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Leadership: Leaders, Followers, Environments by Art Padilla

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Creative professionals

A second important group of followers are “knowledge workers,” creative, high-skill individuals with a so-called “cosmopolitan” orientation.24 The term cosmopolitan was used by management expert Peter Drucker to refer to the allegiances of knowledge workers that are broad-based and extend beyond their immediate circles or companies. Their loyalties are closer to their professions and to their professional peers nationally or internationally than they are to the goals of the local organization that employs them. Many companies and organizations require their services, and they must compete for them in national or international labor markets that are different from those for more local workers. Examples include faculty in the major research universities, symphony orchestra musicians, and highly skilled software engineers.

images LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT

Groupthink and team failures

One of the major responsibilities of leaders is to recruit and develop followers who contribute as members of a cohesive team. High-performing groups are associated with successful companies and successful leaders. But great groups don’t just happen. They require careful recruiting, independence, freedom of expression, “Devil’s advocates,” and healthy disbelief. High-performing teams seek reasoned and courageous solutions without falling into conformance and quiet acquiescence. They have members ...

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