Anyone Can Be a Leader

Twisted Leadership
Leadership is a process, not a role, which means that no matter what your job in your organization, there will be opportunities and a need for you to lead to get the work done effectively. Based on extensive leadership research, professors Charles Manz and Craig Pearce clearly present their case in their new book, Twisted Leadership: How to Engage the Full Talents of Everyone in Your Organization.

“Leadership is a dynamic social process, not just a role occupied by someone at the top,” according to Manz. “Our book shows people how to combine four practical leadership approaches/strands to create strong, synergistic, intertwined leadership that can be exchanged among all members of an organization based on the context, goals, knowledge, experience, or general needs of everyone involved.” This twisted leadership can be used to combat what they see as the “leadership disease,” the overly simplistic view that leadership primarily resides in one person or a small set of people who influence lower-level subordinates. That view fosters corruption, abuse of power, and the waste of human talent by those in power.

The four leadership strands are:

  • Self-leadership – which largely explodes the notion of sheep-like followers by designating everyone as a leader . . . of themselves
  • SuperLeadership – a practical, hierarchically connected approach to leadership that’s centered on leading others to lead themselves and one another (to self-lead and share the lead)
  • Shared Leadership – which describes how nearly every group member can play an important role in a dynamic, interactive, leadership process
  • Socially Responsible Leadership – which connects leadership to a value base that’s concerned with the welfare and needs of all stakeholders

The authors show how to integrate and balance these four strands of leadership across a broad range of situations. They also argue that leadership development has to be applied across a much wider range of people, to the whole workforce. “The lines between leaders and followers (who often know more and are in a better position to exercise leadership over themselves and others at key points of work processes) have become blurred,” says Pearce. “The time has arrived for a new kind of twisted leadership that works with and for everyone.”

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