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Eight Leadership Paradigms
In this intriguing Wharton Leadership Digest interview, authors James Quigley and Mehrdad Baghai talk about eight archetypes of leadership from their new book, As One: Individual Action, Collective Power (Portfolio, 2011): • The landlord and tenants – Tenants voluntarily decide to join landlords, but once they do, the boss has the top-down power, controlling access to scarce resources, doling out rewards and sanctions, and dictating the terms of tenants’ participation. • The community organizer and volunteers – The power for setting direction comes from the bottom up, but the community organizer is the glue that holds things together. Volunteers can’t be ordered around; instead, they join on their own terms if
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Soldiers follow clearly-defined tasks and are motivated to move up through the hierarchy. This is the right paradigm for situations where there is an accepted mission and culture, extensive training, and authoritarian direction is needed for large groups of people who cannot all directly communicate with each other. • The architect and builders – This model consists of “creative collaboration among groups of diverse builders that have been recruited by visionary architects to bring a seemingly impossible dream to life,” say Quigley and Baghai. “Their visions are so innovative and ambitious that they can’t be achieved simply by using conventional means, so builders often need to reinvent and rethink ways to achieve them.” This paradigm is great for continuous innovation and pushing people beyond their normal boundaries. • The captain and the sports team – This model has minimal hierarchy and the team has strong camaraderie and trust, acting “like a single cohesive and dynamic organism, adapting to

new strategies and challenges with great agility as they appear,” say the authors. There’s a strong shared identity, with extensive communication channels and a set of highly scripted, repeatable tasks. The captain is on the field and part of the team to motivate and encourage. This paradigm works where there is a high degree of trust in the skills and judgment of those on
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