I have long been fascinated by leadership. When in industry I knew what I liked in a manager working for others, and learnt what didn’t work too. Questions like “why is leadership so coveted and prized above so much else?” occupy a big part of my curiosity. I’ve always advocated standing back and looking at the complete picture before jumping to conclusions, so perhaps a less frequent question is, “what happens to leaders when the context they work within suddenly changes?”
Working at the vanguard of leadership studies in the 60s, John Adair developed the popular Action Centred Leadership model. In it he emphasises the importance of the context we operate in. It’s obvious really but one objective of leadership is supporting change – or at least thriving in a changing environment.
The irony is that leaders can often get trapped in a new organisational context where their strengths and attributes are either less adapted or, at worst, ineffective.
By Steve Bernard