Bennet Simonton, the author of Leading People to Be Highly Motivated and Committed recently posted a comment on that I really enjoyed.
I like the distinction he made between Theory X and Theory Y management styles. Theory X is someone who relies only on formal authority to order people around. In Theory Y, people would follow their leader regardless if they were of higher rank or status. Theory Y is built on trust and respect. Simonton’s views seem to be consistent with mine.
I am curious if you believe leaders can exist without being manager. I was thinking about a “thought leader”, or someone similar, who doesn’t have management responsibilities but leads people or organizations through their influence on others, creativity, and other contributions that affect strategy and direction. A product developer in a small business who doesn’t manage a team but creates products and ideas that influence the direction and strategy of the company would be an example. Another example is the front-line employee who is a leader in their team through informal authority and by earning the respect of their coworkers.
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