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Leadership Distinctions

In todays complex organizational environment, a real value is placed on an all-round leader that can use different leadership styles in different settings. The real question is; How can we know what style to use in certain situations? In the discussion of what leadership style to engage when, I found the distinction made by Gloria Nemerowicz and Eugene Rosi helpful. They identify factors at play in two types of leadership styles called Classical leadership and Shared leadership. I have chosen six distinctions: Classical leadership: Displayed by a person’s position in a group or hierarchy. Shared leadership: Identified by the quality of people’s interactions rather than their position. Classical leadership: Leadership evaluated by whether the leader solves problems. Shared leadership: Leadership evaluated by how people are working together. Classical leadership: Leaders provide solutions and answers. Shared leadership: All work to enhance the process and to make it more fulfilling. Classical leadership: Distinct differences between leaders and followers: character, skill, etc. Shared leadership: People are interdependent. All are active participants in the process of leadership. Classical leadership: Communication is often formal. Shared leadership: Communication is crucial with a stress on conversation. Classical leadership: Can often rely on secrecy, deception and payoffs. Shared leadership: Values democratic processes, honesty and shared ethics. Seeks a common good. Reference: Gloria Nemerowicz and Eugene Rosi (1997) Education for Leadership and Social Responsibility, London: Falmer Press. Page 16.