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Chapter 1
Course Syllabus
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 4

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Chapter 1

What does it mean to be a leader?


When you think of Leadership, describe in your own words what you think a leader is or should be.


Your text discusses the success of MTV and its CEO Tom Freston.  Interestingly, when asked about the success of the network, Freston gives credit to his senior leadership tem and his employees rather than accepting all the applause for himself.


He has build a programming powerhouse partly by hiring talented, creative people and giving them the freedom to explore, imagine, make decisions and become the best they can be.  Its Freston, though, who provides the right environment, the vision, and the direction for what MTV Network can be.


“He’s tough as nails”, said one executive.  “If you don’t perform, he’s all over you”.


What does it mean to be a leader?  For Tom Freston, it means loving what you do and infusing others with energy and enthusiasm. It means creating an inspiring vision and building an environment where people have the ability, the freedom, and the will to accomplish amazing results. 



The Nature of Leadership



Leadership is a people activity and is distinct from administrative paperwork or planning activities.  Leadership occurs among people; it is not something done to people.


An important aspect of leadership is influencing others to come together around a common vision.  Thus, leadership involves the influence of people to bring about change toward a desirable future.



Good are sometimes followers.  It has often been said “a good is leader is one who is not afraid to go where he expect others to follow”.  Each person takes personal responsibility to achieve the desired future.


Good followers are not simply “yes people” who blindly follow a leader.  Effective leaders and effective followers may sometimes be the same people, playing different roles at different times. (Example: President and his Advisors)



The New Reality for Today’s Organization


The world of organizations is changing rapidly.  Globalization, Deregulation, E-business, Telecommuting, Virtual teams, Outsourcing; Business leaders need to understand this tenet more than ever in the world of the twenty-first century. 


People in organizations around the world are feeling the impact of these and other trends, and are forced to adapt to new ways of working.  It takes particularly strong leaders to guide people through the uncertainty and confusion that accompanies periods of rapid change.



The New Reality for Leadership


OLD Paradigm                                            NEW        Paradigm                    


Stability                                                         Change and crisis management

Control                                                          Empowerment

Competition                                                  Collaboration

Uniformity                                                    Diversity

Self-centered                                                 Higher purpose

Hero                                                              Humble


Leaders in powerful positions once thought workers should be told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who to do it with.  They believed that strict control was needed for the organization to function efficiently and effectively.


Today’s successful leaders share power rather than hoard it and find ways to increase an organizations brain power by getting everyone in the organization involved and committed to a common goal.  Why has this change occurred?



        50 years ago a company’s tangible assets represented 73% of the business worth (land, buildings, machines)


  • Today a company’s tangible assets represent about 53% of the business’ worth.  Rather than Land, buildings, machines, they invest in people (information / human knowledge prevail.  You can’t control information or human knowledge)



Years ago, when all the organization needed was workers to run machines eight hours a day, traditional command and control systems generally worked quite well, but the organization received no benefit from employees’ minds.






From Competition to Collaboration


This new way of thinking moved organization from Competition toward emphasizing collaboration and cooperation.


From Uniformity to Diversity


Additionally, there is a trend by organizations to move from Uniformity (people who think alike, act alike, and have similar job skills) to Diversity (people of different age, ethnic background, and work experience).



From Hero to Humble


A related shift is the move from the celebrity “leader as hero” to the hard-working behind the scene leader who quietly builds a strong enduring company by supporting and developing others rather than touting his own abilities and successes.   







Both leaders and managers are concerned with providing direction for the organization, but there is a difference.  Management focuses on establishing detailed plans and schedules for achieving specific results, then allocating resources to accomplish the plan.


Leadership calls for creating a compelling vision of the future and developing farsighted strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.


The text compares a shift from an old to a new paradigm.  The comparison reflects a shift from a traditional, rational management approach that emphasizes stability and control to a leadership approach that values change, empowerment, and relationships.


While the old paradigm worked well, the new paradigm requires that management also be come effective leaders.  Managers keep an eye on the bottom line and short-term results;        Leaders tend to keep an eye on the horizon and the long-term future.





The biggest challenge facing leaders today is the changing world that wants a new paradigm of leadership.  The new reality involves the shift from stability to change and crisis management, from control to empowerment, from competition to collaboration, from uniformity to diversity and from a self centered focus to a higher purpose.  In addition, the concept of leader as hero is giving way to that of the humble leader who develops others and shares credit for accomplishments.


These dramatic changes suggest that a philosophy based on control and personal ambition will probably fail in the new era.  The challenge for leaders is to evolve to a new mindset that relies on human skills, integrity, and teamwork.


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