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Leadership As Meaning-Making

The Evolution of the Leadership Principle in the Post-Industrial Era: From Dominance to Meaning-Making

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Leadership As Meaning-Making

  1. 1. Leadership as Meaning-Making The Evolution of the Leadership Principle in the Post-Industrial Era: Dominance to Meaning-Making Guest Lecturer American Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies University of California at Berkeley Summer 2010 Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  2. 2. Taken-for-granted Assumptions <ul><li>Leadership is a quality or ability of a person </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership & authority are closely linked: authority confers leadership, while leadership is the exercise of authority </li></ul><ul><li>When leadership needs to change, it is leaders who change </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  3. 3. Difficult ideas <ul><li>shared leadership </li></ul><ul><li>everyone is a leader </li></ul><ul><li>distributed leadership </li></ul><ul><li>leadership teams </li></ul><ul><li>self-managing teams </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  4. 4. Questions raised by the junction of new ideas and old assumptions <ul><li>If everyone is a leader, does this mean that everyone needs to possess special leadership qualities and abilities? </li></ul><ul><li>If leadership is shared, what happens to authority and accountability? </li></ul><ul><li>If leadership is a function of teams, how do you change leadership? </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  5. 5. Evolving Leadership Principles Carlos F. Camargo, PhD dominance influence meaning- making Personal Leadership Relational Leadership
  6. 6. Dominance <ul><li>Most basic of all leadership frames </li></ul><ul><li>Master of the House </li></ul><ul><li>Protection and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>“ authoritative utterance” </li></ul><ul><li>Controls & limits conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership is what the leader does </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  7. 7. Some Limits of Dominance <ul><li>The ability of the leader to provide guidance and protection is limited </li></ul><ul><li>The ability of people to believe in the leader’s personal power is limited </li></ul><ul><li>The capacity of people to rely on someone else for guidance and protection is limited </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  8. 8. Overcoming the Limits of Dominance <ul><li>Take into account the limitations of the leader </li></ul><ul><li>Connect the leader to the concerns of followers </li></ul><ul><li>Include followers in the process of leadership </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  9. 9. Influence <ul><li>Flowing from leader to follower </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Human reason, empiricism replaces “authoritative utterance” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Leader should first serve as a follower to understand the follower’s mind ” -- Hegel </li></ul><ul><li>Get others to do what they don’t want to do & like it </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  10. 10. Some Limits of Influence <ul><li>The ability of any one person to understand multiple meaning-making “worlds” </li></ul><ul><li>The ability of any one person to influence people in different “worlds” </li></ul><ul><li>The ability of people to be influenced by ideas, feelings, and values based on a “world” different from their own </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  11. 11. Overcoming the Limits of Influence <ul><li>See meaning as a shared creation of people working together </li></ul><ul><li>De-center leadership from the person to the process of shared meaning-making </li></ul><ul><li>See people as taking part in leadership together </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to make leadership work across “worlds” </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  12. 12. Meaning Making <ul><li>Brings meaning into being </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning, knowledge, & reality are shared creations </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership is the shared search for and construction of meaning and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>People participate in leadership together </li></ul><ul><li>“ Leader” & “follower” represent ways of participating in leadership and do not define it </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  13. 13. Assumptions of the Meaning-Making Principle <ul><li>An individual person cannot create meaning alone </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning is a shared, reciprocal achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning is embedded in communities and cultures </li></ul><ul><li>power, authority, influence, & values are outcomes of a meaning-making process </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, leadership creates leaders, not the other way around. </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  14. 14. Not Assumptions of the Meaning-Making Principle <ul><li>That leadership is always distributed </li></ul><ul><li>That power, authority, & responsibility are always distributed </li></ul><ul><li>That everyone is equally capable of participating in leadership </li></ul><ul><li>That strong personal leadership is ruled out </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  15. 15. Shifts in Leadership Development <ul><li>Dominance principle = Prepare the leader for the challenges of mastery </li></ul><ul><li>Influence principle = Enhance Self-knowledge and interpersonal skill to enable the person to effectively exercise leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning-making principle = Increase the capacity of the community to make meaning through inter-relationships </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  16. 16. Highly Developed Leadership Participants of the Future . . . <ul><li>will understand the “self” as incomplete & interdependent </li></ul><ul><li>will be able to appreciate multiple and conflicting “worlds” </li></ul><ul><li>will be able to link differing perspectives and translate among “worlds” </li></ul><ul><li>will have the capacity to engage in dialogue </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  17. 17. To evolve to the next principle, ideas that need letting go . . . <ul><li>That an individual is the source of leadership </li></ul><ul><li>That authority & power are sources of leadership </li></ul><ul><li>That some people have more leadership than others </li></ul><ul><li>That individuals develop “their” leadership </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD
  18. 18. & ideas that need taking on . . . <ul><li>That the work of every person includes participating in leadership in some way </li></ul><ul><li>That authority & power, as community resources, are open to inquiry and contingent on need </li></ul><ul><li>That people are responsible for their job in relation to the whole </li></ul><ul><li>That dialogue is a key tool of leadership </li></ul>Carlos F. Camargo, PhD