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Toward an understanding of caudillismo as a prototype of leadership in latin america


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This paper suggests that the prototype leader of Latin America is a caudillo, a strongman leader. The author substantiates the suggestion that “caudillismo” is one of the predominant prototypes of leadership in Latin America from various historical and cultural perspectives, intermingled with examples from her own experiences. Prototypicality (categorization theory) is explained and diagrammed together with its implications for leadership. A working definition for leadership in a collectivistic society is provided together with the etymology of caudillismo. The author proposes that caudillismo (the practice of strongman leadership) springs from the ethos of Latin America’s monolithic Catholicism. This ethos or cultural conditioning of Latin America is embodied by five overarching values (generosity, dignity, leisure, grandeur, and manliness). These values give fertile ground to caudillismo as a prototype or culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory. These cultural values are explained and both the virtuous and shadow sides of caudillismo are described. The paper offers some reflection questions and practical implications for expatriates like understanding one’s own leadership prototypes, learning to name the tension one experiences with the differences in leadership expectations, needing to broaden one’s categories of right and wrong, recognizing one’s limitations, receiving the gift of contact with another culture, discerning judiciously and respecting the caudillo.

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Toward an understanding of caudillismo as a prototype of leadership in latin america

  1. 1. TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF CAUDILLISMO AS A PROTOTYPE OF LEADERSHIP IN LATIN AMERICA by Lisa Anderson-Umaña B.S., Penn State University, 1982 M.A. Wheaton College Graduate School, 1993 COMPREHENSIVE EXAM PAPER Submitted to Dr. Donald Guthrie in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course ES 9975 Comprehensive Exams at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois July 2014
  2. 2. © 2014 Lisa Anderson-Umaña All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Accepted: ______________________________ First Reader ______________________________ Second Reader ______________________________ Program Director
  4. 4. iv ABSTRACT This paper suggests that the prototype leader of Latin America is a caudillo, a strongman leader. The author substantiates the suggestion that “caudillismo” is one of the predominant prototypes of leadership in Latin America from various historical and cultural perspectives, intermingled with examples from her own experiences. Prototypicality (categorization theory) is explained and diagrammed together with its implications for leadership. A working definition for leadership in a collectivistic society is provided together with the etymology of caudillismo. The author proposes that caudillismo (the practice of strongman leadership) springs from the ethos of Latin America’s monolithic Catholicism. This ethos or cultural conditioning of Latin America is embodied by five overarching values (generosity, dignity, leisure, grandeur, and manliness). These values give fertile ground to caudillismo as a prototype or culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory. These cultural values are explained and both the virtuous and shadow sides of caudillismo are described. The paper offers some reflection questions and practical implications for expatriates like understanding one’s own leadership prototypes, learning to name the tension one experiences with the differences in leadership expectations, needing
  5. 5. v to broaden one’s categories of right and wrong, recognizing one’s limitations, receiving the gift of contact with another culture, discerning judiciously and respecting the caudillo. Keywords: Cross-cultural Leadership, Management in Latin America, Global Management, Leaders Prototypes, Caudillismo, Caudillaje, Strongman leader, Categorization theory, Attribution theory, Latin American leadership, Cultural differences in leadership.
  6. 6. vi To Latin America, a place I have learned to call home, “mi patria”
  7. 7. vii CONTENTS LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Toward an Understanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Caudillismo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Prototype of Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Categorization Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Segment 1: Cultural Conditioning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Segment 2: Incoming Stimuli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Segment 3: Search for Prototype by Perceivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Segment 4: Attribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Segment 5: Implications of Matches or Mis-matches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Latin America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Definition of Leader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Latin American Perspectives on Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Etymology of Caudillo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Ethos of Latin America (its cultural conditioning) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Dignity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
  8. 8. viii The Shadow Side of Dignidad: Posturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Shadow Side of Leisure: Public Sunning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Grandeur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The Shadow Side of Grandeur: Ostentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Generosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Shadow Side of Generosity: Clientelism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Manliness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 The Shadow Side of Manliness: Machismo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 In Summary: The Shadow Side of the Caudillaje Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Best of Caudillo Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Worst of Caudillo Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Practical Implications for Expatriates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 On a Personal Note. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Name the Tension…. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Broaden my Categories of Right and Wrong… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Recognize your Limitations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Receive the Gift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Discern Judiciously. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
  9. 9. ix Respect the Caudillo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Alternatives to Caudillismo as a Prototype . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 REFERENCE LIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
  10. 10. x ILLUSTRATIONS Figure Page 1. Figure 1: Culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership/leadership prototyping. The diagram is drawn by author based on articles by Cronshaw & Lord (1987), Nye & Forsyth (1991) and Rosch (1978. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2. Figure 2: "The Onion": Manifestations of culture at different levels of depth. Hofstede and Hofstede (2005, 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 3. Figure 3: Categorization of cultural differences, adapted from Duane Elmer, Cross-cultural connections (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2002), p. 27. Used by permission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
  11. 11. xi TABLES Tables Page 1. Table 1: Summary of contrasts between "Protestant man" and "Catholic man as informed by Glen Caudill Dealy’s writings (1966; 1974; 1977; 1992). . . . . 18
  12. 12. 1 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF CAUDILLISMO AS A PROTOTYPE OF LEADERSHIP IN LATIN AMERICA Introduction The author heard these snippets of conversation at an international event for leadership training held in Latin America and wondered how well-studied their thoughts were. “I figure a leader is a leader all around the world. They are pretty much the same no matter where you go. “If you’ve been successful in one place, you can teach anyone anywhere.” “I know what I mean by leader and that is what I will teach others to be. Besides, I’ll be teaching from the Bible, the Word of God.” “We aren’t talking about political leaders, politics are always dirty; we are talking about leadership in Christian organizations.” Perhaps unknown to them are the following considerations: Leadership is culturally contingent and looks different in each region (House et al. 2004). What makes a leader successful in one region may be not desirable in another region (Hofstede 1980). Life in Latin America is political. Politics is life. They cannot be separated; they mirror each other (Freire 1984). The central argument of this paper is that one of the approaches to leadership in Latin America is caudillismo. In caudillismo there is a “strongman” whose power emanates more from his personality and charisma than from any formal position. He is surrounded by loyal supporters and “friends” garnered through family connections or favors
  13. 13. 2 and he takes care of his own. For expatriates serving in Latin America, awareness of caudillismo as a prototype can enable them to adjust their expectations and become more effective in their own leadership efforts. Caudillismo as an approach to leadership has its virtuous side, as well as its shadow side, and both will be enumerated. Expatriates and nationals need to recognize and affirm caudillismo as a legitimate form of leadership, be cautious of its fallen forms, and work together to redeem its good use. This paper concludes with a number of concrete suggestions for expatriates to apply in a ministry and/or business setting. This paper begins by parsing out all the terms in the title, then providing a diagram to explain prototyping and its implications for leadership. Next, a brief section will outline what is meant by “Latin America.” Then, it provides a working definition for leadership in a collectivistic society, highlighting the etymology of caudillismo. The largest section proposes to connect caudillismo with Latin America’s ethos, its cultural values, demonstrating both its virtues and its shadow sides. Finally, the paper details practical implications for expatriates serving in ministry/mission or business in Latin America. Toward an Understanding “Toward an understanding of caudillismo (strong man) as a prototype of leadership in Latin America” represents a deliberate, thoughtful process on the part of the author to deepen her understanding of what leadership looks like in Latin America, how it works, and what implications that holds for expatriates (a person living outside his or her own country or culture). The word “toward” in the title indicates that what follows will not
  14. 14. 3 resolve all challenges related to leadership in Latin America. Toward extends an invitation for others to join and contribute to an open, civil, collective discussion. Toward indicates a kind of constructive process that honors Latin America’s history and what is, not insisting “things be done like in the USA.” Finally, toward serves to point out what the author thinks are some promising ways for expatriates to work within the existing leadership prototypes of the Latin American culture. 1 Caudillismo The Latin American reader may object to the use of the word caudillo in that it conjures up images from the 18th and 19th centuries, heroes and dictators alike. Some may feel caudillo is pejorative. For others, it might be merely descriptive of a style of “strongman” leadership. Some may get defensive and point to other regions of the world, claiming that caudillismo is not unique to Latin America, and can be found in Africa, parts of Asia and even southern Europe. Indeed, a case could be made that basic caudillo roots are found in most of the Mediterranean cultures, including Arabians and their strong impact on the major part of what is now Spain (Berg 2014). The author acknowledges these varying perspectives but notes that none deny the existence of caudillismo in Latin America as one of the predominant metaphors, styles, or prototypes of leadership. A number of authors substantiate the existence and persistence of caudillismo in Latin America: (Nida 1974; Núñez C. and Taylor 1989; Berg and Pretiz 1992; Dealy 1992; van der Woerd 2004; 1 Author was inspired by Christian Smith’s (2011) use of the word “toward” in the introduction to his book.
  15. 15. 4 Prillaman 1998; Wolf and Hansen 1966; Lynch 1993; Hamill 1992; Castro Martinez 2008; Romero 2004; Krauze 2012). Given its ubiquity in Latin America, the author anticipates understanding it more and hopefully redemptively applying caudillismo in its context. Prototype of Leadership “A leader prototype is a summation of the major and most common aspects composing a follower’s concept of what a leader should be”(Romero 2004, Nye and Forsyth 1991). More simply put, while academics and other experts still argue over a conclusive definition for leader, the common person in any culture can point out a leader because they already possess in their minds a “prototype” or “shared schema” of a typical leader (House et al. 2004; Shaw 1990). Another way to understand “leader/follower prototypes” is the concept of “culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership” which all societies have (Dorfman et al. 2012). The GLOBE Study (Chhokar and House 2007) made these implicit theories explicit for 62 societies in their seminal study. Hofstede (1980) describes how each society “culturally conditions” its members to perceive reality in certain ways, with the caveat that “characterizing a national culture does not, of course, mean that every person in the nation has all the characteristics assigned to that culture” (1980, 45). Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) define culture as the collective mental programming of the people in an environment, like software of the mind. Culture is not a characteristic of individuals but rather of large numbers of people who have been conditioned by the same education and life experience. Triandis et al. (1984) use the term cultural script
  16. 16. 5 to describe “a pattern of social interaction that is characteristic of a particular cultural group” (1984, 1363). The author will explain the categorization theory which underlies prototypicality, and why knowing a culture’s prototype is helpful. Then, having already named “caudillismo” as one of the predominant prototypes of leadership in Latin America, the author will proceed to substantiate that suggestion from various historical and cultural perspectives intermingled with examples from her own experiences. Categorization Theory All the terms like prototype, shared schemas, cultural conditioning, cultural script, and implicit theory of leadership point to the reality that, in general, “individuals have personal assumptions about the characteristics and abilities needed for successful leaders” (Nye and Forsyth 1991, 361). So, when they observe Person X or situation Y, their brain (which includes their emotional response) immediately tries to match what they see with their mental “prototype of leader/follower.” If a match is made, a “leader or follower” label is applied. This is called “attribution.” Elmer (1993) describes how those serving in foreign countries can fall prey to positive or negative attribution due to differences in cultural conditioning. For instance, once a visiting leader accused the members of the national team as lacking initiative, only to find out that they were waiting upon his instructions out of respect and deference. How easy it is to “misattribute” differences as negative! There are five segments to becoming familiar with prototyping theory. For a visualization of this process see Figure 1: Culturally endorsed implicit theories of
  17. 17. 6 leadership/leadership prototyping. The diagram is drawn by author based on articles by Cronshaw & Lord (1987), Nye & Forsyth (1991) and Rosch (1978). Figure 1: Culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership/leadership prototyping. The diagram is drawn by author based on articles by Cronshaw & Lord (1987), Nye & Forsyth (1991) and Rosch (1978). Segment 1: Cultural Conditioning As noted in the introduction, some expatriates ignore the fact that leadership is culturally contingent and each culture has been programed (“software of the mind”) to value certain characteristics and behaviors in their leaders/followers and to find other characteristics as less desirable. For example, whereas in some countries delegation may be seen as positive leader behavior, high use of delegation may be viewed by people from other
  18. 18. 7 countries as weak leadership (Offermann and Hellmann 1997). A prototype reveals the culture’s preferences. Understanding of how others act and therefore how one should act in culturally appropriate ways will be deepened if one knows what is valued in that culture. Further on in this article, the author will describe five overarching values Latin America espouses which give fertile ground to caudillismo as a prototype or culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory. Reflection question on segment 1: To what extent does the expatriate coming to Latin America know what the culture values? Segment 2: Incoming stimuli The expatriate entering into the foreign culture is the stimulus person, be he or she in a position of leader or follower. His actions, attitudes, or characteristics are closely observed by all. Reflection questions on segment 2: To what extent is the expatriate aware of his or her actions or reactions? Does she realize how closely she is being observed, particularly in the Hispanic collectivistic culture where “when in public you are fair game” (Lozano 1997)? Segment 3: Search for prototype by perceivers As the observers perceive the stimulus person, their brains make a limited search for that category prototype that matches his or her salient features or characteristics. For the expatriate working in Latin America, just knowing what someone might be thinking or assuming a successful leader is would be helpful. Prototyping is not an exact science. It
  19. 19. 8 would be presumptuous for anyone to claim to know the thoughts of another, let alone someone from another culture. However, insofar as studying a culture’s implicit theories of leadership can bring understanding, understanding caudillismo may prove helpful. A prototype leader provides a basis for predicting with reasonable accuracy (but never absolute certainty) the actions, patterns, and the reactions of their followers. Every leader one meets in a given culture may or may not be “the predominant prototype,” just like not every US citizen is punctual, nor is every Latin American tardy, but stereotypes have their place in deepening our general understanding of a culture. Reflection questions on segment 3: To what extent does the expatriate know what prototypes he or she already possesses regarding leadership? How do they compare with those of the host culture where they reside? Segment 4: Attribution In a matter of seconds, those with whom the expatriate works will make inferences or attributions. In caudillismo, followers expect leaders to be strongmen and the leaders (caudillos) expect loyal followers. These attributions are important because “leaders cannot choose their styles at will; what is feasible depends to a large extent on the cultural conditioning of a leader’s subordinate… The crucial fact about leadership in any culture is that it is a complement to subordinateship” (Hofstede 1980, 57). Followers are as much a part of the prototype as are leaders. Other cultures may see leadership as situational, a style that one can put off and on like a garment. This understanding seems more individualistic;
  20. 20. 9 focusing on the leader, ignoring the pressure followers will put on leaders to act in certain ways. Reflection questions on segment 4: What does the foreign leader look for in a follower? How would the expatriate describe effective leadership? Segment 5: Implications of matches or mis-matches Lord and Maher (1991) noted that the greater the match between what the perceivers have in their minds as a leader prototype and how the expatriate acts, the more they will let themselves be influenced because they see (perceive) the individual as a leader. Brodbeck (2000) observed “that leader-follower relationship is more likely to be characterized by trust, motivation and high performance when there is congruence between the implicit leadership theories of the persons. …The more the leadership concepts between foreign managers and relevant attributers in a host country differ, the less likelihood that cross-cultural leadership will be accepted and effective” (Brodbeck 2000, 2). What others think and how they perceive the foreign leader matters. The followers decide whether or not, or to what degree, they let themselves be influenced. Reflection questions on segment 5: Up until now, how much influence has the expatriate exercised in his or her host country? In the estimation of a trusted and culturally aware national, is there a close match or a mis-match between the national leadership schemata and the expatriate’s? In light of the implications of categorization theory for leadership, the author desires to work toward an understanding of caudillismo as a prototype of leadership in Latin
  21. 21. 10 America. Knowing caudillismo is one (not the only) prototype of leadership in Latin America prevents the expatriates from turning their own cultural prototype into an idol, as the way to lead, the only truth about leadership, the life-giving leadership needed to save the organization. Knowing and understanding this prototype can bring insight, and foster greater humility and openness in areas of disagreement. Latin America Some call “Latin America a ‘term of convenience’ to describe an area covering twenty independent nations located in North, Central, and South America in which three languages are spoken: Spanish (18 countries), Portuguese (1), and French in another” (Roca 1962, 247). Other names have been offered like Hispano-Indiano (Duron 1896), Iberamericano, and Amerindia. Mottesi (1992) recommends the term Hispanoamerica (in English “Spanish America”) because it removes from purview Brazil (former colony of Portugal) and the French colonies (Haiti, some South Caribbean islands and some countries found in the northern region of South America). Rangel (1982) observes that Hispanoamerica has the same stamp from its conquerors, colonizers, and evangelists. It has a mutual language, same major religion, and a common link to Spain (Zea 1970). Brazil, too, is in the same category, as noted by Morse (1954, 96): “Notwithstanding their differences, Brazil and Spanish America both participated in a quasi-feudal, pre-capitalist, Catholic ethos.” Nevertheless, the term “Latin America” was used by the famous Cuban writer Jose Martí (1853-1895) who conceived of terms like “Nuestra Patria” (our country) and “lo propio,” ,“lo nuestro” (“ours” denoting a strong sense of ownership) as a response to the very
  22. 22. 11 real imperialist and interventionist threats (Avelar 2000). The common cultural elements that exist from Mexico to Argentina advocate the use of the term Latin America. That is not to say that all Latin American countries have the same culture. One can still identify unique characteristics of each Latin American country; much like one can appreciate the differences between Los Angeles and Detroit, but still identify a common North American culture in both. Lozano (1997) writes: Although Latin America is a mosaic of accents, racial mixtures, political traditions, and social customs, it remains mosaic (italics in original)—that is, a common pattern, a distinguishable design, a complex but characteristic texture. A common culture does not suppose the same accent or history, but a sense of recognition and understanding that is based on aesthetic grounds, myths, rituals, and social expressivity…. Latin Americans recognize themselves as such in spite of national or regional differences. (Lozano 1997, 197) In addition to the literary point of view, cultural anthropology denominates Latin America as its own region (Chhokar and House 2007; Hofstede and Hofstede 2005b; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner 1998). According to the GLOBE studies, there is a very low variation between the ten countries of Latin American studied, making them relatively homogeneous (Ogliastri et al. 1999). Definition of Leader Northouse (2009), speaking from a Western perspective, offers approximately eleven categories of leadership theory, each with its own distinctive or nuanced definition of leader. No such categorization exists for Latin America. The Western mind thinks in categories, compartmentalizing and isolating objects from their context in an attempt to discover the rules governing such behavior (Nisbett 2004). The Latin American mindset,
  23. 23. 12 which in its collectivism is similar to East Asia, thinks more holistically, in a diffuse and less categorical manner, taking into account the context, the relationships (kinship) and the subtle cues, gestures, tone like the silent language explained by Hall (1960). Huaylupo Alcazar (2005), a Costa Rican, argues that the common view of leadership is individualistic and ignores social collectivity. He claims historical context, social relations, and interaction make a leader; leadership is the expression of a community of people who are represented by their leader. This paper will discuss in these collectivistic terms: Leadership is the product of the relationships between the individual and his/her social group. It is impossible to speak about relationships of power without mentioning the social context that assigns, validates, and produces the needed hierarchical faculties… To suppose that a leader has the capacity to control results independently of the protagonists, the circumstances, and the nature of the social space is naïve and a genuine deception. It is false that the social processes are the handiwork of some superhuman metaphysical entity. The power of the leader is relative in relation to his/her interaction with the community; it is not autonomous power…. (Huaylupo Alcazar 2005, 165– 167) The definition used by GLOBE studies shows sensitivity to collectivism as they define organizational leadership as “the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members” (Chhokar and House 2007, 6). Depending on one’s line of research, so goes their delineation of leadership (Bass 2008); thus there are countless ways to define a leader. For the purpose of this inquiry, these key issues should be kept in mind (Huaylupo Alcazar 2005) :  A leader is not an autonomous superhuman entity.
  24. 24. 13  Leadership is the product of the relationships within the community or social group.  A leader forms part of his/her historical and social context. Latin American Perspectives on Leadership Having already made the point that Latin Americans are generally not inclined to categorize and compartmentalize, leadership does not exist as its own genre of literature and academic study in Spanish like it does in the North Atlantic (North America and Northern Europe) where “how-to-be-a-leader” books are a glut on the market. Nevertheless, a rich variety of narratives about leaders and leadership exist. The author proposes that while Latin America does not offer well-researched academic schools of thought on leadership a la Bass and Stogdill (1990), it offers instead a sort of narrative of leadership, formed from patterns observed, rooted not in laboratory tested categories but in historical, relational settings. Nevertheless, one North American author, Silvert (1966, 326) offers a categorization of seven types of leadership in Latin America, one of which is caudillo as a type of governmental r ule. Tedesco and Diamint (2013) call caudillos “power usurpers” who, even today, take advantage of weak institutions, to increase their likelihood of being elected. Notwithstanding these authors, Dealy (1977) builds a much stronger case to understand caudillismo with his analysis of Latin America according to its common cultural denominator: Monolithic Catholicism.
  25. 25. 14 For four hundred years, Catholicism was the reigning religion of the Spaniards who conquered and colonized the inhabitants of the lands from Mexico to Argentina. Catholicism was imposed on the numerous indigenous groups and used to subdue and control the population (Galeano 2009). The Catholicism of the Spaniards was all powerful, indivisible (monolithic), and uniformly enforced through the use of the “Holy Inquisition” on both sides of the Atlantic. This practice kept at bay any Protestant influence in Latin America from Europe or North America. It was not until the end of the Mexican War of Independence in 1821 that the Holy Inquisition was abolished. With the ensuing separation of the Roman Catholic Church from the powers of the State, Protestants were finally invited into Latin America (Grossman 2002). One might point out that several countries in Latin America can now boast of the percentage of Protestants (Evangelicals) being in the double digits or that Uruguay has the largest population of atheists and non-religious people in Latin America (Johnstone 2001; Levine 1995). One may also observe large segments of the population in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the coastal areas of Central America are of African descent. Even so, from Mexico to Argentina, Catholicism has left an indelible mark on Latin America. Outwardly, one notes the predominance of the Catholic cathedrals with their Spanish style architecture and audibly one notes the universal use of the Spanish language (even the indigenous people groups have had to learn Spanish to communicate with the population at large). Inwardly, the spirit and ethos of Latin America remains permeated by its predominant religion, Catholicism (Dealy 1992). When one observes Latin America, one can
  26. 26. 15 find hunting and fishing cultures, stable village patterns, groups molded into feudal-like organizations, highly industrial urban complexes, and highly technological, globalized sectors (Silvert 1966; Wagley and Harris 1955). What do they all have in common? Catholicism. Dealy (1966; 1977; 1974; 1992) provides a broad description for Latin America within which one can understand caudillismo. Leadership does not occur in a vacuum but reflects the social context (Tedesco and Diamint 2013). Etymology of Caudillo “Caudillaje” (cow-dee-ya-hay)-from the word caudillo (cow-dee-yo) according to the Diccionario enciclopedico ilustrado de la lengua española, is “one who, as head (chief) and superior guides and commands people.” Wolf and Hansen (1966) point out that literally translated “caudillo” means “Chieftain,” and is derived from the Latin “caput” meaning “head.” Lynch (1993) notes that during the Colonial period the word was used by Spanish royalty to refer to the figure of leader and gradually during the wars of independence, its use took on a military tone, but still did not refer to a specific title or position. Little by little, the use of the word “caudillo” began to develop the profile of boss (jefe) but still one lower than the President of the country. The expression situated him between the abstract idea of leadership and an institutional reality. The people of those times would have understood the term to mean someone who could govern with or without the office of the State or its authority. At first sight, the people of Latin America would recognize
  27. 27. 16 a genuine caudillo and understand that his authority and legitimacy did not depend on formal institutions or constitutions, but on his actions and personality. A parallel word the Spaniards found being used among the Indians was cacique, an Arawak word meaning boss. Due to its easy translation, they used it to refer to indigenous local leaders (Kern 1973). For the purposes of this paper, the Spanish word “caudillaje” will refer to the entire social order and its values and “caudillismo” will refer specifically to its leadership style. A word of explanation is required with what will be perceived as the lack of “gender inclusive” language. The egalitarian ideals of the North Atlantic are far removed from a world which assigns the woman a private sacralized role in the family and the man a public role. Admittedly, Latin America has had female presidents (Eva Perón for example) and many women serve in leadership roles in society’s institutions, but the notion of caudillismo carries a strong male component which will be reflected in this paper. There are several different views of caudillismo. Some speak mostly pejoratively of caudillismo (Hamill 1992; Prillaman 1998) and others like British professor and historian John Lynch (1993) express a more historical perspective. His thesis is that caudillismo is related to a particular time and social conditions. He describes the emergence of caudillismo at the beginning of the 18th century, during the wars of independence, after Spain lost its power over the New World. Lynch’s point of view contrasts with Dealy’s since Dealy sees caudillismo as part of a caudillaje society which is characteristic of most Catholic nations. Dealy traces the influence of St. Augustine’s Hellenistic philosophy to St. Tomas Aquinas thinking and subsequent writings of the Roman Catholic Church. Aquinas said:
  28. 28. 17 “’The idea of King implies that he be one man who is chief and that he be a shepherd seeking the common good of the multitude” (quoted in Dealy 1992, 23). Many famous caudillos (Batista, Castro, Somoza, or Pinochet, Ortega, or Noriega), took that notion to heart, and saw themselves as presuming to act on behalf of the community’s welfare. The Ethos of Latin America (its cultural conditioning) The culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership recognize the fundamental role cultural conditioning plays in creating prototypes. The shared experiences, education, and heritage of a nation cause its citizens to deem some behaviors and characteristics as contributing to outstanding leadership/followership. How does Latin America culturally condition its citizens? What is the spirit and ethos of Latin America? “The ethos of a people is its organized conceptions of the Ought” (Dealy 1992, xi). “Ought” meaning, how should we live? What is the right way to live? Here are the five “Oughts” of Latin American society as conceptualized by Dealy (1992). 1. Dignity 2. Leisure 3. Grandeur 4. Generosity 5. Manliness
  29. 29. 18 Another way to comprehend these “oughts” is to see them as cultural values. Hofstede and Hofstede (2005, 7) describe culture as multilayered, like an onion where one can observe symbols and practices of a culture like how they dress and drive, but it is necessary to peel back layer upon layer, just like peeling an onion, to really understand the core and appreciate their values. See Figure 2: "The Onion": Manifestations of culture at different levels of depth Hofstede and Hofstede (2005, 7). These “oughts” describe the cultural values of a society in which caudillismo flourishes. This section will begin with a chart comparing what Dealy calls the North American “Protestant man” or “private man” as with the Latin American “Catholic man” or “public man.” This chart will elucidate the differences and legitimatize each, showing how both are rational pursuits stemming from very different cultural values. See Table 1: Figure 2: "The Onion": Manifestations of culture at different levels of depth Hofstede and Hofstede (2005, 7).
  30. 30. 19 Summary of contrasts between "Protestant man" and "Catholic man as informed by Glen Caudill Dealy’s writings (1966; 1974; 1977; 1992). Protestant capitalist man Catholic public man Prototype man The prototype man-- Benjamin Franklin The prototype man-- Niccolo Machiavelli Spirit Spirit of capitalism Spirit of caudillaje Goal The goal of man is to go it alone. The goal of man is to be a public leader, a caudillo who acts for the common good. Means to that goal The means is accumulated wealth thus the economic virtues of hard work, frugality, and reinvestment of capital. The means is the currency of public power, friendship, contacts, networks, and clientele. Truism “It takes money to make money.” “It takes friends to make friends” Although prized for itself, friendships are not just sentiments of private congeniality but often function as a means to obtain power and influence. Public appearances Private man avoids being idle in public, “idle hands make the devil's work” Public man avoids appearing in public alone, an objective sign of his status is being surrounded. But this entourage is not horizontal--among equals- -one is surrounded, the others are surrounders. It is hierarchical in nature. The man at work Efficiency is a priority and obtained through hard work, clearing one’s desk and attending to all his clients. Results matter. Efficiency is not prized, nor aspired to. Through centralizing all the responsibilities on himself, everything and everyone must go through him. He doesn’t delegate. People must wait on him for decisions from great to small. When clients come to his office, he makes them wait. Then he attends to them, savoring their dependence on him. Mediation He takes care of business on his own. No dependence on mediators is sought; this comes from its Protestant rejection of mediators between God and man. Nepotism is scorned. Status must be achieved, not gained by loose family relations. Again the goal is to stand on your own two feet, “to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” is greatly admired. Stock markets assist men in getting rich. The “phenomenon of intercession” is mediation by friends. Connections are paramount to getting anything done. Friends can intercede on one’s behalf to accomplish almost anything. Without such intermediaries very little would be achieved. Catholicism relies on the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saints and in general society, compadres. If you don’t have “friends” (connections), you can borrow some from another friend. Schooling School is a place to get ahead through education and the accumulation of knowledge and skills. School is the place to create networks. Status Status is gained by one’s achievements. Status is gained by ascription and depends on your birth family, your family name, your network of connections. Table 1: Summary of contrasts between "Protestant man" and "Catholic man as informed by Glen Caudill Dealy’s writings (1966; 1974; 1977; 1992)
  31. 31. 20 Dealy notes in what may be a historically accurate but now dated description: “For the North American reader it will be difficult to suspend judgment due to our predispositions towards a more egalitarian view of leadership. Indeed caudillismo appears to violate many of the North American values. …As one describes caudillaje society, feelings of social superiority and missionary zeal toward Hispanic America are naturally congruent with that misconceived, albeit sometimes caring, assessment” (Dealy 1992, 20). Even Latin American readers may ask: Is not caudillismo a barbaric form of leadership that will someday progress to more civilized style of leadership, similar to what one might find in the United States? …When will we finally get it right? No culture fully attains its own noble pursuits and yet ironically tends to look upon others mode of life as inferior or superior. Recognition of the goodness and noble pursuits of Latin American culture reveals respect for one another’s dignity; enjoyment of leisure, appreciation for grandeur, esteem for generosity, and admiration for manliness (Dealy 1992). Dignity Dignity alludes to good manners but it goes beyond just following good manners like formal greetings, code of proper attire, and compulsory forms of polite speech. To help make the distinction, the Spanish word will be used: Dignidad. …The North American value of “doing your own thing” is an affront to personal dignidad,ie laid-back conduct, slurred single-syllable speech, careless dress, and minimal hygiene. (Dealy 1992, 100) “The ultimate goal is to be respected—to be attributed dignity—in spite of skin color or poverty” (Brusco 1995, 103). The biblical concept of imago dei, each person’s being made in the image of God, underlies this dignified treatment of one another.
  32. 32. 21 Interestingly enough, “even small children in the United States know the necessity of paying back sums borrowed against the collateral of future allowances, while youngsters in Latin America are equally aware of the tangible rewards reaped by offering respectful greetings and showing proper linguistic and social deference to the elders and friends”(Dealy 1992, 101). The importance of saving face and keeping one’s dignidad intact is even part of the Spanish language whereby one can avoid fixing blame for personal mistakes that were not intentional (accidents) by saying, “The cup fell.” (se cayó la taza), Or “it broke itself” (se rompió la taza). For the North American learning the language, it seems like a lack of responsibility not to make the individual own up to his or her mistakes. Seen in light of caudillismo leadership, dignidad promotes leaders who act “bien educado” –well-educated in the sense of treating others with respect and conferring on them dignidad, leaders who, when in public, treat their opponents (enemies) with due courtesy. Triandis et al. (1984) speaks of Hispanics as having a distinguishable “cultural script” of simpatia. This word has no equivalent in English but “refers to a permanent personal quality where an individual is perceived as likeable, attractive, fun to be with, friendly and easy-going” (1984, 1363). Triandis et al. (1984) uses the following descriptors of simpatia which embellish on the meaning of dignidad.  Shows certain levels of conformity  Has an ability to share in other’s feelings  Behaves with dignity and respect towards others  Seems to strive for harmony in interpersonal relationships  Demonstrates general avoidance of interpersonal conflict
  33. 33. 22 Had the author been more knowledgeable of the cultural script of simpatia, perhaps she would have committed fewer mistakes—or maybe other ones!—like the time she proudly listed her accomplishments for the week, only to suffer the ire of her boss over having slighted numerous national co-workers in pursuit of her goals. She found out too late that results were truly secondary to respecting people’s dignity and being simpatico. The Shadow Side of Dignidad: Posturing While the dignidad of each person is important, in a collectivistic society, this can turn into a relentless quest for “social ascendency, an all-engrossing struggle for status, a search to look good, to earn the favor and admiration of others”(Brusco 1995, 103). Within Christian circles, it is called: “Taking care of your testimony.” Dealy notes that self- ascendency can be seen as self-exaltation, arcane, ambiguity-laden, and an irrational concern for face (1992, 100). In a leader’s quest for social ascendency, he can begin to treat a person according to the impression he makes, rewarding or punishing only by outward appearance. At the same time, he may concern himself only with “seeming,” ignoring the inner being from which one’s leadership flows. Leisure Leisure in Latin America is understood as “time to enjoy.” There is a famous Spanish saying: “Salud, amor, dinero, y tiempo para gozarlos.” (Health, love, money, and the time to enjoy them). Thus festivity and joviality are abundant no matter the socioeconomic
  34. 34. 23 class. In contrast, Ben Franklin said: “Time is money.” Many North Americans tend to view time as something to be saved, invested, and spent wisely. “Latin Americans have never glorified participation in production per se… Working is not an end in itself but rather a means to achieve leisure, business is a way to get enough money to enjoy life… The foreigner should avoid associating nonwork with laziness or insufficient desire to get ahead because work is considered intolerable when it takes away time for sociability and friendships. No one wants to feel like they are a slave to work and therefore unable to have the time to savor life, to enjoy friends and gather a following” (Dealy 1992, 112–113). This depreciation of toil has been attributed to the commonly held Catholic belief that work was part of God’s curse as a result of the Fall in Genesis chapter three2 . This contrasts with the Protestant work ethic that views work as a blessing from God, a vocation, a means to find fulfillment in life (Weber 2011; Sabean, Aragon V., and Anderson-Umana 2013). But a word of caution is needed: North American culture can undergo the same social guile and “blithely criticize a Latin American’s rational resistance to work without bringing into question the soundness of his own rational addiction to work” (Dealy 1992, 210). The high value assigned to accomplishments and productivity by North America is dubious, 2 Robert Sabean, a long-time missionary in Latin America, notes that while many people credit the Catholic Church for teaching work as punishment for sin, it does not appear as an official Catholic doctrine. In his book (Sabean, Aragon V., and Anderson-Umaña 2013) Sabean does note that the depreciation of work in Catholic countries is a continuation of the Greek ideal of leisure, nothing more. It is so, because the southern European nations were never touched by the Protestant Reformation, which interpreted work as a vocation. The Greek ideal of leisure shuns work as beneath one’s dignity, fit only for a slave.
  35. 35. 24 while there is much to be admired in a society which places a high value on relationship building and time to enjoy them (Margaona 2012). The Shadow Side of Leisure: Public Sunning Grier (1997) studied 63 ex-colonial states to test whether Protestantism is positively related to economic growth and development and whether religion can help to explain why Spanish ex-colonies perform markedly worse than their British counterparts. He found that former Spanish and French colonies (both steeped in the Catholic tradition) perform significantly worse in economic growth on average than former British colonies. Another study shows how “democracy lagged in Catholic and Orthodox parts of Southern and Eastern Europe where Protestants had little influence” (Woodberry 2012, 245). The shadow side of leisure may be “public sunning” and may result in a lack of progress as measured by economic growth, along with its companions of low productivity, and lack of thoroughness. Villacorta (2008) noted that a fatalistic spirit sometimes pervaded society, a resignation which says: “oh well, what can you do?” (ni modo, ¿qué se puede hacer?) which makes change and innovation an uphill battle. While contracting someone to install hot water in the author’s home, she noted one of the workers missing. When asked about his whereabouts, his co-worker nonchalantly said: “He made enough for the week and will be back on Monday (it was Wednesday).” Or this expression can be heard when someone wins the lottery, often with envy in their voice, “He won’t have to work anymore.”
  36. 36. 25 Grandeur Grandeur is evident in a love for beauty, formality, fashionable dress, and protocol, like giving an opening speech or allowing guests who arrive to a meeting an opportunity to “speak a word” or “bring greetings.” The author’s first experience of grandeur happened while attending a birthday party in Mexico City. The entire group of family and friends sat around a group of children who were taking turns reciting poems, playing the piano, reading excerpts from books, and making little speeches, all to the festive applause of those present, young and old alike. The Mexicans deep appreciation for beauty in prose, music, and oratory was evident. Dealy (1992) describes grandeur as “displayed perfection, or a devotion to form and style, grandeur notably reveals itself through oratorical capacity, making flowerly speeches, long discourses, and waxing eloquent. … Elocution within a caudillaje ambience, almost as surely as cash within the capitalistic world, creates a springboard for personal aggrandizement. It was said that the five-time re-elected Ecuadorian José Maria Velasco Ibarra famously boasted ‘Give me a balcony and the people are mine’”(1992, 119–120). Catholic culture has its roots in a much older conception according to which pleasing speech is one of man’s noblest accomplishments... Quintilian, born in Spain (A.D. 35-c. 96) and Rome’s most famous teacher of oratory after Cicero fixed the agenda for future times by connecting oral invention to public esteem…. Latin America socializes its members to understand that speech is the most natural and expressive means to please others. (Dealy 1992, 121) The oratory of Latin America is still in line with the Greco-Roman tradition which was built into the medieval culture and continues in the culture of the Mediterranean countries (Spain-Portugal) which exported its people and culture to Latin America (Sabean, et al 2013). In contrast, “the North American synonyms for oration are usually derogatory
  37. 37. 26 like bombast, harangue, rant, preachment. …Ironically, a North American politician is permitted to show off objects of affluence signaling material achievement, but would be met with scorn and derision if he put on airs or made a show of grandeur” (Dealy 1992, 120, 127). Grandeur can entail the suave use of words to relate very horizontally with the people (tú a tú in Spanish), interpreting their interests in a very paternal, caring manner (Wiarda and Clary 2010). Grandeur also includes arrangements for elaborate ceremonies, décor, attention to fashion, and strict adherence to polite social protocol. Gussinyer (2000, 447) notes how Spain’s colonization for three centuries left the entire continent with an architecture of grandeur. Throughout Latin America, in small towns and large cities, one will find the central plaza with the Catholic Church on one side, the municipal building on the other, with a park separating them. When a leader lays out a vision, a North American expects a linear, step-by- step plan to be presented with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time- bound) goals, a timeline, and resource estimates. What a Latin American audience will expect and a Latin leader may give is much different. It is more of a narrative, a group of ideas and thoughts expressing desires, intentions, inspiration, and heartfelt emotions. If one searches for specifics, categories, the poetic, grandiose nature of the discourse will be missed. Part of grandeur is a deep appreciation for the past, where leaders revel and glorify the past. Modern examples being Hugo Chavez’ (late Venezuelan president/caudillo) open adoration of Simon Bolivar and Mel Zelaya’s (former Honduran president removed by
  38. 38. 27 a coup) efforts to bring the remains of Honduras’ hero Francisco Morazán to rest in Honduras. The Shadow Side of Grandeur: Ostentation When left unchecked, excessive oratory can slide into ostentation and braggadocio, a characteristic of many Latin leaders according to Oppenheimer (2010, 68). Oppenheimer (2010) criticizes Latin American leaders’ fascination with the past as blinding them to the need for future thinking and long-term planning far beyond their political tenure in order for sustainable progress to be made. Pleasing speech, when used for sinister motives, can manipulate and inflame emotions, and is called populism. Populism appeals to the emotions, prejudices, and fears of a certain group to gain power. In Latin America, both the right and left wing use populism to promote their political motives. “The populism of the caudillo is simply part of the flowery rhetoric and empty promises with which they incite the masses to action” (Lynch 1993, 264). The author had a personal experience with populism when her daughter was in third grade and ran for “class president” in a class election. Each student was to create a poster which was displayed all week in the hallway and then was given time for a 3 minute speech. That day she returned home chagrined and downcast. “Mom,” she explained, “I lost to a girl who promised to give everyone pizza if they elected her president.” Somewhat perturbed, I asked: “Well, did she bring the pizza as promised?” To which my daughter replied with a shrug: “Of course not, Mom, no one expects her to keep her promise, they just like the idea.”
  39. 39. 28 Generosity Generosity has several faces, one which is amply testified to by many a short- term worker to Latin America: “They had so little, comparatively, but they served me the best food they had. Little did I know that due to their generosity, their meal was only rice and beans because they served me the meat.” Testimonies like above abound; scarcity does not diminish the cultural value of generosity. The author became acquainted with this value while sitting next to a stranger on a bus. As the stranger opened a bag of chips to munch on, she kindly shared her bounty with her neighbor. Another face of generosity could be called “reciprocal generosity,” meaning, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Collectivism weaves an intricate web of close, interdependent relationships. Siblings, parents, godparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and friends relate to one another closely, often in physical proximity and most often emotionally intertwined. Generosity, helping one another, is the glue that helps keep the bonds strong. People help those who have helped them and don’t injure those who have helped them. Success in leadership depends largely on building personal ties of loyalty with their following (Wolf and Hansen 1966, 168) for which generosity is key. The upshot of reciprocal generosity, used frequently by those in power, is the strategic use of acts of liberality. Acts of liberality can yield bountiful returns upon investment. When skillfully undertaken, these daily exercises first ensnare, then oblige, and finally seal and ensure bonds of social indebtedness. Latin Americans know that there is a high probability that gifts or charitable gestures in the present will be compensated in the future. Therefore, spending today builds one’s investment work tomorrow; sooner or later generosity will come back in diverse forms of assistance. (Dealy 1992, 129)
  40. 40. 29 Dealy (1992) notes that this line of thinking is considered utilitarian for the North American who tends to concentrate on things rather than human relations, often stacking up treasures to define his worth. (My pile is bigger than your pile) ... “The North American, confident that saving, not spending, builds a secure tomorrow tends to go it alone, has a self-centered ethos, and seems to strive to lay up treasures on earth sufficient to avoid the commitments and recompense demanded by close relations. Dealy notes that some North Americans practice a faceless and tax-deductible generosity (ex. Giving through United Way). Latin American generosity rationally maximizes benefits to themselves, just as capitalists rationally use charity for tax deductions (Dealy 1992, 129–131). The Shadow Side of Generosity: Clientelism Clientelism is defined as “a political tool to increase power through different means, such as the distribution of benefits (jobs, money, or goods) or political negotiations” (Auyero 1999). Clientelism is a two-way street—the politicians use and abuse public resources to gain political benefits, but citizens exhibit a clientelist logic by expecting some type of benefit in exchange for their participation (Tedesco and Diamint 2013). Clientelism as a tool of leadership is very well-studied and much has been written about its use in politics (Grugel 1991; Morse 1954; Chevalier 1992; Dominguez 2002; Margaona 2012; Wiarda and Clary 2010; Bassols Ricardez, Escamilla Cadena, and Reyes García 2008; Corrales 2008; Romero 2004; Auyero 1999; Barbu 1956; Ogliastri et al. 1999; Molero 2002). However, what is distinctive to the caudillaje society is its wide-spread use in everyday living. Not much gets done without having friends. There are numerous ways to describe clientelism in
  41. 41. 30 everyday life and the terms vary from country to country: conectes (connections) tener muñeca (to be able to move things), tener palanca (to have leverage), tener cuello (to have pull). Generosity can become Machiavellian and corrupt, creating a vicious cycle of dependence and dominance. Indebtedness can be used manipulatively when people owe you a favor. Dealy however cautions against overzealous criticism of the modus operand of caudillismo, since “on what basis does one attack people who engage in successful living by relying on the influence of others? It’s easy to condemn since North Americans have less use for the intertwined, recompensing human associations related to clientelism, but the use of family, friends and favors and reciprocal friendships makes perfect rational sense within Latin America... What doesn’t make sense to Latin Americans is why would anyone want to found a culture of solitary individuals who, in the aggregate, constitute no more than a lonely crowd”(Dealy 1992, 73)? Manliness The last overarching cultural value to describe the “ought” or the cultural conditioning of Latin American society is manliness. Chivalry is not dead in Latin America. For the most part, women still wait for the man to open the door, fathers and older brothers are protective of the women of the house, and women act ladylike, expecting men to flatter and compliment them. Of course, modern times and globalization bring changes but chivalry is still expected and appreciated. For the man, masculinity often involves sexual capability and a proclivity toward self-assertion that includes verbal action.
  42. 42. 31 It is noteworthy that most of the narratives written about famous caudillos in Latin American history describe their particular physical prowess and mental dexterity. The physical prowess could involve taming horses, throwing a lasso, shooting, endurance on long military marches, but most especially the ability to seduce a woman (Dealy 1992; Lynch 1993; Hamill 1992). Within familism (Ingoldsby 1991), manliness is seen positively, a unifying factor, where the father and older brothers assume a protective posture of care and protection for the family. “It describes a male who values honor, courage, responsibility and strength in his role as a husband or father” (Villacorta 2008, 23). In leadership, Villacorta (2008) in his studies of machismo in Pentecostalism amongst pastors in the Andes of Peru discovered that the pastors provided a strong sense of control and regulation which promoted direction and the fulfillment of vision. It also discouraged dependence on others, especially foreign missions, which enabled the churches to achieve their vision of being self-propagating and self-supporting, fully dependent on God (Villacorta 2008, 235). The Shadow Side of Manliness: Machismo Machismo is a well-studied area and many differing theories exist as to its roots and character. While a few brief paragraphs barely do this topic justice, the limiting factor will be how these theories relate to caudillismo. There are numerous authors who see the roots of machismo based on documented historical events like the Spanish conquest of Latin America (Mirandé and Enríquez 1981; Paz 1961; Ramos, Earle, and Irving 1975). Mottesi (1992), an Argentinean,
  43. 43. 32 describes its roots as being forced “mestizaje” (mestizo-mixed race people) with the sexual subjugation of Indian women by the Spaniards. He sees the perfect storm setup of crude sailors arriving and seeing semi-nude women, beautiful and “free to take”, and plentiful (the influence of the Moors in having many wives was evident). Women were considered part of the plunder; those attitudes were implanted in the soil of Latin America. The fruit of this unequal union creates sons who are socially inferior to their fathers but superior to their Indian mothers, thus fostering in them an inferiority complex. The son longs for his father’s approval, while inwardly despising his mother, thus treating his mother and sisters like servants. Once he comes of age, he emulates the promiscuous, “conquistador” attitude of his father. True today, hardly a family in Latin America has not been impacted by marital infidelity (Mottesi 1992). Gilmore and Gilmore (1979) see the “mestizo” ethos as having adopted the attitudes of the Iberian oppressors as well. Villacorta (2008) cites numerous other studies that identify in machismo a collective inferiority personality complex and the Oedipus complex in males, which in some cases leads to hatred for females and males (Ortner, Rosaldo, and Lamphere 1974; Ingoldsby 1991; Van Leeuwen 1990). Castañeda (2002) sees machismo more biological in nature, since males are naturally stronger than females; their behaviors simply correspond to this physical reality. Carlos Cabrera, Perez Castillo, and Zapparoli Zecca (1985) see machismo from a Marxist angle, based on economic, ideological, and socio-cultural factors. Caponi (1992) taking a feminist perspective, believes the roots of machismo are Judeo-Christian beliefs and see both the Catholic and Protestant as excusing and promoting violence against women by men because of these beliefs.
  44. 44. 33 Villacorta (2008) takes a more constructivist view, seeing machismo as a fluid concept, not a rigid definition nor a personal attribute, but rather a way of relating. Machismo is a GAME, nature’s dance, the push and pull of gender games, played out in every human being but never eradicating its views on female subordination. As it relates to leadership, “the assertion of machismo in interpersonal relations thus implies a social ordering between a dominant leader and a following which suffers his dominance and admires his prowess” (Wolf and Hansen 1966). “The strongman (caudillo) feels the need to affirm his power, if necessary by physical or verbal force, and to distinguish himself from the common man” (Chevalier 1992). Marianismo is the other face of machismo, which is the “cult of feminine spiritual superiority which teaches that women are semi-divine, morally superior and spiritually stronger than men” (Stevens 1973). Rondon (2003) traces its roots from the Pre- Colombian Aztec-Mayan-Inca Indians dualist vision of the world—Male and female, pantheist, animist. The Spanish conquistadores replaced their male deities (distant father image just like the soldiers) and Mary, mother of God replaced their female deity, becoming the mother of all mestizos, who perceived themselves as orphans, thus birthing the Latin American’s fervent devotion to Mary. In Summary: The Shadow Side of the Caudillaje Society Instead of encountering the heroic virtues subscribed to Latin America, the noble practice of public dignity, leisure, grandeur, generosity, and manliness – one often observes only the empty forms. Dignity becomes posturing and rigid ceremony; leisure devolves into public sunning, grandeur is reduced to ostentation; generosity takes on a calculated give-and-receive quality; and
  45. 45. 34 manliness, the summary excellence, degenerates into pure machismo. (Dealy 1992, 149) This reality, as understood within the framework of the Christian meta- narrative of creation—fall---redemption, points to the fact that all cultures reflect God’s goodness yet are stained by original sin and in need of redemption. The nature of redemption builds on the original goodness of God’s creation in that one is to recognize the goodness of what God originally made (“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” Genesis1:31.); how its inherent structure is good (i.e. leadership is good). Next, one identifies, with eyes wide open, the pervasiveness of sin and how it has tainted all that God called good and has pushed it in the wrong direction, disorientating it from its original goodness (i.e. caudillismo gone bad). Finally, one is called to be co-participants with Christ to restore its creational goodness, since sin cannot completely obscure it from view, and redeem it for God’s original intended use (Wolters 2005). As applied to caudillismo, this three-part movement opens the door to see the goodness of caudillismo as flowing from the aforementioned cultural values, yet also name their shadow sides, and finally to work toward redeeming the shadow sides of caudillismo to lead in a God-honoring way. The Best of Caudillo Leadership He centralizes the power among an inner circle to care for the common good. He leverages his charisma and public power for benevolent purposes, strengthening the institutions to carry on his name and benevolent works. The caudillo rests on his personal touch, his network of friends, and ability to verbalize the aspirations of the public to properly
  46. 46. 35 care for their greatest interests. He embodies the combined values of dignidad, grandeur, and manliness, with a strong gift of charisma, that magnanimous trait which attracts, enthralls, and captivates the people. Castro Martinez (2008) uses Max Weber’s definition of charisma to describe the caudillos of today: “That rare quality of a person who shows almost supernatural, or superhuman power, appearing to be providential, exemplary, out of the ordinary, such that he is surrounded by disciples or followers”(2008, 116). He is effective at maintaining a personal working relationship with the right people, rules directly (personally or through close collaborators), has charisma, demands absolute allegiance, is perceptive, and has an indomitable personality. He has an attractive and alluring personality that can unite and maintain the party or group. The Worst of Caudillo Leadership He is authoritarian, a seeker after absolute power, ambitious, domineering, dictatorial, violent, arbitrary, and rules by expediency. He centralizes all the power, decision, and authority around his own person. In relation to his followers, it can mean that they identify with him and their loyalty is directed toward the personality of the leader instead of a set of ideas (Prillaman 1998, 60). This can debilitate the power of the institutions thus perpetuating the people’s sense of dependency upon him for stability. He can make a veiled (or not so veiled) attempt, based on his charisma, to keep political forces under control by promoting allegiance to his person (Moreno and Mitrani 1971, 38). “This personal nature of caudillo leadership threatens band (group) maintenance since when the caudillo is killed or dies of natural causes, the band will
  47. 47. 36 disintegrate because there can be no institutional successor (if there were one, he would have been perceived as a threat and eliminated). The qualities of leadership reside in his person, not in the office” (Wolf and Hansen 1966). He is a skilled speaker, able to stir up the emotions and aspirations of the people while plying on their fears to win the popular vote. Caudillismo places a high value on the leader’s charisma, even to such a degree that the leader demands and receives personal loyalty, to the exclusion of loyalty to the institution or party. He may often act as if he was above the law, in fact, his word becomes law (Dussel 1986). There is a historical context to this phenomenon in that during times of social unrest or upheaval (the prime example being during the wars of independence at the turn of the 18th century), no one doubted that the personal power of the cuadillo was more effective than the theoretical power of a constitution (Lynch 1993, 239). To this day, analysts have observed the people’s tendency to vote for “caudillos” (strongmen) in turbulent times (Castro Martinez 2008; Corrales 2008). Obviously, another crisis ensues when the caudillo’s rule ends with their death (Dominguez 2002). Practical Implications for Expatriates Thus far, the expatriate reading this paper has been served in the following manners: 1. Identifying a prototype of leadership in Latin America helps the foreigner name what he or she observes every day. This handle, caudillismo, makes discussion and analysis easier.
  48. 48. 37 2. Bringing to the light one of Latin America’s “culturally endorsed implicit leadership theories” allows the expatriate to see leadership as culturally contingent, not just a personal preference, style or quirk. 3. Introducing “categorization theory” presses the foreigner to see the logic of increasing his or her effectiveness and influence by adapting their leadership efforts to better align with the culture’s prototype. 4. Elucidating the five cultural values highlights for the outsider Latin America’s deeply held noble pursuits, naming, perhaps for the first time, the culture’s “inner core” (of the onion). 5. Setting caudillismo within the framework of Latin America’s cultural values shows the foreigner that caudillismo is here to stay; it is not a passing fad or something Latin America will “grow out of.” This approach forces the foreigner to deal with what is. 6. Recognizing caudillaje society’s shadow sides conveys to the expatriate the reality that every virtue has its shadow side. No approach to leadership is perfect since every culture has its flaws, just like every leader has their imperfections. 7. Entitling the paper “Toward an understanding…” invites both the national and international visitor to enter into the conversation, together seeking a deeper understanding of a region of the world that has existed for well over five hundred years (not to mention for thousands of Pre-Colombian years). This understanding may prove helpful for those who work among Hispanics in the USA. The Hispanic influence in the USA has been felt for more than a century on the East Coast and for several centuries more in the Southwest. In 2001 Hispanics became the largest ethnic and linguistic minority in USA and their presence and influence will increasingly be felt (Tapia 1991, Dias 2013). On a Personal Note I will speak on a personal note in closing since I have called Latin America home for the last thirty-one years. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and became a missionary to Latin America at twenty-two, fresh out of college. I have worked in the areas of non-formal, outdoor, and experiential education and leadership development in Christian camping.
  49. 49. 38 I began research for this paper seeking to identify Latin America’s categories of leadership much like what Northouse (2009) has done for North America. What I discovered instead were descriptions of a “patron-client” relationship between leaders and their subordinates—patron is a boss who understands his role as taking care of, watching out for his employees in exchange for their loyalty (paternalistic). Romero (2004, 30) describes traditional Latin American leaders as autocratic and directive, seldom delegating work, seldom using teams, using formal top-down communication as the normal mode of communication, avoiding conflict and are relationship oriented, and are expected to be assertive and aggressive. This type of leadership, built on culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory, I named caudillismo, a term autochthonous to the region. My research has shown me how caudillaje is woven into the fabric of society and caudillismo is a prototype of leadership in Latin America, with its virtues and foibles. Therefore, I do not present a comprehensive program to rehabilitate caudillismo, nor five easy steps to overthrow caudillistic leaders, nor three steps to converting a caudillo. As a Christian, I assume each culture reveals in some unique fashion the goodness of God the Creator. I also assume humankind individually, collectively, and institutionally bear the stain of sin. Thus my role is to appreciate the inherent goodness of leadership, identify its fallen forms, and work in conjunction with God to redeem and restore leadership for God’s glory.
  50. 50. 39 Name the Tension How do I deal with the feeling that I am “betraying” my own cultural values when adapting to another caudillismo leadership? For example, as a North American (low power distance—non-hierarchical) I prefer to consult with subordinates, I suffer remorse with autocratic behavior, I shun status symbols and privileges that set me apart. I am reluctant to bend the rules since it violates my sense of fairness and justice and I feel guilty and irresponsible when I have to use “connections” to get things done. How have I learned to deal with this situation? Now, I recognize the tension, name it, learn to be able to describe the feelings and sensations it produces in me so as to help diminish the corrosive effects of unnamed stress. I anticipate this tension and the difficulty of leading and following in another culture. Much like anticipating and preparing for a punch to the stomach does not eliminate the pain of the blow; it may avoid getting the breath knocked out of you. In the end, people will cooperate with me more if I adapt to their prototype rather than just impose my own cultural approach. Broaden my Categories of Right and Wrong My initial impulse has been to question caudillismo as a legitimate approach to leadership and see the differences as negative, even wrong. Elmer's (2002) suggestion is to narrow your categories of “right” and “wrong” and broaden your category of “differences.” Once the differences are out of the “right-wrong” categories, they can be appreciated. See Figure 3: Categorization of cultural differences, adapted from Duane Elmer, Cross-cultural connections (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2002), p. 27. Used by permission.
  51. 51. 40 Right Differences Wrong Figure 3: Categorization of cultural differences, adapted from Duane Elmer, Cross- cultural connections (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2002), p. 27. Used by permission. Elmer (2006) also explicates how service to others is culturally contingent so in order to optimally help others outside of your culture, seek first to build a base of understanding. Recognize your Limitations After so many years of living in Latin America, I had to press myself to explore what values this culture espouses by studying pertinent books, by conscientiously observing leader and follower behavior and conversations, by consulting with nationals who have cross-cultural experience who can serve as my cultural guides. However, as much as I learned by studying, this warning from an internationally renowned expert in cultural studies keeps me grounded and cognizant of my limitations as a North American: “We are all culturally conditioned. We see the world in the way we have learned to see it. Only to a limited extent can we, in our thinking, step out of the boundaries imposed by our cultural conditioning” (Hofstede 1980, 50). Receive the Gift Rather than strive to “convert” them into my way of leading, I am learning to appreciate the gift of contact with another culture. Lozano (1997, 197) speaks of how contact with and reflection upon another culture can make one’s normal, natural ways of doing
  52. 52. 41 things “unnatural.” Watching leaders proudly bearing status symbols, accepting privileges, and bending the rules may be shocking, unnatural, and alien to me, but it is unnoticeable, normal, and routine to Latin Americans. I feel alien to the familiar and find my normal way of leading as alienating to others and out of place. This double edge has made me more self- conscious and this increased awareness has helped me become a better leader, more studied and conscientious. This is a gift. Discern Judiciously I am more aware that each region/culture has its own implicit theory of leadership according to their unique history and antecedents and that it will reflect to a greater or lesser degree “biblical mores” since all humankind individually and institutionally bears the stain of sin. Likewise, all cultures reveal in some unique manner the image of their Creator God. I strive to discern judiciously since my own cultural conditioning highlights some aspects and gloss over others. We are susceptible to see the speck in someone else’s eye and be blind to the log in our own eye (Matthew 7:3). For example, as a North American I have been appalled at Latin Americans overlooking “white lies” while they are equally appalled by the North Americans’ blindness to our confrontational nature which ignores relationship damage in pursuit of our highly esteemed values of efficiency and productivity. However, that being said, there are times when leadership is practiced that violates the law (i.e. bribery), or violates the image of God in people (i.e. exploitative in nature like unfair pay or exclusionary due to class differences) where I react by trying to lead in a more redemptive manner.
  53. 53. 42 Respect the Caudillo I have learned to recognize the caudillo and not directly challenge his or her authority. I have learned not to “waste my gunpowder” on trying to “win him over”, since it would be a better investment of my energy to work with a loyal supporter (a key leader of the inner circle, someone on the second line of leadership) to advance the project. Nevertheless, it is very important to acknowledge the caudillo’s ultimate authority, so as not to be perceived as a threat or subversive. Give credit to the caudillo and make him feel part of the process. Offer genuine affirmation and praise like appreciating his/her approval and being given the opportunity to serve. I have discovered that even though the caudillo may not get involved, he or she will allow others to work, as long as the project aligns with their purposes. I do not interpret that “approval” necessarily as deep interest but more conditional approval as long as the work advances his plans and purposes. Alternatives to Caudillismo as a Prototype Some may say socialism and the theologies of liberation present an alternative to caudillismo in that they are critical and sensitive to inequalities in power, but while the narrative and discourse of the left differs from the right, in the practice, once in power, the actions of both reveal caudillismo (Tannenbaum 1966; Bassols Ricardez, Escamilla Cadena, and Reyes García 2008; Orjuela 2007; Oxhorn 1998; Tedesco and Diamint 2013). Burges (2006, 23–24) points out that in Brazil leadership has long meant coercive domination and that leadership is only a short step away from imposition. He uses an expression that was popularized in Mexico during the reign of a famous caudillo: “¿Palo o
  54. 54. 43 pan? (stick or bread? Meaning I can convince you hitting you with a stick or offering you bread, either way…). In contrast to this approach, Brazil’s president Cardoso (1992-2003) intentionally employed leadership in the region via “consensus building” which operated by discussion, inclusion, and consultation, in some ways evocative of Brazilian Paulo Freire’s dialogical concientization approach, one where the leader’s role is to awaken the conscience of the people, facilitate their critical reflection about reality, and prompt social action (Freire 1984). “From the Brazilian context, Lopes (2013)would say there is a new type of charismatic leader and could be called a sort of dramaturgical leader, typically the Neo Pentecostal folks (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) who enacts rituals such as exorcism, "powerful prayer," healings, "sacrifices" for prosperity. The "enact" here does not necessarily mean that they are faking it, but usually these churches have daily services in which select "volunteers" go through these rituals and inspire the rest of the masses. Tannenbaum (1966) and others (Oppenheimer 2010; Mansilla 2002; Sondrol 1990) point to the key role intellectuals have played in leadership throughout Latin America. “The recognized poet, novelist, or historian—but especially poet—has a distinctive place in the affections and regard of his compatriots….The literary man is national figure with an influence independent of government position or party affiliation. This provides him with an admirable and unique basis for asserting national leadership” (Tannenbaum 1966, 124).
  55. 55. 44 Conclusion Lozano (1997, 197) observes that “contact with another culture is a form of activating one’s own culture, of reflecting on it, making it visible…” (italics in original) and such has been the case for the author. Naming caudillismo as a prototype has been a liberating experience, acknowledging its existence has brought layers and layers of insight into thirty-one years of missionary experience. It has uncovered endless mistakes, miscalculations, misattributions and wrong assumptions. Thank God for second chances and for a Latin American population that is very “simpatica” and forgiving!
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