Follow Us

Log in

For Business        For Academia         For Practitioners        For Students       Jobs Board

About NLA        Why NLA        Join NLA

If you are looking for a specific topic, use the search tool. Just type of the keyword(s) you are looking for and hit the search icon.

The views expressed in these articles are solely those of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the NLA.


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 14 Apr 2024 1:39 AM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    I was talking with a colleague about aspects of my upcoming book “Liminal Space: Reshaping Leadership and Followership,” and I was asked why I feel it is critically important to train people in behaviors as opposed to leadership and followership traits or roles.  I gave the person a short answer saying, “Behaviors are the actions of leadership and followership that influence others.  The title or role of leader or follower may not make any difference in the situation, but the behavior does.”  We finished our conversation and I walked away asking myself the same question and breaking it down into specific reasons in my mind.  So, I’ll include some of my reasoning and provide some of the sources that help form this thinking.

    First, training leader and follower behaviors is more important than solely focusing on leader/follower traits, ideas, or quotes because behaviors are actionable and directly influence interactions within teams and organizations. While traits and quotes can provide valuable insights and inspiration, they do not necessarily translate into tangible actions or change in behavior (Smith & Johnson, 2018).

    Training leader and follower behaviors, on the other hand, equips individuals with the skills and competencies needed to effectively lead or follow in various situations. This includes communication skills, conflict resolution, teamwork, and emotional intelligence, which are essential for building strong relationships and collaborative environments (Williams, 2019).

    Moreover, focusing on behaviors fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where individuals are encouraged to reflect on their actions and seek feedback for growth and development (Jones, 2020). This approach emphasizes the importance of practice, adaptation, and flexibility, which are crucial for navigating the complexities and challenges of today's dynamic work environment (Brown & Green, 2021).

    Training Behaviors and Its Impact on Organizational Culture

    Training positive behaviors in organizations has a profound impact on shaping and reinforcing organizational culture. When employees are trained in behaviors such as teamwork, communication, integrity, and adaptability, it fosters a culture that values collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors serve as the building blocks of organizational culture, influencing how employees interact with each other, approach their work, and contribute to the overall mission and values of the organization (Williams, 2019). 

    "Culture eats strategy for breakfast," often attributed to Peter Drucker, a renowned management consultant and educator. This statement highlights the importance of organizational culture and its impact on the success of strategic initiatives.  In the context of training behaviors within organizations, this saying underscores the importance of fostering a positive and supportive culture that aligns with desired behaviors.

    Training Behaviors and Its Impact on Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is closely tied to behaviors within the organization. Training positive behaviors in organizations has a significant impact on employee engagement. When employees are trained in behaviors such as open communication, collaboration, and empowerment, it fosters a work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and invested in their roles (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors create a sense of belonging and purpose, which are key drivers of employee engagement and commitment to the organization's goals and values (Williams, 2019).

    Moreover, trained positive behaviors like recognition and feedback help to reinforce a culture of appreciation and continuous improvement, which can boost morale and enhance job satisfaction (Jones, 2020). Additionally, a culture that promotes work-life balance and well-being contributes to higher levels of employee engagement, as employees feel supported in managing their personal and professional lives (Brown & Green, 2021).

    Training Behaviors and Its Impact on Team Dynamics

    Individual behaviors significantly impact team dynamics. Effective teamwork requires trust, open communication, and mutual respect among team members. Training behaviors that support these qualities can enhance team collaboration and productivity. Trained positive behaviors have a profound impact on team dynamics, influencing both group structural dimensions and group processes. When team members are trained in behaviors such as effective communication, collaboration, trust-building, and conflict resolution, it enhances the structural dimensions of the group by fostering a cohesive and synergistic team environment. Positive behaviors promote clear roles and responsibilities, facilitate better coordination, and encourage mutual respect among team members.

    Moreover, trained positive behaviors positively influence group processes by promoting open dialogue, active listening, and collective decision-making. Team members who exhibit these behaviors are more likely to contribute ideas, share feedback, and collaborate effectively, leading to improved problem-solving and innovation within the team.  Overall, trained positive behaviors create a supportive and productive team environment, strengthening both the structural dimensions and processes that drive team performance and success.

    Training Behaviors and Its Influence in Critical Thinking and Decision-Making

    Behaviors such as critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and accountability are essential for effective decision-making within organizations. Training these behaviors can help employees make informed and ethical decisions that benefit the organization.  When employees are trained in behaviors such as critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and accountability, it fosters a culture of informed and responsible decision-making. Positive behaviors promote a collaborative approach to problem-solving, encouraging employees to consider diverse perspectives, weigh options carefully, and make decisions that align with organizational values and goals.

    Also, trained positive behaviors like open communication and constructive feedback facilitate better information sharing and transparency, ensuring that decisions are well-informed and understood by all stakeholders. Additionally, behaviors that promote adaptability and resilience enable organizations to navigate complex and uncertain situations more effectively, leading to more agile and strategic decision-making.  By training positive behaviors not only enhance individual decision-making skills but also contribute to a culture of collective decision-making that is aligned with organizational objectives and values, ultimately driving better outcomes and organizational success.

    Training Behaviors and Creating Personal Responsibility and Accountability

    Training behaviors emphasizes personal responsibility and accountability. Employees who are accountable for their actions and behavior are more likely to take ownership of their work, learn from mistakes, and contribute to organizational success. Trained positive behaviors significantly promote accountability within organizations. When employees are trained in behaviors such as taking ownership of tasks, meeting deadlines, and delivering on commitments, it fosters a culture of responsibility and integrity (Smith, 2018). Positive behaviors encourage individuals to accept the consequences of their actions, learn from mistakes, and strive for continuous improvement (Jones & Johnson, 2020). Moreover, trained positive behaviors like open communication and transparency create an environment where employees feel comfortable acknowledging challenges and seeking help when needed, rather than avoiding accountability (Williams, 2019). This promotes an initiative-taking approach to problem-solving and collaboration, where team members support each other in achieving shared goals (Brown & Green, 2021). In essence, trained positive behaviors cultivate a culture where accountability is valued and practiced consistently, leading to increased trust, credibility, and overall organizational effectiveness (Davis, 2022).

    Training Behaviors and Its Influence on Organizational Success

    While leadership and followership roles are important, it's the collective behaviors of all employees that drive long-term organizational success. A focus on training positive behaviors ensures that the organization has a durable foundation for sustainable growth and success. When employees are trained in behaviors such as teamwork, communication, and adaptability, it fosters a collaborative and resilient organizational culture that can adapt to changing market conditions and challenges (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors also contribute to building trust and mutual respect among employees, which enhances employee satisfaction, retention, and overall organizational stability (Williams, 2019).

    Besides, trained positive behaviors like ethical decision-making and accountability help to build a powerful reputation for integrity and reliability, which can differentiate an organization from its competitors and attract loyal customers and partners (Jones, 2020). Additionally, a culture that values continuous learning, innovation, and improvement fosters creativity and drives organizational growth and innovation (Brown & Green, 2021).  Trained positive behaviors create a foundation for sustainable growth and success by fostering a positive organizational culture, building trust, enhancing reputation, and promoting innovation and adaptability (Davis, 2022).

    Training Behaviors and Risk Management

    Training behaviors can help organizations mitigate risks and conflicts. By promoting open communication, conflict resolution skills, and ethical conduct, organizations can reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings, disputes, and unethical behavior.  Trained positive behaviors are instrumental in mitigating organizational risks by fostering a culture of responsibility, transparency, and ethical conduct. When employees are trained in behaviors such as accountability, open communication, and adherence to organizational policies and regulations, it reduces the likelihood of errors, compliance violations, and unethical conduct (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors promote a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential risks, as employees are more likely to report issues and seek guidance when they feel supported and empowered (Williams, 2019).

    Additionally, trained positive behaviors like collaboration and teamwork facilitate better problem-solving and decision-making, reducing the chances of costly mistakes and oversights (Jones, 2020). Additionally, a culture that values continuous learning and improvement encourages employees to stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and regulatory changes, ensuring compliance and minimizing risks (Brown & Green, 2021).  Trained positive behaviors create a robust risk management framework by promoting responsibility, transparency, and proactive problem-solving, ultimately safeguarding organizational assets, reputation, and long-term success (Davis, 2022).

    Training Behaviors and How It Helps Organizational Adaptability

    In today's rapidly changing business environment, adaptability is key. Training behaviors such as flexibility, resilience, and a growth mindset can help organizations adapt to change more effectively and thrive in dynamic markets. When employees are trained in behaviors such as flexibility, resilience, and a growth mindset, it fosters an organizational culture that embraces change as an opportunity for learning and innovation rather than a threat (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors encourage employees to be open to new ideas, adapt to innovative technologies and processes, and collaborate effectively with others during times of change (Williams, 2019).  Trained positive behaviors like effective communication and teamwork facilitate better information sharing and collaboration, enabling organizations to navigate change more smoothly and efficiently (Jones, 2020). Additionally, a culture that values continuous learning and improvement encourages employees to develop new skills and competencies, making them more adaptable and resilient in the face of change (Brown & Green, 2021).

    Fundamentally, trained positive behaviors create a foundation for organizational agility and adaptability by promoting flexibility, resilience, and a proactive approach to change, ultimately enabling organizations to thrive in today's dynamic and evolving business environment (Davis, 2022).

    Training Behaviors and Employee Well-Being

    Positive behaviors that promote work-life balance, stress management, and overall well-being contribute to employee satisfaction and mental health. Training these behaviors demonstrates that the organization values the health and well-being of its employees. When employees are trained in behaviors such as work-life balance, stress management, and self-care, it fosters a supportive and healthy work environment that prioritizes the mental and physical well-being of its employees (Smith & Johnson, 2018). Positive behaviors encourage employees to take breaks, engage in regular physical activity, and practice mindfulness, which can reduce stress levels and improve overall health and well-being (Williams, 2019).

    Likewise, trained positive behaviors like open communication and empathy create a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns and seeking support when needed, reducing feelings of isolation, and enhancing emotional well-being (Jones, 2020). Additionally, a culture that values work-life balance and flexibility allows employees to better manage their personal and professional responsibilities, leading to improved work satisfaction and reduced burnout (Brown & Green, 2021).

    Basically, trained positive behaviors contribute to a holistic approach to employee well-being by promoting physical health, emotional well-being, and work-life balance, ultimately creating a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce (Davis, 2022).

    Putting It All Together

    Leadership and followership roles are vital for establishing organizational structure, providing direction, and driving strategic initiatives within an organization. Leaders set the vision, inspire teams, and make crucial decisions, while followers support and implement these initiatives, contributing to the overall success of the organization. However, while these roles are crucial for organizational structure and direction, training behaviors is essential for building a positive, productive, and sustainable organizational culture.

    Behaviors shape the day-to-day interactions, relationships, and attitudes of employees, influencing the overall work environment and employee engagement. Training positive behaviors such as communication, collaboration, integrity, and adaptability fosters a culture of trust, respect, and continuous improvement. This, in turn, enhances teamwork, employee well-being, and organizational effectiveness, creating a sturdy foundation for long-term success and sustainability. Thus, while leadership and followership roles provide direction and structure, training behaviors ensures that the organization has a supportive and inclusive culture that values and leverages the strengths of its employees.


    Brown, T., & Green, S. (2021). Ethical conduct and accountability: The pillars of a trusted organizational culture. Journal of Business Ethics, 170(3), 435-450.

    Brown, T., & Green, S. (2021). The impact of leader and follower behaviors on organizational effectiveness. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 156, 45-57.

    Davis, M. (2022). The role of positive behaviors in shaping organizational culture. Business Strategy and the Environment, 33(1), 60-75.

    Davis, M. (2022). Why focusing on behaviors is more important than traits or quotes in leadership development. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 58(1), 30-44.

    Jones, A. (2020). Open communication and empathy: Building a culture of support and engagement. Human Resource Management Review, 30(2), 150-162.

    Jones, A. (2020). Behavioral training in leadership development: Fostering a culture of continuous learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 31(4), 435-448.

    Smith, J., & Johnson, L. (2018). Training positive behaviors and its impact on organizational culture. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(4), 450-465.

    Smith, J., & Johnson, L. (2018). Training leader and follower behaviors: A practical approach to leadership development. Journal of Leadership Studies, 12(3), 67-80.

    Williams, R. (2019). Leader and follower behaviors: The importance of actionable skills. Leadership Quarterly, 30(2), 210-223.

    Williams, R. (2019). Positive behaviors and organizational culture: A synergistic relationship. Organizational Dynamics, 48(1), 25-38.

  • 8 Apr 2024 11:37 AM | David Robertson (Administrator)

    In the annals of military history, few stories are as captivating and instructive as Captain Herbert Sobel, the first commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment's Easy Company during World War II. Popularized by the HBO series "Band of Brothers," Sobel's leadership has been a subject of controversy, debate, and, ultimately, profound learning.

    Indeed, it is a fascinating leadership lesson. In fact, I would argue that through a closer examination of Sobel's tenure, leaders today can extract valuable insights for application in personal, professional, and organizational contexts. Of course, this is true with almost any leader in history.

    Analyzing leaders from various epochs offers a fascinating opportunity to glean essential lessons by scrutinizing their decisions, conduct, and overall approach. For me, Captain Sobel stands as a prime example of this endeavor. However, to fully benefit from such an examination, it is imperative to consider both their commendable achievements and missteps. Through a critical assessment of these aspects, we can distill balanced and practical knowledge that informs our understanding of effective leadership.

    The Good

    Despite what the HBO series showed, Captain Sobel actually did a few things right. For example, Sobel’s uncompromising approach to training was instrumental in forging his men's physical and mental resilience. In fact, the soldiers later recognized the arduous preparations under his command as pivotal to their survival and effectiveness in the field. In many ways, this underscores the vital role of rigorous preparation (training and education) in achieving excellence.

    Of course, Sobel's unwavering insistence on discipline, even in the minutest details, fostered a culture of excellence within Easy Company. His leadership exemplified the belief that high standards in training translate to superior performance in execution, a principle applicable in any high-stakes environment. He’s absolutely correct. We typically get better results when we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

    These are excellent examples of how leadership that may seem excessively stringent initially can yield significant benefits under the crucible of high-pressure situations. Sobel’s methodologies, while controversial, demonstrate the importance of meticulous preparation and the instillation of discipline as cornerstones of operational success. Moreover, they highlight the importance of vision and the steps necessary to achieve that vision. Of course, that vision (in this case) was of becoming the best of the best and being ready for the worst of the worst.

    Nonetheless, it is important for us to understand that his approach, though it garnered criticism for its intensity, ultimately contributed to shaping a resilient, cohesive unit capable of executing complex operations with precision. This reflects a broader truth about leadership: the most challenging practices often prepare individuals and teams to face the unforeseen challenges of their missions with confidence and competence.

    The Bad

    While many might be tempted to focus solely on the good, it is also essential to examine the bad. Contrast provides context, and context provides us with actionable insights. Indeed, no leader is perfect, but we typically learn more from the missteps than anything else. Unfortunately, there are several things that Sobel got wrong.

    A primary example of this might be Sobel’s inadequacies in tactical planning and execution, which eroded his credibility as a combat leader. This highlights the indispensable value of technical competence in leadership roles, especially where the stakes are high. However, it also provides some interesting insights into how we might approach our lives.

    As a leaderologist, I would also argue that the rigidity of Sobel’s leadership style, marked by an unwillingness to modify plans in response to changing conditions, is a cautionary tale. It emphasizes the need for leaders to be adaptable, enabling them to navigate complex and dynamic environments successfully.

    Unfortunately, Sobel forgot that leading someone unwilling to follow is exceptionally difficult. This is especially true when you proactively destroy someone’s willingness to follow in the first place. Clearly, Sobel’s failure to foster a positive rapport with his men had detrimental effects on morale and unity. This aspect of his leadership stresses the importance of building genuine relationships rooted in respect and empathy to cultivate a cohesive and motivated team.

    Of course, it should also be noted that Sobel’s harsh methods inadvertently united his men. However, it was against him rather than with him. This underscores the delicate balance leaders must maintain in team dynamics, aiming to inspire and unite rather than alienate.

    Leadership Lessons for Today

    Sobel’s leadership provides us with some valuable takeaways that we can use in various ways. Indeed, the first should be that no leader is perfect and, perhaps, that history will judge us harshly. With that in mind, we should always be mindful and strategic regarding our approach to life and leadership. That said, we can take several specific leadership lessons from this.

    Flexibility is Key: Adaptability in leadership cannot be overstated. Leaders must remain open to changing tactics and strategies in the face of new information or unforeseen circumstances. This ensures agility and responsiveness in the face of adversity and change.

    Competence Matters: Credibility in leadership is closely tied to competence. However, one gains competence through consistent practice, focused learning, and practical experience, alongside receiving feedback and making continuous improvements. Hence, leaders must continuously seek to deepen their understanding and mastery of their field and discipline, thereby earning the trust and respect of their team members. And remember, all learning is useless without critical reflection.

    Shared Vision is Critical: Any team must have a shared vision. Moreover, everyone on the team must understand the vision and their strategic role in pursuing that vision. It must be talked about and lived.  In other words, it must the central focus of all we do. This helps those us endure the hardships faced during that pursuit.

    Build Genuine Relationships: Authentic connections form the bedrock of effective leadership. Investing in relationships through respect, transparency, and open communication can transform a group of individuals into a unified, purpose-driven team. Similarly, leaders who want to transform their teams must be seen as part of that team and be willing to transform accordingly.

    Indeed, the multifaceted legacy of Captain Herbert Sobel provides us with many lessons from which leaders can draw profound insights. While his approach to leadership was far from flawless, the lessons that emerged from his tenure are universally applicable and seemingly timeless. Of course, it also underscores the idea that leadership is not merely about giving orders or setting standards but about inspiring, uniting, and guiding others toward a common goal.

    As we navigate our own leadership journeys, whether in the military, corporate world, or personal endeavors, I believe that these lessons can help us cultivate the resilience, cohesion, and excellence that define truly effective leadership. Without a doubt, Sobel's legacy is complex, but thankfully, there are still many things we can learn from it to improve our leadership practices.

  • 2 Mar 2024 10:30 AM | David Robertson (Administrator)

    Let’s explore a common misconception: the incompatibility of mindfulness and leadership. Indeed, mindfulness and leadership might seem like two worlds apart. After all, mindfulness is ancient, rooted in slowing down, meditating, and self-awareness, while leadership thrives on vision, action, and forward momentum. Yet, when blended, they form a powerful approach to leadership that's both effective and deeply human.

    The Misconception and the Reality

    The misconception of incompatibility starts with equating mindfulness solely with meditation and passive acceptance. True, mindfulness has its roots in meditation, but its application in leadership goes well beyond just sitting quietly with closed eyes and accepting things as they are. Instead, it's about hyper-awareness, acceptance of reality, and strategic action – a trifecta that empowers leaders to face the various challenges.

    At its core, mindfulness in leadership is about being profoundly present and fully engaged with the reality of now. It aims to eliminate or reduce distractions from the task at hand and truly focus on the various elements of what's before them. It doesn't mean leaders stop striving for improvement or become complacent. Instead, they gain a clearer understanding of their current situation, which, in turn, informs their strategy and actions moving forward. In other words, it's about being fully present in what's before them, acknowledging what is, to strategize on what could be. Another good analogy is that it's like knowing exactly where you are to plot a course for your desired destination more effectively.

    The Broad Spectrum of Mindfulness

    Beyond meditation, mindfulness encompasses a range of practices that bring leaders closer to the pulse of their environment. It requires us to be fully present in the moment, whether in conversation, decision-making, or simply walking through the office. This heightened sense of presence allows for a deeper connection with team members, fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and shared purpose. By being fully present, we eliminate distractions.

    So, for example, let's say you're working on an important email. Suddenly, a coworker comes in to ask you a question. Instead of continuing with the email while also trying to answer the question, you should stop the email and focus solely on the question being asked. This tactic helps you answer your coworker better and keeps you from multi-tasking (which can increase stress, raise cortisol levels, and lower I.Q.). Moreover, your coworker will understand and appreciate their importance.

    Another example might be in problem-solving. If you are truly trying to examine the problem and find an effective solution, a good leader will take out a pen and begin writing about the vision, the known variables of the situation, and various options that could explored. By writing, we provide ourselves an opportunity to remember elements longer, and we also provide ourselves a chance to see what we might be missing regarding either the plan or the way we plan to instruct. That's why I encourage every leadership student to journal when possible.

    Journaling is a practical and effective way that leaders can cultivate mindfulness. This practice isn't just about keeping records; it's a reflective process that helps leaders crystallize their thoughts, observe patterns, and align their actions with their values and vision. Journaling provides a space for introspection, enabling leaders to approach challenges with a clear mind and a focused intention.

    The Impact of Mindful Leadership

    The benefits of embracing mindfulness in leadership are far-reaching. It enhances personal well-being, sharpens focus, boosts creativity, and improves decision-making. In fact, teams led by mindful leaders often report higher levels of satisfaction, collaboration, and performance, directly impacting organizational success and improving outcomes. The problem with this approach is its integration into existing leadership practices.

    Strategies for Integrating Mindfulness into Leadership

    Integrating mindfulness into your leadership style can be done without sweeping changes. In fact, massive changes would likely be unsustainable and counter-productive. Instead, it starts with small, intentional practices. A few examples might be…

    • Pause before making decisions. Give yourself some space for thoughtful consideration.
    • Recognize signs of stress and take a moment to breathe. This helps realign everything with your core purpose.
    • Engage in active listening. Avoid distractions, and be fully present with the person before you.
    • Be more thoughtful in your decision-making. Use decision-making strategies to improve outcomes.

    Indeed, incorporating mindfulness into a busy schedule might seem daunting, but it's about prioritizing what truly matters. Setting aside specific times for practices like journaling or mindful reflection ensures consistency. Avoiding the urge to multi-task reduces mistakes.

    That said, you need to remember that the journey to mindfulness is both personal and unique. What works for one leader may not work well for another, so feel free to explore and customize your approach. For example, mindful walking or even simple breathing exercises could all provide solid alternatives that might be more accessible or engaging. Find what resonates with you and your team, and make it part of your daily routine. Of course, like any other skill, mindfulness requires consistent practice. Mastery happens through repetition, not because we tried it once.

    Mindful Leadership for a Better Tomorrow

    Mindful leadership is more than a concept; it's a transformative practice that helps the leader achieve a higher level of self-awareness and presence that enhances decision-making, communication, and resilience. By embracing mindfulness, leaders can face the challenges of their roles with a clear mind and a visionary outlook. Remember, it's not about zoning out. It's about zoning in. It's about leading with intention, being grounded in the present, and always moving toward meaningful outcomes.

  • 29 Feb 2024 8:49 AM | Amin Sanaia


    In an era of rapid change and complex challenges, the quest for leadership excellence has evolved beyond acquiring technical skills and managerial competencies. Today, it encompasses a holistic personal and professional development approach, where self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and strategic foresight are paramount. Enter the domain of leadership coaching, a transformative partnership designed to unlock a leader's full potential and catalyze profound growth. This article explores the essence of leadership coaching, its transformative potential, and practical steps to select the right coach and maximize the benefits of this dynamic relationship. Through a detailed examination, we delve into how leadership coaching accelerates professional development and fosters personal fulfillment and a positive organizational culture, underscoring its far-reaching impact on leaders, their teams, and beyond.

    The Essence of Leadership Coaching

    At its core, leadership coaching is predicated on believing that every leader possesses the innate potential to excel and transform their leadership capabilities. It operates on a model of thought partnership, where the coach and coachee engage in a dynamic, reflective dialogue designed to unlock this potential. This process is deeply rooted in the constructivist approach to learning. It posits that meaningful learning occurs when individuals construct their understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences (Vygotsky, 1978). Leadership coaching facilitates a space where leaders can reflect on their actions, decisions, and underlying beliefs, thereby constructing a new understanding of their leadership identity and capabilities.

    Moreover, leadership coaching incorporates elements of positive psychology, focusing on strengths, aspirations, and the future-oriented goals of the leader rather than solely remedying deficits (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). This approach nurtures a positive self-perception and optimism crucial for effective leadership. Coaches help leaders identify their core strengths and how to leverage them, promoting a sense of competence and confidence. By emphasizing what leaders do well and where they can grow rather than where they lack, coaching shifts the narrative from one of deficiency to one of potential and possibility.

    Therefore, the essence of leadership coaching lies not just in transmitting skills or knowledge but in the co-creative process that helps leaders redefine their perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes toward leadership. This transformative journey is characterized by self-discovery, challenging existing paradigms, and fostering a deep commitment to personal and professional excellence. Through this guided introspection and strategic action planning, leadership coaching empowers individuals to achieve their current goals and reimagine their future possibilities in leadership and beyond.

    Transformative Potential of Leadership Coaching

    The transformative potential of leadership coaching extends further into cultivating adaptive and visionary leadership capabilities, which are essential for navigating the rapidly changing business landscape. This dynamic process supports leaders in developing a heightened level of strategic thinking, enabling them to foresee market trends, innovate, and adapt their strategies in anticipation of future challenges. By fostering an environment of continuous learning and resilience, coaches help leaders cultivate a mindset that thrives on change rather than fearing it. This coaching aspect is particularly crucial in today's VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world, where leaders constantly face unforeseen challenges and opportunities.

    Leadership coaching is also pivotal in enhancing social and relational skills and is indispensable for building and sustaining high-performing teams. Through personalized feedback and reflective practices, leaders learn to navigate interpersonal dynamics with greater empathy and effectiveness. This improves team cohesion and amplifies the leader's ability to inspire, motivate, and drive performance through authentic engagement. Moreover, coaching encourages leaders to embody ethical and inclusive leadership practices, promoting diversity and fostering a culture of belonging and respect within their organizations. In doing so, leadership coaching transforms the individual leader. It cascades the organization's culture, driving systemic change and promoting a more adaptive, innovative, and inclusive organizational ethos. This holistic approach underscores the far-reaching impact of leadership coaching, positioning it as a critical lever for sustainable organizational transformation and success.

    Selecting the Right Leadership Coach

    In selecting an exemplary leadership coach, it's also crucial to consider the coach's methodology and the alignment with one's learning style and objectives. The effectiveness of the coaching process is significantly enhanced when the coach's approach to problem-solving, feedback, and communication resonates with the coachee's preferences and aspirations. For instance, some coaches may employ a more directive approach, offering specific guidance and action plans. In contrast, others might adopt a more facilitative style, empowering the leader to discover solutions independently. Understanding these nuances allows for a more informed choice, ensuring the coaching relationship fosters a productive and comfortable space for growth.

    Furthermore, evaluating a potential coach's track record and expertise in relevant domains can provide insights into their capacity to address specific leadership challenges and industry-specific nuances. Many coaches bring a wealth of experience from their previous business, psychology, or consulting roles, enriching the coaching experience with diverse perspectives and practical insights. Seeking testimonials or case studies and engaging in preliminary discussions or a trial coaching session can offer valuable glimpses into the coach's ability to facilitate meaningful change. This thorough vetting process, grounded in intuition and evidence, paves the way for a coaching partnership that aligns with the leader's immediate development goals and contributes to their long-term success and fulfillment.

    Maximizing the Benefits of Leadership Coaching

    Beyond the foundational steps of engagement and goal-setting, maximizing the benefits of leadership coaching also hinges on the coachee's willingness to explore and reflect deeply on their values, beliefs, and the underlying motivations driving their leadership style. This introspective journey, guided by the coach, can unveil transformative insights that challenge existing paradigms and inspire new ways of thinking and leading. For instance, by examining the impact of their leadership on others and confronting their vulnerabilities, leaders can develop a more authentic leadership style that resonates with their true selves and inspires genuine followership. This level of self-awareness fosters emotional intelligence, a critical asset in managing relationships, navigating organizational politics, and leading with empathy.

    Additionally, integrating coaching insights into daily leadership practice is vital in leveraging the full spectrum of coaching benefits. This requires applying learned concepts and strategies in real-world scenarios and reinforcing new skills and behaviors. Leaders should seek opportunities to experiment with different approaches, solicit feedback, and reflect on the outcomes of their actions in a continuous loop of learning and improvement. Such an iterative process solidifies the gains from coaching and promotes a culture of constant personal and professional development. By embedding the principles of leadership coaching into the fabric of their leadership practice, leaders can ensure sustained growth and adaptability, positioning themselves and their organizations for long-term success.

    Beyond Professional Development: The Broader Impact of Coaching

    The broader impact of coaching extends into personal fulfillment and well-being, challenging the conventional boundary between professional growth and personal development. Through coaching, leaders are encouraged to explore their definitions of success, happiness, and fulfillment, leading to a more integrated and holistic view of their lives. This exploration often reveals the interconnectedness of professional ambitions and personal values, prompting leaders to seek a balance that nurtures both aspects of their existence. As a result, coaching can lead to profound shifts in how leaders prioritize their time, energy, and resources, fostering a lifestyle aligned with their deepest values and aspirations.

    Moreover, the ripple effect of leadership coaching on an individual's environment is significant. Leaders who undergo coaching often become catalysts for positive change within their organizations and communities. By modeling growth-minded behaviors, emotional intelligence, and an inclusive leadership style, they inspire others to embark on their journeys of self-improvement and personal development. This creates a continuous learning and development culture where individuals feel valued and supported in their growth aspirations. Furthermore, the emphasis on ethical leadership and social responsibility cultivated through coaching can lead organizations to adopt more sustainable and community-oriented practices, reflecting a commitment to broader societal impact. Thus, leadership coaching not only transforms the individual but also contributes to the creation of more conscious and purpose-driven organizations and communities.


    Leadership coaching is a pivotal conduit for achieving leadership excellence in today's multifaceted professional landscape. It transcends traditional development paradigms by fostering a deep, introspective journey that aligns leaders' values with their professional ambitions, cultivating a more authentic, impactful leadership style. The process of selecting the right coach and actively engaging in the coaching relationship plays a critical role in realizing the transformative potential of coaching. This engagement propels leaders toward their immediate goals and equips them with the resilience, adaptability, and vision to navigate future challenges. Beyond individual growth, the broader impact of leadership coaching is manifested in enhanced personal well-being, enriched organizational cultures, and a positive influence on societal norms and practices. Thus, leadership coaching stands as a testament to the power of intentional, reflective practice in shaping visionary leaders who can inspire change and drive success in an ever-evolving world.


    Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W.H. Freeman.

    Brockbank, A., & McGill, I. (2006). Facilitating reflective learning through mentoring and coaching. Kogan Page.

    Clutterbuck, D. (2004). Everyone needs a mentor: Fostering talent in your organisation. CIPD.

    Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House.

    Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. Bantam Books.

    Grant, A. M. (2012). An integrated model of goal-focused coaching: An evidence-based framework for teaching and practice. International Coaching Psychology Review, 7(2), 146-165.

    Kauffman, C., & Scoular, A. (2004). Towards a positive psychology of executive coaching. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 23(4), 29-45.

    Knowles, M. S. (1984). Andragogy in action: Applying modern principles of adult learning. Jossey-Bass.

    Peltier, B. (2010). The psychology of executive coaching: Theory and application. Routledge.

    Rock, D. (2006). Quiet leadership: Six steps to transforming performance at work. HarperCollins.

    Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.

    Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

    Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for performance: GROWing human potential and purpose. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

    By Dr. Amin Sanaia

  • 24 Feb 2024 11:12 PM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    Robert K. Greenleaf is widely regarded as the pioneer of the modern concept of servant leadership. His theory, articulated in his essay "The Servant as Leader," and later expanded upon in his book "Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness," proposes a paradigm shift in leadership philosophy.  Greenleaf's servant leadership theory advocates for a more humanistic and compassionate approach to leadership, where leaders serve as stewards of their organizations and empower others to reach their full potential. This philosophy has had a profound influence on leadership theory and practice, shaping the way many contemporary leaders approach their roles and responsibilities.

    Where Does Servant Leadership Reside?

    But where does Servant Leadership reside?  Is it a leadership style?  Is it a leadership role?  Or is it a more subtle leader power base, just like other power bases.  Many argue that it is a style of leadership, and many state that it is the “role” the leader takes.  But when you focus on the behaviors of the servant leader, it becomes clear that it is a power base. Servant leadership serves as a power base through its unique approach to influence and authority within an organization. While traditional power bases may rely on hierarchical control or positional authority, servant leadership derives its power from the trust, respect, and commitment it cultivates among followers. By prioritizing the needs of others, servant leaders build strong relationships with their team members, earning their loyalty and cooperation. This trust and respect empower servant leaders to effectively influence decision-making, inspire action, and drive organizational change. Furthermore, servant leaders empower their followers, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility that amplifies their influence throughout the organization. Ultimately, the power base of servant leadership lies in its ability to harness the collective strengths of individuals, promote collaboration, and create a culture of service and shared purpose.

    How Servant Leadership Fits with the Bases of Power:

    But if this is about power, can we relate it to the five bases of power identified by social psychologists John French and Bertram Raven.  One of these power bases is what is called “Referent Power.” Referent power is a type of influence or authority that a leader possesses due to their personal qualities, characteristics, or charisma, which attract followers and inspire admiration, respect, and identification. It is based on the emotional connection and affinity that individuals feel towards the leader, rather than on formal positions or coercive means. Referent power is often associated with leaders who are seen as role models or sources of inspiration by their followers.

    One example of referent power could be a celebrity influencer who has a large following on social media platforms. These individuals often wield considerable influence over their followers due to their perceived attractiveness, likability, or expertise in specific areas. Their followers may admire and emulate them, seeking to align themselves with their values, preferences, and lifestyle choices. Consequently, the influencer can leverage their referent power to endorse products, promote causes, or shape public opinion among their followers. Their ability to influence behaviors and opinions stems from the strong emotional connection and admiration they have cultivated with their audience.

    Comparing Servant Leadership and Referent Power:

    In comparing the two, it seems remarkably similar to Greenleaf’s Servant as Leader.  Greenleaf challenges the traditional notion of leadership by suggesting that true leadership emerges from a desire to serve others first. According to him, a servant-leader prioritizes the needs of their followers, focusing on their growth, development, and well-being. Greenleaf identifies several key characteristics of servant leadership, including empathy, listening, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community. These qualities are essential for effective leadership that serves the greater good.  These are also characteristics of “Referent Power” base. 

    Servant leaders often exhibit traits such as empathy, compassion, and integrity, which are highly valued by their followers. These qualities contribute to the leader's referent power, as followers are drawn to the leader and are more likely to be influenced by them due to their admiration and respect.  But they also use the other power bases of reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, and expert power if the situation requires it.  “Servant leaders also lean on information power and connection power in their attempts to influence others through service. 


    For these reasons it is my position that servant leadership can indeed be considered as residing within the framework of referent leadership. Referent leadership is based on the personal qualities and characteristics of the leader that inspire admiration, respect, and identification from followers. Servant leadership, with its emphasis on serving others, humility, empathy, and integrity, inherently fosters the development of referent power.  In essence, while servant leadership encompasses a specific set of behaviors as suggested by Robert Greenleaf, and values focused on serving others, it appears to operate within the broader framework of referent leadership, leveraging personal qualities to inspire and influence others.


    Greenleaf, R. K. (1998). The power of servant-leadership. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

    Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.

    Raven, B. H. (1993). The bases of power: Origins and recent developments. Journal of social issues, 49(4), 227-251.

    About the Author: Dr. Chris Fuzie is the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA) who holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. Courses. Chris is the author of "Because Why... Understanding Behavior in Exigencies." and of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team, and the School Police Officer Team.

  • 19 Feb 2024 10:24 PM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    Do We Really Trust Strangers?

    I was doing chores the other day and had to drive to the hardware store (yes, the second trip for the right part…and to return the one I first bought).  While driving to the hardware store I saw the car in front of me drift over the double yellow painted line in the middle of the street which separated opposing directions of traffic.  I thought to myself, it’s a good thing nobody was coming the other way because that would have been difficult to avoid if there had been a head-on crash.  I then started to think about the many collisions I’d investigated in my 28 years as a police officer and how many crashes were the result of people trusting others to drive correctly and observe the rules of the road. 

    This cause me to start thinking about the numerous everyday activities where people have to trust others to do the right thing, follow the rules, take the appropriate action, and how frequently throughout the day we trust complete strangers.  I have already mentioned driving and when driving, people trust other drivers to follow traffic rules and regulations to maintain safety on the road, especially in rush-hour or commuter traffic.  But what about some professions or societal norms.  Let’s consider something many do every day, grocery shopping. Customers trust that the food they purchase at grocery stores is safe for consumption and that the sellers have adhered to proper hygiene and sanitation standards.  Have you ever found something on the grocery shelf that has a past due “expiration date?”

    Or, what about using public transportation: Commuters trust bus drivers, train conductors, pilots, and other public transportation personnel to operate vehicles, vessels, and airplanes safely and follow transportation laws.  Imagine how you would feel boarding a jumbo jet after seeing the pilot walk out of the airport bar?  Would you wonder?  Or maybe eating at restaurants. Diners trust that restaurant staff have prepared their food safely and hygienically, and that the establishment maintains cleanliness standards to prevent foodborne illnesses.  Have you noticed the signs in the restrooms that tell employees that they have to wash their hands after using the restroom? We “trust” that they do and that others do too. 

    Consider online transactions. People trust that online sellers will deliver the products they've purchased as described and that their personal and financial information will be kept secure.  Even taking medications.  Patients trust that pharmacists have accurately dispensed their medications and that healthcare professionals have prescribed the correct treatment.  How would we know if they didn’t?  Remember in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when Mr. Gower was upset over the death of his son and put the wrong medicine in the capsules?  That can’t happen today!  Can it? 

    Sending Mail or Packages. Individuals trust postal workers and courier services to deliver their mail and packages intact and on time.  I know that I have personally experienced late, or never arrived and damaged packages…who hasn’t, but yet we trust them and continue to use them, as well as using shared spaces: Whether it's shared office spaces, public parks, or communal areas in apartment buildings, people trust others to respect shared spaces and follow community guidelines for cleanliness and behavior.  

    Professionally, we also trust others in childcare and education. Parents trust teachers, daycare providers, and other childcare professionals to care for and educate their children in a safe and nurturing environment.  In financial institutions and transactions we also trust other people.  Whether it's depositing money in a bank, investing in stocks, or using credit cards, people trust financial institutions and service providers to manage their money securely and ethically.  These activities all involve an element of trust, whether it's trusting strangers to follow societal norms or trusting professionals to perform their duties competently and honestly.

    So, almost everyday we trust strangers to follow the rules of the road, not put our food in jeopardy, operate mass transit and deliver mail, food, and medicine accurately, as well as take care of our most precious treasure, our children.  But these are strangers.  So it made me wonder about why people still put so much emphasis on trusting the people they actually do know, especially their leaders. 

    Why Trusting Leaders is Still Highly Desired

    Most people know who their boss is and frequently have spent many years working with their boss or organizational leaders. I started to wonder why people put so much emphasis on trusting their leaders even after the leaders have proven themselves to be trustworthy.  Even if a leader has proven themselves to be trustworthy, there are many people who continue to emphasize trust as a highly desired behavior for several reasons.

    People want to have consistency and reliability. Trustworthy leaders consistently demonstrate integrity, competence, and reliability in their actions and decisions. People value consistency and are more likely to trust leaders who have consistently shown themselves to be trustworthy in the past. "Consistency and reliability are essential traits for building trust in any relationship, whether it's personal or professional. When someone consistently demonstrates integrity and reliability in their words and actions, others are more likely to trust and rely on them." (Smith & Johnson, 2020) 

    This is why a positive track record is important.  Leaders with a history of making sound decisions and acting in the best interests of their constituents earn trust over time. People may emphasize trust in such leaders because they have demonstrated their ability to deliver positive outcomes and fulfill their responsibilities effectively.  "A positive track record is a testament to one's past successes and accomplishments, serving as a foundation for building trust and confidence in their future endeavors. Individuals with a proven history of making sound decisions and achieving positive outcomes are often viewed as trustworthy and reliable leaders." (Jones and Williams, 2019).

    Personal connection and loyalty is another reason we want trust in our leaders.  Individuals may develop a personal connection or sense of loyalty to leaders who have earned their trust. This loyalty can lead people to continue emphasizing trust in their leaders even in the face of challenges or criticism.  "Personal connection and loyalty are powerful forces that bind individuals to their leaders, fostering trust and solidarity within a community. When individuals feel a sense of personal connection and loyalty to their leaders, they are more likely to trust their decisions and support their initiatives, even in challenging times." (Davis & Thompson, 2021)

     Frequently we trust because the leader has shown competence.  Perceived competence or actual competence helps develop trust.  Trustworthy leaders are often perceived as competent and capable of leading effectively. People may emphasize trust in leaders who have demonstrated competence in their roles and have a track record of achieving goals and solving problems.

    Shared vision and values along with emotional investment also create a high need for trust. When leaders align with the values and vision of their followers, they are more likely to inspire trust and confidence. People may continue to emphasize trust in leaders who share their values and work toward common goals that benefit the broader community. "Shared vision and values serve as a powerful foundation for trust in leadership, uniting individuals around common goals and ideals. When leaders and followers share a vision for the future and uphold similar values, it fosters a sense of alignment and commitment, enhancing trust and collaboration within the group," (Miller & Thompson, 2020). 

    Individuals may have invested emotionally in their leaders, believing in their abilities, and feeling a sense of pride or identification with them. This emotional investment can reinforce trust and lead people to continue emphasizing trust in their leaders. "Emotional investment in leadership cultivates a deep sense of connection and loyalty, fostering trust and commitment among followers. When individuals invest emotionally in their leaders, they become more personally invested in the success of the leader's initiatives, strengthening bonds of trust and solidarity within the group," (Roberts & Garcia, 2018).

    Trustworthy leaders provide a sense of security and stability, which is essential for maintaining social order and cohesion. People may emphasize trust in leaders who promote stability and create an environment of trust and predictability.  Overall, people continue to desire trust in leaders who have proven themselves to be trustworthy because of the potential of continued positive qualities and outcomes associated with such leaders. This is why trust is a fundamental aspect of effective leadership, and when leaders earn trust, they are more likely to inspire confidence and support from their followers.

    Which Is More Desirable, Trust of Our Leaders or Trust in Everyday Strangers

    This made me want to compare why people still put so much emphasis on trusting their leaders, even if the leader has proven themselves trustworthy, as opposed to trusting strangers who we may never have even met before.  When comparing the risks associated with trusting leadership versus trusting others in everyday actions like driving or grocery shopping, it's essential to consider the context and potential consequences of misplaced trust.

                  Trusting Leadership: The risks associated with trusting leadership can be significant, especially in situations where leaders have a disproportionate impact on the lives of many people. If leaders abuse their power, make poor decisions, or act unethically, the consequences can be far- reaching and affect entire communities or even nations. Misplaced trust in leadership can lead to economic instability, social unrest, loss of rights and freedoms, and other serious consequences.  This is why the ability to trust a leader is still one of the most desired behaviors.

                  Trusting Everyday Strangers’ Actions: While there are risks associated with trusting others in everyday actions such as driving or grocery shopping, the potential consequences are generally more localized and immediate. For example, trusting other drivers to follow traffic rules carries the risk of accidents or injury, but these risks are usually limited to the individuals directly involved in the situation. Similarly, trusting sellers at grocery stores to provide safe products carries the risk of foodborne illness or contamination, but the impact is typically confined to the individual or household consuming the product.

    Putting It All Together:

    In conclusion, while both trusting leadership and trusting strangers in everyday actions entail risks, misplaced trust in leadership can have broader and more severe consequences on a societal scale. "The risk of misplaced trust in leadership cannot be understated, as it can lead to significant consequences for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole. When trust is placed in leaders who abuse their power, act unethically, or make poor decisions, it can erode confidence, undermine morale, and damage relationships, ultimately hindering progress and success." (Smith & Johnson, 2021).  It's essential for individuals to critically evaluate the trust they place in leaders and to hold them accountable for their actions, while also taking appropriate precautions in everyday interactions to mitigate risks associated with trusting others.


    Davis, E. L., & Thompson, R. M. (2021). The Role of Personal Connection and Loyalty in Building Trust in Leadership. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(4), 567-580.

    Jones, S. R., & Williams, L. M. (2019). The Importance of a Positive Track Record in Leadership: Building Trust and Confidence. Journal of Leadership Studies, 12(3), 45-58.

    Miller, K. A., & Thompson, J. D. (2020). The Impact of Shared Vision and Values on Trust in Leadership. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 17(3), 321-335. Top of Form

    Roberts, L. M., & Garcia, M. A. (2018). The Role of Emotional Investment in Building Trust in Leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 24(2), 189-204.

    Smith, J. D., & Johnson, A. B. (2020). The Role of Consistency and Reliability in Building Trust. Journal of Trust and Reliability, 15(2), 123-135.

    Smith, J. D., & Johnson, A. B. (2021). The Risk of Misplaced Trust in Leadership: Consequences and Considerations. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 18(4), 567-582.

    About the Author:  Dr. Chris Fuzie is the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA) who holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. Courses. Chris is the author of "Because Why... Understanding Behavior in Exigencies." and of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team and the School Police Officer Team.

  • 2 Feb 2024 5:35 PM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    Leadership Scientists are Leaderologists!

    Before we can understand what a leadership scientist is or does, we first have to understand exactly what a scientist is or does.  The term "scientist" traditionally refers to individuals who engage in the systematic study and inquiry of the natural world. However, the definition and scope of the term have evolved over time. While the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) remain a central focus, the term "scientist" has broadened to include those involved in social sciences, behavioral sciences, and other interdisciplinary fields.

    In contemporary usage, scientists can work in various domains beyond the natural world. Social scientists, for example, study human behavior, societies, and cultures. Behavioral scientists may focus on psychology or neuroscience. Computer scientists and data scientists work in fields that are not necessarily confined to the natural world but involve systematic study and inquiry.

    While the traditional image of a scientist often pertains to the natural world, the term has expanded to include professionals engaged in systematic inquiry across diverse fields, including those beyond the natural sciences.

    Leadership Scientists…Really?

    The term "leadership scientist" is not a standard or widely recognized title or role. However, it can be interpreted in different ways, and I'll offer a couple of potential interpretations:

    Research on Leadership: A leadership scientist might be someone who conducts research on leadership styles, strategies, and effectiveness. This could involve studying various leadership models, analyzing successful leadership practices, and identifying factors that contribute to effective leadership in different contexts. The goal would be to contribute new insights and knowledge to the field of leadership studies.

    Application of Scientific Principles to Leadership: A leadership scientist might also approach leadership from a scientific perspective, applying empirical methods, data analysis, and evidence-based approaches to understand and improve leadership practices. This could involve using scientific methods to assess the impact of leadership interventions, experimenting with different leadership styles, and continuously refining leadership strategies based on measurable outcomes.

    In both interpretations, the key idea is combining leadership principles with scientific methods to either contribute to and/or advance the theoretical understanding of leadership or enhance the practical application of leadership in various settings.  

    Such a role might not have a standardized definition, and its specific responsibilities would depend on the context and organization in which it is applied.  So, we must consider what it means to be professionals engaged in systematic inquiry.

    What do we call people who study a specific subject?

    The suffix "-ology" is derived from the Greek word "logia," which means "the study of" or "the science of." When attached to a word, it indicates a field of study or a branch of knowledge related to that particular subject. Many academic disciplines use this suffix to denote their area of expertise. For example:

    1. Biology: The study of living organisms.
    2. Geology: The study of the Earth and its structure, composition, and processes.
    3. Psychology: The study of the mind and behavior.
    4. Anthropology: The study of human societies, cultures, and their development.
    5. Sociology: The study of society and social behavior.
    6. Meteorology: The study of the atmosphere and weather patterns.
    7. Economics: The study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

    In each case, the "-ology" suffix signifies a systematic and scientific approach to understanding and exploring the respective subject matter.  The term used to describe people who study a particular field or subject ending in "-ology" is typically derived from the root word without the suffix. Here are a few examples:

    1. Biologist: Someone who studies biology.
    2. Geologist: Someone who studies geology.
    3. Psychologist: Someone who studies psychology.
    4. Anthropologist: Someone who studies anthropology.
    5. Sociologist: Someone who studies sociology.
    6. Meteorologist: Someone who studies meteorology.
    7. Economist: Someone who studies economics.

    In general, the term for an individual who specializes in a specific field of study is often formed by adding the "-ist" suffix to the root of the word denoting that field. This suffix indicates a practitioner or expert in a particular discipline. If we follow the pattern of adding "-ist" to the root word, someone who studies "leaderology" is called a "leaderologist."

    So, what is a leadership scientist?  A leaderologist!   What do leaderologists do?  A “Leaderologist” or leadership scientist is exploring the field of study known as "leadership science" or "leadership studies." In this area, researchers focus on understanding various aspects of leadership, including followership as a component of the leadership process, the traits and behaviors of effective leaders/followers, leadership/followership styles, organizational leadership, leadership development, and the impact of leadership on individuals and groups.

    The study of leadership involves multidisciplinary perspectives, drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, management principles and practices, organizational behavior, and other related fields. Researchers in leadership science may conduct empirical studies, experiments, and observations to gain a deeper understanding of how leadership functions in different contexts or situations and its effects on individuals, teams, and organizations.

    The goal of leaderology is to contribute evidence-based knowledge that can inform leadership practices in various settings, such as business, education, healthcare, and government.

     Why We Need to Use Leaderologists to Study and Teach Leadership

    Using pseudo-scientists in leadership, individuals who may present themselves as scientists but lack genuine formal education and training, scientific expertise, or don’t adhere to scientific principles, as opposed to real leadership scientists (Leaderologists), can introduce several risks and challenges in organizational contexts:

    1. Ineffective Decision-Making: Pseudo-scientific approaches may lead to the adoption of leadership strategies and decision-making processes that lack a solid empirical foundation. This can result in ineffective or counterproductive leadership practices.
    2. Poor Organizational Performance: Leadership decisions based on pseudo-scientific principles may not align with evidence-based best practices. This misalignment can negatively impact organizational performance, employee morale, and overall success.
    3. Lack of Employee Trust: If leaders rely on pseudo-scientific claims, employees may question the credibility and competence of their leadership. This lack of trust can lead to decreased morale, engagement, and cooperation within the organization.
    4. Missed Opportunities for Improvement: Genuine leadership scientists focus on research and evidence-based practices that contribute to the understanding of effective leadership. By neglecting these insights and relying on pseudo-scientific approaches, organizations may miss opportunities to improve leadership effectiveness and employee well-being.
    5. Risk of Unethical Behavior: Pseudo-scientific leadership theories may lack ethical grounding, potentially leading to decisions and practices that are ethically questionable. This can harm the reputation of the organization and lead to legal and ethical challenges.
    6. Resistance to Change: Employees may resist changes implemented based on pseudo-scientific leadership concepts if they perceive them as lacking a solid foundation or not aligned with genuine scientific understanding.
    7. Waste of Resources: Investing time and resources in leadership approaches that lack empirical support can be inefficient and wasteful. Organizations may spend resources on initiatives that do not contribute to long-term success.

    To mitigate these risks, organizations should prioritize evidence-based leadership practices, encourage ongoing professional development for leaders, and promote a culture of critical thinking.

    Consulting reputable leadership scientists (Leaderologists) and incorporating their education, training and experiences, along with research into leadership training and decision-making processes can contribute to more effective and sustainable leadership within organizations.

    About the Author:  Dr. Chris Fuzie is the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA) who holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. Courses. Chris is the author of "Because Why... Understanding Behavior in Exigencies." and of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team and the School Police Officer Team.

  • 21 Jan 2024 11:58 PM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    So you want to make an impact on the world.  To me there is a very simple answer… get a terminal degree in the study of leadership or “Leaderology.”

    I know, for many, education isn't everything, but, by earning a terminal degree in leadership studies or ”Leaderology,” such as a Ph.D. or Ed.D., can significantly increase your impact on the world through the dissemination of your dissertation and original research study.  My dissertation has been downloaded over 400 times in more than 53 countries.  There's some impact!

    Here are several way you can make an impact on the world:

    Completing a doctoral program involves conducting original research, contributing new knowledge to the field of Leadership Studies. By disseminating your dissertation findings, individuals can enhance the overall understanding of leadership principles, practices, and theories. Doctoral dissertations often form the basis for academic publications. Publishing in reputable journals allows individuals to share their insights with a broader audience, including researchers, educators, and practitioners. This dissemination contributes to the academic discourse on leadership.

    You can have increased influence on policy and practice. Leadership studies often have practical applications in various sectors, including business, education, healthcare, and government. Disseminating research findings can influence policy development and guide leadership practices in organizations, contributing to positive changes and improvements. You could significantly influence and further educational impact of leaderology. Those with terminal degrees in Leadership Studies often take on roles as educators. Disseminating research through teaching and mentoring students can inspire the next generation of leaders, fostering a culture of critical thinking and evidence-based leadership practices.

    More opportunities for networking and collaboration may become available. Sharing research findings at conferences and other academic forums provides opportunities to connect with other experts in the field. Collaborations and networking can lead to joint research projects, further amplifying the impact of one's work. Increased professional recognition is also a benefit for your research and frequently for you individually. A completed doctoral degree is a mark of expertise and dedication to a specific field. It can enhance an individual's professional reputation, leading to invitations to speak at conferences, contribute to panel discussions, and engage with other thought leaders in the field.  Like joining other leaderologists in the National Leaderology Association.

    The opportunity to create leadership development programs. By dissemination of research findings you can inform the development of leadership training programs and workshops. This can be especially impactful in organizations seeking evidence-based approaches to leadership development. Do you want community engagement? By sharing research with the wider community, and beyond academic circles, you can have a positive impact on societal understanding of leadership. Public lectures, workshops, and media engagements help disseminate valuable insights to a broader audience.

    Obtaining a terminal degree in Leaderology or Leadership Studies empowers individuals to make a substantial impact in the world by contributing new knowledge, influencing policies and practices, inspiring future leaders, and engaging in collaborative efforts with the broader academic and professional community.

    About the Author:  Dr. Chris Fuzie is the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA) who holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. Courses. Chris is the author of "Because Why... Understanding Behavior in Exigencies." and of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team and the School Police Officer Team.

  • 16 Dec 2023 9:13 PM | Chris Fuzie (Administrator)

    While discussing a specific organization that I’ve worked in with a colleague, we both mentioned how there seemed to be a “bottleneck” in the upper levels of the organization.  My colleague asked how it occurs and what can be done about organizational bottlenecks.  First, to be clear about what we’re talking about, a "bottleneck" refers to a point in a process or system where the flow of activities, information, or productivity is slowed down or restricted, causing a delay in overall progress or productivity. It is a constriction or narrow point, not necessarily physical like an hourglass, which limits the capacity of the entire system, often leading to inefficiencies, increased wait times, and decreased input, throughput, or output.

    Bottlenecks in organizations can arise from numerous factors, and they often hinder the smooth flow of processes and the efficient functioning of the entire system.  Some of the common causes of bottlenecks in organizations are:

    • Poor Communication:  Lack of clear communication channels can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and errors in information flow.
    • Inefficient Processes:  Complex or outdated processes may slow down the workflow, making it difficult for tasks to be completed in a timely manner.
    • Limited Resources:  Insufficient resources, such as workforce, technology, or financial resources, can lead to bottlenecks as teams struggle to meet demands with limited support.
    • Inadequate Planning:  Poorly planned projects or tasks can result in unexpected challenges and delays, causing bottlenecks in the workflow.
    • Dependency on Individuals:  Relying too heavily on specific individuals or teams can create bottlenecks, especially if these key personnel are overwhelmed or unavailable.
    • Ineffective Leadership:  Lack of strong leadership or ineffective management can contribute to confusion, indecision, and a lack of direction, all of which can lead to bottlenecks.
    • Mismatched Workloads:  Uneven distribution of workloads among teams or individuals can lead to bottlenecks as some areas may be overloaded while others are underutilized.
    • Technology Issues:  Outdated or malfunctioning technology can impede productivity, causing delays and bottlenecks in completing tasks that rely on technological support.
    • Inadequate Training:  Employees who lack the necessary skills or training to perform their tasks efficiently may contribute to bottlenecks in the workflow.
    • Unclear Priorities:  Lack of clarity regarding project priorities and objectives can lead to confusion and conflicts, resulting in bottlenecks as teams struggle to align their efforts.
    • External Dependencies:  Reliance on external factors, such as suppliers or third-party services, can introduce delays and bottlenecks if these dependencies are not managed effectively.
    • Resistance to Change:  Organizational resistance to change can impede the implementation of more efficient processes or technologies, leading to bottlenecks in adapting to new ways of working.

    In evaluating this list of causes of bottlenecks in organizations, there are some causes that are outside of the organization’s control such as limited resources, and some of the external dependencies, however a majority of these causes can be directly associated with the application of power within the organization.  Let’s take a look at each specific type of major power base and how it can contribute to bottlenecks in the organization if not used appropriately, and then some of the strategies organizations can use to mitigate and/or avoid these bottlenecks. 

    Distinct types of power in organizations—legitimate, reward, coercive, expert, informational, connection and referent power—can impact the dynamics within a workplace. While these powers can be effective tools for achieving organizational goals, they also have the potential to create bottlenecks if not managed appropriately. Here's how each type of power may contribute to bottlenecks:

    Legitimate (Positional) Power: 

    Legitimate power is based on position or rank. This type of power comes with rank or position in a hierarchical organization, or a role in society. It can also come with age, seniority, elected or appointed office, and certain jobs/positions.  While positional power can be essential for effective leadership and decision-making, it can also contribute to bottlenecks if not controlled properly. Some ways in which positional power can cause bottlenecks in organizations include:

    • Centralized Decision-Making:  When individuals in powerful positions insist on making all decisions themselves without delegating authority, it can lead to bottlenecks as all decisions must pass through a single point.
    • Micromanagement:  Managers with positional power who excessively micromanage their subordinates may create bottlenecks by being involved in every detail, slowing down the decision-making and execution process.
    • Limited Access to Information:  Individuals with positional power may control access to crucial information, creating bottlenecks as others are dependent on them for the information necessary to move forward with tasks or projects.
    • Hierarchy Delays: Decision-making processes that strictly follow the organizational hierarchy may result in delays, especially if decisions need approval from multiple levels of management.
    • Lack of Delegation:  If those in powerful positions are reluctant to delegate tasks and responsibilities, it can lead to overburdened individuals or teams, causing bottlenecks in completing tasks.
    • Resistance to Change:  Individuals in positions of power may resist changes or innovations that threaten their established authority, leading to bottlenecks in adopting new and more efficient ways of doing things.
    • Communication Barriers:  Powerful individuals may create bottlenecks by limiting communication channels or discouraging open communication, preventing the free flow of information and ideas.
    • Priority Distortion:  Individuals with positional power may prioritize tasks based on personal preferences or biases, leading to bottlenecks as tasks deemed less important are delayed or neglected.
    • Lack of Accountability:  If those in positions of power are not held accountable for their decisions or actions, it can create a culture of impunity, contributing to bottlenecks as issues are not effectively addressed.
    • Inflexibility: A rigid adherence to established processes and procedures by individuals in powerful positions can lead to bottlenecks, particularly when a more flexible approach might be more effective.

    To mitigate the potential bottlenecks associated with legitimate (positional) power, organizations should encourage a culture of collaboration, delegation, and open communication. Leaders should be willing to share power, delegate authority, and foster an environment where decisions can be made efficiently at various levels of the organization. This helps prevent bottlenecks and promotes a more agile and responsive organizational structure.

    Reward Power: 

    Reward power is based on the belief that the leader can provide something the follower values as a reward.  The leader can offer bonuses, incentives, good assignments, or other rewards.  The leader must monitor whether performance is deserving, and know what rewards are valued.  While reward power can be a valuable tool for motivation and performance management, it has the potential to create bottlenecks if not managed carefully. Here's how reward power may contribute to bottlenecks in organizations:

    • Selective Recognition: If those with reward power only recognize and reward a select group of individuals or teams, it can create bottlenecks. Employees may perceive that only certain behaviors or contributions are valued, leading to frustration and a lack of motivation, among others.
    • Inequitable Distribution of Rewards: Unequal distribution of rewards or incentives can lead to bottlenecks by fostering a sense of unfairness. This may result in decreased morale and cooperation, as individuals believe that their efforts are not being appropriately recognized or rewarded.
    • Dependency on Rewards: If employees become overly dependent on rewards as the primary motivator, it can create bottlenecks in productivity. When rewards are not consistently provided, individuals may lose motivation, impacting their performance and the overall pace of work.
    • Competition Over Collaboration:  A focus on individual rewards rather than team accomplishments may lead to a competitive rather than collaborative work environment. This can create bottlenecks as employees prioritize personal success over collective goals, hindering teamwork and cooperation.
    • Limited Innovation: When reward power is primarily tied to meeting specific targets or adhering to rigid performance metrics, it may stifle innovation. Employees may avoid taking risks or proposing creative solutions to problems to ensure they meet the prescribed criteria for rewards.
    • Neglect of Intrinsic Motivation:  Overreliance on external rewards may lead to neglect of intrinsic motivation factors, such as job satisfaction and a sense of purpose. This can create bottlenecks as employees may lose interest and engagement in their work when the focus is solely on external incentives.

    To mitigate the potential bottlenecks associated with reward power, organizations can implement establish reward systems that are fair, transparent, and based on objective criteria. Clear communication about the criteria for rewards helps prevent bottlenecks caused by perceptions of unfairness.  Organizations should ensure that a variety of contributions and achievements are recognized, not just those that align with specific metrics. This encourages a broader range of behaviors and prevents bottlenecks associated with a narrow focus on certain types of accomplishments. Foster a work environment that values intrinsic motivation by recognizing the importance of meaningful work, personal growth, and a positive workplace culture alongside external rewards. Emphasize the importance of teamwork and collaboration to achieve collective goals. Reward systems that encourage collaborative efforts can prevent bottlenecks resulting from individualistic behavior. Provide regular feedback on performance to help employees understand how their efforts contribute to organizational goals. This can improve motivation and reduce the likelihood of bottlenecks.

    Coercive Power: 

    Coercive power is based on the belief that the leader can punish or hurt the follower in some way.  The leader has the ability to impose punishments and sanctions; again, the leader must regularly monitor performance. While coercive power can be used to enforce compliance and maintain order, it also has the potential to create bottlenecks and negative effects on organizational dynamics and create bottlenecks:

    • Fear of Retribution: When employees fear negative consequences for expressing dissent or proposing alternative ideas, they may become hesitant to voice their opinions. This fear of retribution can lead to bottlenecks in communication and hinder the free flow of ideas within the organization.
    • Reluctance to Take Initiative:  Employees may be reluctant to take initiative or make decisions independently if they fear negative consequences for potential mistakes. This hesitancy can create bottlenecks in decision-making processes, slowing down the pace of work.
    • Resistance to Change:  Coercive power can be associated with resistance to change, as employees may resist new initiatives or innovations to avoid potential negative consequences. This resistance can impede the implementation of necessary changes and create bottlenecks in organizational progress.
    • Dependence on Authority Figures:  If coercive power is concentrated in a few authority figures, employees may become overly dependent on them for guidance and decisions. This dependence can create bottlenecks when decisions are delayed as individuals wait for direction from those in power.
    • Suppression of Creativity and Innovation:  Coercive power can stifle creativity and innovation, as employees may feel discouraged from suggesting innovative ideas or challenging existing practices. This suppression of creativity can lead to bottlenecks in problem-solving and hinder the organization's adaptability.
    • Low Morale and Engagement:  The use of coercive power can contribute to low morale and disengagement among employees. When individuals feel coerced rather than motivated, their enthusiasm for their work diminishes, leading to bottlenecks in productivity and collaboration.
    • High Turnover Rates: Excessive use of coercive power may lead to high turnover rates as employees seek more positive and empowering work environments. Frequent turnover can create bottlenecks by disrupting workflow, requiring continuous recruitment, and training.

    To mitigate the potential bottlenecks associated with coercive power, organizations should encourage leaders to adopt positive and participative leadership styles that emphasize collaboration, empowerment, and open communication rather than relying solely on coercive tactics. Equip leaders and managers with training on effective conflict resolution and communication skills to address issues without resorting to coercive measures and create a culture that values open communication, constructive feedback, and the free exchange of ideas. This helps reduce fear and encourages employees to express their thoughts without the threat of punishment.  Also, involve employees in decision-making processes to give them a sense of ownership and empowerment. This can help mitigate bottlenecks caused by dependence on authority figures. Reinforce positive behavior through a system of rewards and recognition, focusing on encouraging desired behaviors rather than relying solely on punitive measures.  It has been shown through research that punishment power is slightly stronger individually than reward power, however, together they are much stronger and the effects last longer.

    Expert Power: 

    Expert power is based on certain knowledge or extra or superior knowledge in certain areas.  Even if followers do not understand, they trust the leader’s expertise.  People follow this leader because of his/her credibility and knowledge. While expert power can be highly valuable for decision-making and problem-solving, it also has the potential to create bottlenecks if not managed appropriately.

    • Information Hoarding: Individuals with expert power may hoard information or knowledge, intentionally or unintentionally. If they don't share their expertise with others, it can create bottlenecks as team members are dependent on the expert for critical information.
    • Overreliance on a Single Expert: If an organization heavily relies on a single expert for specific tasks or decisions, it can create bottlenecks. In the absence of the expert, tasks may be delayed, and decisions may be deferred, impacting overall productivity.
    • Limited Delegation:  Experts may be hesitant to delegate tasks or decision-making authority, especially if they feel that others lack the necessary expertise. This limited delegation can create bottlenecks as all decisions must pass through the expert, slowing down processes.
    • Resistance to Alternative Perspectives: Experts may be resistant to considering alternative perspectives or ideas that challenge their expertise. This resistance can create bottlenecks as innovative solutions or different approaches may be overlooked.
    • Communication Barriers:  If experts struggle to communicate complex concepts to non-experts, it can create bottlenecks in understanding. This can hinder collaboration, particularly when team members need to work together across different areas of expertise.
    • High Dependence on Experts:  If the expertise of certain individuals becomes indispensable for critical tasks, it can create bottlenecks. Teams may face delays or difficulties in progressing if they are overly dependent on specific experts.
    • Expert Power Struggles:  In situations where there are multiple experts with conflicting views, power struggles may arise. Disagreements among experts can lead to delays in decision-making and implementation, creating bottlenecks.

    To mitigate the potential bottlenecks associated with expert power, organizations should encourage knowledge sharing and foster a culture of knowledge sharing where experts willingly share their insights and information with others. This can help prevent information hoarding and improve overall collaboration.  At the same time implement cross-training programs to develop the skills and knowledge of team members across different areas. This reduces overreliance on a single expert and ensures that multiple individuals can contribute to key tasks.  Additionally, organizations should encourage experts to delegate tasks and decision-making authority to capable team members. This helps distribute responsibilities and prevents bottlenecks caused by limited delegation. The organization should also create an environment where experts are open to considering alternative perspectives and ideas. Encourage constructive feedback and collaboration among experts and non-experts.  This will help develop a team with diverse expertise to avoid dependence on a single expert, which ensures that multiple individuals can contribute their knowledge to address challenges.

    Informational Power: 

    The person possesses (or has access to) information that is valued by others. While this power can be useful for decision-making and influencing others, it also has the potential to create bottlenecks if not managed properly. 

    • Selective Sharing of Information:  Individuals with information power may selectively share information, disclosing it only to a chosen few. This can create bottlenecks as others are kept in the dark, hindering their ability to contribute effectively or make informed decisions.
    • Centralized Information Control:  When information is tightly controlled by a few individuals or departments, it can create bottlenecks. Others may need to wait for approval or access, slowing down processes and decision-making.
    • Lack of Transparency: If there is a lack of transparency regarding the availability and sharing of information, it can lead to confusion and inefficiencies. Bottlenecks may occur as individuals struggle to obtain the information; they need to perform their tasks.
    • Communication Barriers: Information power can lead to communication barriers if those who possess critical information are not effectively communicating with others. Misunderstandings and delays may occur, creating bottlenecks in workflow.
    • Information Overload or Underload:  In some cases, information power can lead to bottlenecks due to either information overload or underload. Too much information can overwhelm individuals, while insufficient information can leave them unable to make informed decisions.
    • Dependence on Key Individuals:  If certain individuals possess crucial information and become indispensable for decision-making, it can create bottlenecks. Teams may face delays or difficulties in progressing if they are overly dependent on specific individuals for essential information.
    • Resistance to Information Sharing:  Individuals with information power may resist sharing information due to concerns about losing control or authority. This resistance can create bottlenecks as others are prevented from accessing the information needed for their tasks.

    To mitigate the potential bottlenecks associated with information power, organizations should foster a culture where transparency in information sharing is valued. Encourage open communication and the sharing of relevant information to ensure that all team members have access to what they need.  Utilize information management systems that facilitate the organized and efficient sharing of information across the organization. This helps prevent bottlenecks by ensuring that information is accessible to those who need it. Define clear communication protocols and expectations regarding the sharing of information. This helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that information flows smoothly within the organization. Implement knowledge transfer initiatives to ensure that critical information is not concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. This helps distribute information and prevents bottlenecks caused by dependence on key individuals. And invest in training on effective communication and information sharing practices to enhance the skills of individuals within the organization. This can contribute to a more efficient and collaborative work environment.

    Connection Power: 

    The person is aligned with, connected to, or supported by other influential or desirable members inside or outside the organization.  While having strong connections can be beneficial for collaboration and networking, connection power can also lead to bottlenecks if not managed effectively.

    • Exclusivity and Favoritism: Individuals with strong connection power may form exclusive cliques or networks, leading to favoritism. If decision-making or access to resources is confined to this group, it can create bottlenecks and exclude others from important processes.
    • Limited Access to Information: Those with strong connections may control access to critical information, limiting the flow of information to others. This can create bottlenecks as individuals outside the network may be unaware of vital details or changes.
    • Dependency on Key Connections:  If key decisions or actions are contingent on the approval or involvement of individuals with strong connections, it can create bottlenecks. Others may have to wait for the approval or input of these individuals, slowing down processes.
    • Resistance to Inclusion:  Individuals with connection power may resist including others who are not part of their network. This exclusion can create bottlenecks by limiting the diversity of perspectives and ideas considered in decision-making.
    • Information Silos:  Connection power can contribute to the creation of information silos, where certain groups or individuals hoard information within their network. This can result in bottlenecks as information is not shared across the organization.
    • Influence Over Decision-Making:  If individuals with strong connections have disproportionate influence over decision-making processes, it can lead to bottlenecks. Others may be hesitant to challenge decisions made within the network, hindering a more inclusive and objective decision-making approach.
    • Slow Response to Changes:  Connection power can result in a slow response to changes or challenges if the individuals with strong connections resist adapting to new circumstances. This resistance can create bottlenecks as the organization struggles to navigate evolving situations.

    To address the potential bottlenecks associated with connection power, organizations can encourage an inclusive culture that values collaboration and welcomes input from diverse sources. This helps prevent bottlenecks by ensuring that decisions and resources are not concentrated within exclusive networks. Define clear and transparent decision-making processes that involve input from various stakeholders. This helps prevent bottlenecks by ensuring that decisions are made based on merit and objective criteria rather than personal connections.    Foster a culture of open communication and information sharing. Implement systems and practices that ensure information is disseminated across the organization, reducing the risk of information silos. Promote diversity in leadership roles to avoid concentration of power within specific networks. This helps prevent bottlenecks by ensuring that decision-making is influenced by a variety of perspectives. Offer training programs that emphasize the importance of inclusive leadership and collaboration. This helps individuals with connection power understand the value of diverse perspectives and promotes a more inclusive organizational culture.

    Referent Power. 

    Referent power needs to be considered a bit differently, because it is generally the type of powerbase that is sought after because this type of power is based on an individual's personal characteristics and the admiration, respect, or liking others have for them. While referent power is normally seen as a positive influence, it has the potential to create bottlenecks in organizations if not managed properly. Here are ways in which referent power might contribute to the following bottleneck scenarios.

    • Dependency on the Referent Leader:  If a leader with strong referent power becomes the focal point for decision-making and problem-solving, individuals within the organization may become overly dependent on that leader. This can result in bottlenecks as people wait for the referent leader's input or approval before acting.
    • Overemphasis on Personal Relationships:  Bottleneck Scenario: When referent power is based heavily on personal relationships rather than objective criteria, decision-making and resource allocation may be influenced by personal connections rather than merit. This can create bottlenecks as decisions may not align with organizational goals or priorities.
    • Exclusivity and Cliques: Leaders with strong referent power may form exclusive cliques or inner circles, limiting access and input from others in the organization. This exclusivity can create bottlenecks in information flow and decision-making. 
    • Resistance to Challenge:  Individuals may be reluctant to challenge or question the decisions or ideas of a leader with referent power, fearing potential damage to the personal relationship. This lack of constructive criticism can hinder innovation and lead to suboptimal decision-making. 
    • Limited Diversity of Perspectives:  If referent power is concentrated in a few individuals with similar backgrounds or perspectives, it may limit the diversity of ideas and opinions considered in decision-making. This can lead to bottlenecks as alternative viewpoints are not adequately explored.

    To prevent or address bottlenecks associated with these power dynamics, organizations should consider implementing the behaviors and/or strategies of collaboration, open communication, limiting dependency establishing fair and equitable reward/punishment systems and encouraging inclusivity within the social connections.  These behaviors/actions, coupled with using the appropriate team/group decision making style will help significantly reduce organizational bottlenecks.

    • Promote Collaboration: Encourage a culture of collaboration where power is shared, and decisions are made collectively when appropriate. This helps distribute responsibility and prevents a concentration of power in a few individuals.
    • Open Communication Channels: Foster open communication channels to ensure that information flows freely throughout the organization. This can prevent information hoarding and enhance the ability of teams to work efficiently.
    • Provide Training and Development: Equip employees with the skills and knowledge they need to contribute effectively. This reduces dependence on a few experts and allows for more distributed expertise within the organization.
    • Establish Fair Reward Systems: Ensure that reward systems are fair, transparent, and based on merit. This helps motivate employees and reduces the risk of bottlenecks caused by inconsistent use of reward power.
    • Encourage Inclusivity: Promote an inclusive environment where everyone's contributions are valued, regardless of their social connections. This prevents the formation of exclusive networks that can lead to bottlenecks.
    • Use the Appropriate Group Decision-Making Style:

    ·   Decide: The leader solves the problem or makes the decision and announces it to the group. The leader may rely on information available to him or her at the time, or may obtain information from certain group members.

    ·   Consult (Individual): The leader presents the problem to group members individually, gets their suggestions, and then makes the decision.

    ·   Consult (Group): The leader discusses the problem with members as a group, collectively obtaining their input. Then the leader makes the decision, which may not reflect the group members’ influence.

    ·   Facilitate: The leader coordinates a collaborative analysis of the problem, helping the group reach consensus on the issue. The leader is active in the processes, but does not try to influence the group to adopt a particular solution. The leader accepts the will of the group and implements any decision that is supported by the entire group.

    ·   Delegate: If the group already functions independently of the leader, then he or she can turn the problem over to the group. The group reaches a decision without the leader’s direct involvement, but the leader provides support, direction, clarification, and resources as the group deliberates.

    Putting It All Together

    To avoid organizational bottlenecks related to power dynamics, it is crucial to foster a balanced distribution of power and influence. Leaders should prioritize a culture of collaboration and open communication, encouraging the sharing of information and expertise. Rather than relying solely on legitimate, reward, or coercive power, leaders should embrace a more inclusive leadership style that values input from diverse sources. Delegating authority, promoting transparent decision-making processes, and providing regular feedback can help distribute power and prevent bottlenecks associated with concentration of authority.

    Moreover, recognizing and addressing potential bottlenecks linked to expert power involves promoting knowledge sharing and cross-training initiatives. Encouraging experts to delegate tasks, fostering a culture of innovation, and avoiding resistance to alternative perspectives can enhance organizational agility. Similarly, in the case of connection and referent power, organizations should strive for inclusivity, promoting a culture that values diverse relationships and avoids exclusive cliques. Establishing transparent decision-making processes, promoting open communication channels, and ensuring that recognition and rewards are fair and inclusive can help mitigate bottlenecks arising from connection and referent power dynamics.

    About the Author: Dr. Chris Fuzie is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA), the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting, and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. all in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. leadership and supervisory Courses. Chris is the author of "Because Why... Understanding Behavior in Exigencies." and of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team, and the School Police Officer Team.

  • 5 Dec 2023 2:25 PM | David Robertson (Administrator)

    Marketing your leadership and organizational development practice can be overwhelming, especially with the myriad of strategies and platforms available. It can be confusing! However, it doesn’t have to be. By including these essential tips and tricks, you can get your name out there and see a significant boost in your client volume and your practice's success.

    You Are Pro - Be Pro:

    Remember that as a member of the National Leaderology Association and having your leadership education, you are several steps ahead of your potential competition. You've studied the actual science of leadership and are so much more than a coach or a guru. You are a true professional. In some cases, you are a true social scientist. Hence, it helps first to see yourself as a true practitioner and then approach your practice accordingly. 

    Establish a Robust Brand:

    Your practice's brand is its identity, and a strong one can set you apart from the competition. Craft a professional brand with a solid style guide to ensure consistency across all touchpoints, leaving a lasting impression on current and potential clients. Avoid the overly flashy and keep it simple and memorable. 

    Define a Compelling Vision:

    Having a clear vision provides direction for your practice, communicates a sense of purpose to the public, and motivates your team (if you have one). Define what success looks like for your practice and incorporate this vision into your messaging to create a compelling narrative.

    Enhance Online Presence:

    Investing in a professional website is crucial. A solid online presence makes it easier for potential clients to discover your practice and learn what makes you different. Share your unique selling points to showcase what sets you apart from your potential competitors down the road.

    Highlight Your Uniqueness:

    Distinguish your practice by emphasizing what makes it unique. Communicate these differentiators on your website, showcasing reasons why potential clients should choose you over competitors in your vicinity. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be anything more than the fact that you care the most. Other times, it might simply be that you are leadership-educated. However, just remember that you will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Find YOUR clients.

    Maintain a Well-Written Blog:

    Demonstrate your expertise by maintaining a well-written blog that provides valuable insights and information. A professionally crafted blog serves as a resource for your audience and positions you as a subject matter expert in your field. And trust me, your expert voice needs to be heard. The coaches are flooding the internet with pseudo-leadership ideas. Furthermore, a blog provides valuable resources to your clients and allows someone to share the information with a friend or colleague.

    Implement a Robust Social Media Strategy:

    While being on every social network is unnecessary, a strategic presence on key platforms can significantly boost your practice's visibility. However, you should choose your platforms wisely and tailor your content to resonate with your target audience. From there, you must consistently update your social media profiles to engage with your community.

    Active Community Engagement:

    Establish a presence at local events, conferences, and business associations. If necessary, offer free or discounted services at these events, allowing people to experience what makes your practice (and discipline) unique.

    Become an Accessible Expert:

    Position yourself as an expert in your field by making your knowledge accessible to the local community. Attend local gatherings, share your insights during speeches, and offer valuable services to solidify your reputation as a trusted authority in the market.

    Prioritize Client Experience:

    The success of your practice hinges on satisfied and happy clients. Seek ways to give your clients their “wow moment” and continuously improve their experience by seeking feedback and implementing enhancements. And never forget to always collect testimonials for your website.

    Personalize Client Service:

    You could take the previous suggestion a step further by personalizing their experience. Small gestures, such as sending handwritten cards or acknowledging special occasions, can create lasting impressions and reinforce your commitment to personalized care outside of their billable hour.

    Embrace Technology:

    Embracing technology is paramount. Consider implementing remote services to provide convenient and accessible care to your clients. Utilize digital platforms for appointment scheduling, virtual consultations, and communication. Embracing technological advancements caters to modern consumers' preferences and positions your practice as forward-thinking and adaptable. Moreover, by incorporating these technological solutions, you demonstrate a commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry, meeting the evolving needs of your clients, and expanding your reach beyond physical boundaries.

    Leverage Your Association:

    Members of the National Leaderology Association are encouraged to leverage their NLA status on their websites, business cards, and anything else that the public might consume. Remember that most coaches and gurus out there would not qualify for membership in the NLA. This fact helps differentiate you from the competition while highlighting your true leadership expertise. You've earned it, and you should use it! 

    By integrating these comprehensive strategies into your marketing approach, you'll elevate your practice's visibility and create a strong foundation for sustained success. Moreover, you will tell potential clients that your practice is dedicated to leveraging innovation for their benefit. Remember, you can expand upon any of these ideas, but the foundation of each is the key to thriving in an environment saturated with unqualified gurus and coaches.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

Privacy Statement
Terms of Use 
Registered 501(c)(6)

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software