Chapter 4. A New Leadership-Followership Paradigm

Ernest L. Stech

The usual ways of looking at leaders and followers are no longer useful. In a world of instant communication, rapid technological advance, and globalization, the traditional view of the leader as commander, chief, director, or boss simply does not permit organizations, nations, communities, or associations to adapt to their ever-changing environments. The time has come to embrace a different and more effective way of dealing with leadership and followership. Two paradigms have dominated the ways in which practitioners, scholars, writers, and trainers have looked at leaders and leadership. They were appropriate to a world in which communication was via surface mail or telephone, the pace of innovation was slower, and organizations operated on a national scale. A new paradigm is available.

A paradigm is a way of thinking and operating. It is a system of concepts, assumptions, values, and methods or techniques and is the way in which members of the community who share the paradigm view reality. Persons operating within the paradigm may be and usually are unaware of the concepts, assumptions, values, and methods as they engage in their work. Unless made explicit, the nature of the paradigm is rarely understood or acknowledged. It is simply accepted as the only way to operate.[63]

A leadership-followership paradigm ought, first, to address both leadership and followership at the same time and, second, to be applicable to ...

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