the willingness - and permission - to make mistakes. A leader should be careful to do things right, but mistakes are human and they will happen. They can be learned from, which can help to propel a business forward. Also, mistakes show that a leader is willing to take chances and try something new. If a leader does not take any chances, it is very hard for the business to grow. The company or organization will stagnate, and the followers will becoming disenchanted and leave for other opportunities. If the leader is trying new things and practicing innovative ideas, though, his followers will be much more likely to stay around to see what kinds of new things are going to be tried next. It makes things interesting.

One of the people who Bennis (2003) is often compared with is Gardner (1990). Gardner's book on Leadership addressed similar themes. The main theory of Gardner (1990) was that people who lead are doing so ineffectively, because they are not being held accountable for their actions. Until leaders are held accountable, there will not be significant improvements to the way that leadership is handled. Bennis (2003) agrees with that, but takes it further and shows that leaders should be accountable not only to their followers, but to themselves. When they are accountable to themselves, they often care much more about what they are doing, because they have personal goals and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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