In a time when some of our corporate heroes have become villains, it is necessary to revisit our models of leadership. The problem resides in a wrong understanding of leadership as merely a series of behaviors that when properly applied will produce the desired results—namely, motivated followers who will happily strive to achieve the goals of the organization or, on some occasions, those of the leader. This concept of leadership contains a fundamental flaw: lack of internal consistency between behavior and values. One can adjust one’s behavior to what is expected, but one’s actions may not be the true reflection of one’s convictions and preferences. The behavioral model of leadership can produce false or hypocritical leaders. A leader’s actions may fit the situation, but his intentions do not. In today’s business world, we need to search for a model in which behavior is a reflection of something deeper within the person. We need to search for a model not to substitute for, but to complement, views of leadership developed during recent decades. As the opening quote indicates, let’s turn our eyes to the past in order to look for new ideas.
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