Traditionally, the practice of leadership in organizations runs the gamut from outright dictatorial to directive to benevolently paternalistic to collegial. Most approaches to leadership start with the premise that leaders should lead. This sounds obvious, and it is true that leaders are held accountable for the success of their unit, department, or the whole organization. But this premise also assumes that employees need to be led, and this brings up McGregor’s famous Theory X and Theory Y (1960). As a refresher:
• Theory X: management’s role is to coerce and control employees.
• People have an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it whenever possible.
• People must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened ...