Why a Meta-Perspective?
Any attempt at developing a comprehensive or general theory of leadership must deal with a wide variety of factors, contexts, variables, and conditions. Development of more limited theories should include an understanding of the place such theories take in a broader context. Further, efforts at developing and implementing research programs on leadership must take into account those same factors, contexts, variables, and conditions even though the research might address only one, two, or a few of them. A meta-perspective allows theorists and research workers to understand where their work fits into a larger scheme. Such a meta-perspective can also be useful in designing leadership development programs.
- The meta-perspective explicated here is based on eight assumptions:
- That leadership is a state or condition.
- That leadership occurs in a variety of entities and is context-bound.
- That leadership is determined by social system norms.
- That leadership is a relationship.
- That leadership occurs within leadership teams.
- That leading is a process.
- That leaders are human beings.
- That leaders and entities within which they function are capable of self-awareness.
Each will be dealt with briefly here and then become the subject of more extended discussion in subsequent sections of this document.
Individuals are not “born to be leaders.” There is no genetic predisposition that results in some people being leaders and others followers. Further, leadership is not related to a position of authority in an organization or other entity although that meaning occurs in common usage and in the popular media. Finally, leadership is not a social role. Leadership is a state or condition which an individual may occupy from time to time. An associated premise is that followership is also a state or condition. A situation that is not often noted in discussions of “leadership” in hierarchical organizations is that a person may be in a superior position relative to others but is, at the same time, in a subordinate position to persons at the next level above in the hierarchy and thus capable of being in the followership state. In fact, such an individual will need to oscillate between “leadership” and “followership” states on a daily basis. Considering leadership (and followership) as a condition eliminates the need to consider only persons in positions of authority as leaders and permits leadership to occur in anyone and in any of a variety of entities.
There simply is no universal and general form of leadership. Leadership isinherently context-bound. The skills, values, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors required in one situation differ radically from those in another. Corporate managers, if they are also leaders, face an entirely different set of requirements from the persons at the head of voluntary associations. Community and neighborhood leaders must cope with situations vastly different from that of college deans. There are, in other words, a number of kinds of contexts within which leadership can occur.
Leadership behaviors are determinedby social system norms means that the culture and norms of the system within which the individual performs limit what an individual can do. Social system norms override individual personality tendencies and models of ideal leader behavior as defined by outsiders. Even if people go to training sessions to adopt better leadership methods, they revert to the norms of the social system when back in that setting.
The assumption that leadership is a relationship is intuitively obvious. There can be no leader without a follower or followers. The problem faced by researchers, theorists, and analysts is that we have a very limited vocabulary of terms to describe relationships while there is a plethora of words defining human traits and skills. However, the social sciences do provide some clues as to how to view and assess the leader-follower relationship.
In most real-world situations, social systems such as organizations, associations, governmental bodies and agencies, and other entities are directed by leadership teams. Such teams are quite evident at the top of large hierarchical organizations. The person at the top of the organizational pyramid does not function alone but depends upon advice from a group of individuals. In some cases they are called the staff. In others they may be the executive committee or executive group or a board of directors. Boards of directors are common in voluntary associations in addition to business organizations.
Less obvious than some of the foregoing is the assumption that leading is a process. The difficulty presented above with regard to relationships, a lack of analytical concepts and methods, is even greater with regard to process. An entirely different language is needed to work out the complexities of leadership activities over time. Some concepts and ideas are available, however.
The statement that leaders are human beings appears trivial. It is not. Much of the research, analysis, and exposition on leadership and leaders begins with the leader in place. However, every human being goes through a developmental process from infancy to childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood. It seems evident that the process differs depending on numerous factors and influences how a person behaves and what a person values as an adult and in a leadership state. In addition, there may be educational and maturation processes that occur in adulthood.
Furthermore, every leader is involved in activities outside of the leadership situation. Leaders are spouses, partners, parents, uncle and aunts, and so on. Leaders find themselves in social situations outside of the organization. Leaders inhabit bodies that have needs. Leaders may even have a spiritual life. Leaders also engage in a variety of recreational activities and probably have hobbies and interests outside of the efforts they put forth in leadership states. To focus only on the values, behaviors, skills, and attitudes while in a leadership state is to ignore the whole human.
Finally, a unique characteristic of human beings is that they are self-aware or can be made self-aware. Persons in leadership states are not automatons programmed by training and development programs to operate in certain ways and not limited by the proscriptions of cultural roles and norms. Individuals not only act but observe themselves acting. They can see the reactions of other people as they act and modify their behaviors as a result. The ultimate state for a leader is to be self-aware to the extent that he or she can continue to grow and mature without intervention from outside.
Similarly, groups, units, agencies, and other entities can be made aware of their ways of functioning. More precisely, the persons who function in such groups, units, agencies, or other entities can be made aware of the processes, methods, norms, rituals, and procedures that they engage in their ongoing processes.
Leadership as a State or Condition.
The basic premise here is that leadership is a state or condition that can be occupied at various times by persons in working groups, teams, or organizations. The suffix “-ship” has several dictionary definitions including a state or condition (friendship); an office, dignity, or profession (clerkship); an art or skill (horsemanship); something showing, exhibiting, or embodying a quality or state (township);or one entitled to a rank, title, or appellation (judgeship). Any of the five definitions could be applied to leaders and leading although the fifth would be a stretch. It seems unlikely we will get to the point where someone will be designated “her Leadership.” The second definition has possibilities in that leadership may be or could become a profession, perhaps independent of management or administration, but such academic degrees or organizational positions do not currently exist. However, leadership represent an art or skill, a meaning that has been used in the past as in the third definition, but to this point there seems to be little agreement on the exact nature of that art or skill aside from those of traditional “scientific” management.
Two somewhat related meanings, the first and fourth from above, are relevant here. Leadership could connote (1) a state or condition in which a person would find herself or himself or (2) imply that someone showed or exhibited leadership in a particular context. The two meanings distinguish between an internal state or condition and an external appearance. Thus leadership denotes a state or condition or the embodiment of a quality. Those concepts have important implications. If leadership is a state or condition or the embodiment of a quality, then it follows that an individual may or may not be in that state or condition or may or may not embody the quality at any given time.
Leadership, in this sense, also distinguishes a state or condition or embodiment of a quality from a position or role in an organization or from a role any sort of entity. A manager may or may not be in a leadership state or condition at any point in his or her work day or career. Similarly, a manager may or may not embody the quality of leadership at any time.
Using the definition of leadership from above, that is as states, conditions, or embodiments, it is possible for someone who is not in a position of authority, not a manager or administrator, to lead others by influencing them. Thus, leadership is distinct from superior and subordinate positions in an organization or from manager and employee or the use of coercion, authority, or power to influence others.
A basic assumption underlying leadership as a state is that expertise is diverse and distributed among the members of an organization, agency, association, profession, occupation, or cultural entity. No one person possesses all of the knowledge or skills needed to address an issue or problem or to move the entity forward. Thus the manager, administrator, director, officeholder, or other official cannot single-handedly work through to an outcome. Those persons, in positions of authority, must be willing to accept influence from peers and subordinates.
To complicate matters further, the required expertise shifts depending on the particular issue or problem being addressed and the stage of the process in which it is being addressed. For this reason almost any member of the organization, work group, or team has the potential for being in a leadership state at some point in the process of working through a program or project.
Leadership in Context
I have elsewhere proposed a taxonomy of leadership contexts. The taxonomy is based upon three criteria: the method by which a position of influence is achieved, the method by which influence is exerted, and the characteristics of the persons being influenced.
Three methods for obtaining positions of authority exist. Many leaders are appointed to their positions. This is true for anyone in a supervisory, administrative, or managerial capacity. Someone else, usually a higher authority, make the appointment. However there are numerous contexts such as governmental units and professional association where a position is obtained by election. Finally, there are also leaders who emerge within a neighborhood, community, occupation, profession, or even an entire culture, and they are neither appointed nor elected.
Two methods of influence differentiate leadership contexts. In the first there is direct influence in the sense that the leader interacts directly with followers or subordinates. This is typical of work groups, teams, task forces, committees, and similar situations. However, much leadership is exerted indirectly in situations where there are a large number of followers or where the followers are dispersed geographically. In those cases the leader’s influence must come through a hierarchy of managers or administrators, through the implementation of policies, or through the use of such media as e-mail, newsletters, or videotaped speeches. This represents mediated as opposed to direct leadership.
The persons being influenced, the followers or subordinates, fall into at least five categories. Most common in the leadership literature is the case where the subordinates are paid employees and thus subject to the terms and conditions of employment. Where followers are volunteers, there exists no economic pressure or motivation, and a leader must operate differently. A third category consists of persons who could be considered citizens or members. They belong to a political entity or an association and are able to elect or select their leaders. Yet another class are persons who would be considered peers. For example, a medical doctor might be a leader among his peers in the development of new surgical procedures. That doctor influences his peers through his technical expertise. Finally, there are consumers, and by this is meant those persons in a society to are influenced by popular culture, the mass media, athletic events, books, worldwide web sites, and so on.
These criteria lead to the description of the following leadership contexts: organizational, societal, associational, professional/occupational, and cultural. Organizational leadership is the subject of much of the research, analysis, and prescription on leadership. By societal leadership is meant the officials, elected or appointed, who are involved in governing. Associational leadership occurs in political parties, special interest groups, professional and occupational associations, social service groups, commercial and business associations, labor unions, and charities. The context of professional or occupational leadership includes the kind of leadership describe above for a medical doctor. Finally there is cultural leadership through the arts, sciences, technology, entertainment, athletic, and religious or spiritual spheres of activity in a society.
Thus there is no single form of “leadership,” applicable across all of the contexts described here. Researchers, writers, consultants, and others should, in the future, delimit the applicability of their findings or advice to a particular context and perhaps even to a subcategory within that context.
Leadership is Determined by Social System Norms
Every organization, association, political unit, profession, or cultural endeavor involves some kind of culture. By that is meant culture in the sociological sense. There are mores and norms. There are roles. There are values and beliefs. There are rituals and rites. There is enormous variability in these cultures although all exist with a larger dominant culture such as that in the United States or another one in Germany or South Africa.
It is my belief that organizational norms are the single strongest determinant of leadership behavior. These norms prescribe the extent to which a leader must maintain distance from subordinates or get close to them, the degree to which a supervisor can abuse an employee or must use coaching and support. They cover all of the possible actions of a leader within the organization.
Of course, norms are flexible in that they usually represent limits within which there is a range of possibilities. There is no written code to which everyone much conform. The norms define the limits within which a leader must operate and if someone operates beyond those limits there is likely to be some kind of censure. It is important to realize that norm enforcement is often informal, so the offender is sent signals such as exclusion from a peer group of leaders or even be the butt of jokes.
Norms are learned by observation. If there are written policies and procedures, they cover only a small portion of all the activities of a leader. Leadership norms are displayed daily by all of the enactors in the organization.
One of the results of social norms is that there exist “appropriate” interpersonal and social behaviors in social systems, and they differ from one system to another. The norms will vary from one organization to another but also from one local community to another. And they differ quite drastically from an organization to a voluntary organization or to a profession.
The power of culture has important implications for those people who purport to train leaders or offer advice on how to be a leader. No matter what the training encourages or the advice suggests, the leader returning to the work situation is likely to return to the norms of the organization. Training or advice are effective only if they are congruent with the existing “ways of being a leader” in the organization.
To change leadership style requires a change in the organizational culture. For this reason organizational development is the most effective way to successfully and permanently change leadership patterns. Unfortunately, it is probably true that such change requires a long time, perhaps a generation of leaders.
Leadership as Relationship
The relationship between a leader and follower can be examined on at least three levels. The first and perhaps most important is in terms of roles in the sociological sense. Secondly, they will also interact and develop a relationship in terms of task or technical matters. Finally, there may also be a personal relationship.
Roles are sets of expectations about how people will behave in specific social situations. In a leadership setting, there are expectations about how the leader will act. Those expectations arise from a general societal picture of leadership and then more local and specific versions in the workplace. The societal expectations of a leader include in the Western world such elementary matters as taking action, assuming responsibility, exercising authority, and so on. The expectations in a particular setting can vary quite widely. In some places the leader is expected to be “tough as nails” and in others more nurturing, as an example.
However there is also a subordinate or follower role. Again the general version of that role is someone who is loyal to the superior, willing to follow direction, and capable of performing many tasks on her or his own. But specific situations are variable. In one case, for example, subordinates may be expected to take on quite a few responsibilities and operate relatively independently while in another just the opposite might be the case and the subordinate is expected to report regularly on task progress.
The leader-subordinate relationship will be relatively good as long as each person meets the expectations of the other. If that does not occur, then conflict ensues.
The second facet of the leader-subordinate relationship has to do with the issue of getting work done. Both the leader and subordinate have expertise. In most modern organizations and associations, the leader usually does not have more or better expertise. Subordinates often have technical capabilities beyond those of the leader. In these cases the nature of the leader-follower relationship differs from that of the old industrial or military model. There is a need for mutuality rather than a top-down relationship. The leader has to learn to trust the subordinate’s judgments and decisions.
Leaders and followers also develop personal relationships. They learn about each others idiosyncrasies. They find out about families, social lives, and hobbies. This is not to imply there is friendship. It simply means that people find out about the other person as a person, not simply as a role enactor and set of technical skills. Some form of personal relationship development goes on in work situations between leaders and followers. We know very little about the process of such relationship development.
In some cases the personal relationship results in conflict. These are the “personality clashes” that occur at times. It is simply a matter of that the personal styles, beliefs, and attributes of the two persons are so vastly different that they irritate each other or at least one irritates the other. It is entirely possible but unexplored that such situations are more likely to develop as relationship development goes forward.
An important feature of the relationship of leader to follower when leadership and followership are considered states or conditions is that there can be switching between the two states. This results in a new level of complexity in assessing such relationships. At one time, one person will be in the leadership state and another in the followership state. Then, a shift will occur in which the first individual moves into the followership state and the second into the leadership state. This can happen, as an example, when the individuals are involved in a task in which each of them has special expertise.
Operating within a Leadership Team
Many social systems such as associations, organizations, governmental bodies, and similar entities operate under the direction of a leadership team. Large organizations almost invariably have an executive committee of some sort that meets regularly with the person who has overall or final authority. Voluntary associations typically have a board of directors who generate policy. Much research and particularly in the medical world is conducted by teams in which there are senior and junior members but all contribute and engage in mutual influence.
Each of the members of a leadership team is a leader in his or her own right. Each is able to make recommendations on specific issues, and in this sense are capable of exerting influence on each other. Individuals “at the top” in organizations, associations, professions, and other entities need to be studied in terms of the leadership team or teams within which they function.
Because of the tendency in the popular literature but also academic research to focus on one individual in a position of authority, there is relatively little information on how leadership teams function. The nature of the relationships between the members of such teams needs to be investigated. The composition of leadership teams is also of interest. In voluntary associations, the members of the leadership team are elected and may represent diverse viewpoints and constituencies. The same happens in elected bodies governing towns, cities, and counties. Member are usually appointed to leadership teams in formal organizations and sometimes are selected for their expertise in such areas as the law, finance, or technology.
Leading as Process
Most leadership studies and models are based on or imply a static view of leading. Research summarizes the behaviors, beliefs, skills, or styles of leaders. A style, for example, is a set of behaviors and perhaps values about leadership. However, behaviors occur over time in actual settings. Leading as process represents a way of looking at the sequence of activities of a leader over time.
The net effect of a leader on subordinates, I believe, comes about as a result of the cumulative consequences of behaviors over a fairly long period of time, weeks or months. To walk into a leadership situation and observe what happens for part of a day is simply taking a snapshot. Motion pictures, figuratively, need to be taken. They can be a sampling of behaviors over a period of time. Sequences of actions and reactions should be recorded and studied. This, of course, is a much more difficult kind of research than simply going in and having someone complete a questionnaire on how the leader handles certain situations.
One of the interesting possibilities in such tracking would be a portrait of a leader in the process of maturation in that role. By facing a succession of tasks, events, and even crises, the leader is likely to have dealt with and learned from them. The leader at time T20 is likely to be quite different from the leader at time T1, some months or years earlier.
There is also the issue of relationship development between leader and subordinates. Some work has been done on relationship development for couples, but little or none on relationship development in work situations and certainly not for the development between leader and followers. There is an added complexity here. Work group, team, committee, staff group, and so on change membership over time. Thus there is a continuing need for relationship development as new people come on board and others leave. Studying leader behavior over time is also critical in cases where there are major organizational changes and particularly in the event of rapid growth or required downsizing and layoffs.
Some observers have utilized the notion of “leadership capital” in understanding leading as a process. Such perspectives suggest that a leader ascends to a position of influence with a finite amount of capital or goodwill. As time goes on and the leader makes decisions and takes action, some of the goodwill is used up because subordinates’ needs, desires, and goals are increasingly frustrated. At some point the leadership capital is used up and the followers no longer are influenced by the leader. That simple model represents a prime example of leading as a process.
Finally, groups and organizations are entropic, that is, they tend to “run down.” Entities are in a constant process of becoming disorganized and require leadership to sustain them. In fact, the concept of the static organization is better replaced by the notion of organizing, a process. A leader of a work group, team, association, community, or organization engages in negentropic activity, that is, instituting order where there is a trend toward disorder.
Leaders as Human Beings
Leaders begin life as ordinary human beings. No one in modern society is born into a position of influence although infants are able to “influence” parents in various ways. Yet much of the research and analysis of leadership is based upon a portrait of the leader as he or she exists in a present position of influence without considering that individual’s personal history. This is not to suggest that we need to engage in “psychohistory” to understand leaders. It does suggest that we need to understand how human beings arrive at adulthood and leadership states.
That process has been well documented. In the parental home, the infant and young child is taught the basic rules of the society into which she or he is born. The process is called socialization. The goal of socialization is to produce an adult, eventually, who will be able to live with and among others. In the course of socialization many of the impulses of the child are thwarted. Instead of “what I want,” the child learns to act in terms of “what others want.” Early in the developmental sequence the child obtains an identity, an “I,” a self. The child is thus separated from the physical environment and from the parents and other human beings.
Over the years through childhood and adolescence, the individual is subject to greater and greater constraints. The mores, norms, and folkways of the society are inculcated into the personality. Arriving at adulthood in a chronological sense, the person should be able to act in ways that are appropriate for each situation encountered.
To obtain employment and earn an income, the near-adult must also be trained in a particular occupation or profession. The training can occur in an educational setting or “on the job.” In either case, the individual learns the appropriate ways of acting in that occupation or profession. This is socialization into the occupation or profession. It further limits the options available to the person during the work day.
By the time the process of socialization into the larger culture and the occupational culture is complete, a person usually has a basic personality overlaid with layers and layers of expectations and rules of conduct. Leaders go through the same processes as everyone else in the society. However, leaders also must learn the rules of leadership. Again those can be obtained in a formal setting but more often are acquired informally. During the growth from infancy to adulthood, a person comes into contact with numerous role models for leadership in the form of parents, teachers, coaches, religious figures, and others. Some conceptions of leadership come from books, magazines, television, and other popular culture sources. The particular mode of leadership adopted depends on the role models and the sources of information and inspiration.
There is an additional problem in considering leaders in situ. Again, as human beings, leaders presumably have a life outside of the organization, association, governmental body, or professional situation. Certainly the nature of times and places outside of work have an effect on the way in which a leader behaves in the work situation. Leaders have religious and spiritual beliefs. They may have strong political views. They have leisure activities. They are almost certainly involved in relationships with others, personal, social, sexual, familial. Leaders are whole persons and as such their performance as leaders is probably influenced by and influences their lives away from work.
It seems important to understand how leaders develop and emerge as a result of socialization into society and an occupation and into a particular leadership mode. It is equally important to realize that every leader exists and operates within a much larger context than simply the job.
One single feature of human life obviates any logical-positivist and reductionist view of leadership: the simple fact that human beings are self-aware. Not only “do I do” but “I am aware of my doing” and “I am aware of the situation in which I act” at the same time. A dramatic illustration comes from the numerous studies of conformity conducted by social psychologists in the 1950s and 1960s. The subjects were college students subjected to a variety of conditions intended to induce conformity ranging from peer pressure to strong suggestions from apparent authority figures. Many of the students did conform. However, they were never told that the studies were of conformity. Had the students been informed that they were to be subjected to such efforts to find out if they would conform, it seems likely far fewer and perhaps none would conform.
In the field of leadership, researchers, for example, produce questionnaires asking respondents how they would react to various situations. People have to select from a limited number of possible answers. Rarely, however, are respondents asked to state why they react in certain ways. Furthermore, they are almost never asked if their reaction was based on the norms of their work group or organization. They are not allowed to indicate whether or not they would confer with one, two, or several other people before selecting a response in a “real” situation. Such questionnaires usually do not include information on what kinds of events preceded the situation described in a questionnaire item or even the nature of the relationship between leader and follower. Nor do such questionnaires allow for responses on how the leader would follow up, assess followers’ reactions, and then respond additionally or differently.
The point is that people in leadership states are not oblivious to themselves, their actions, the reactions of others, and their surrounding. They have insight. They are able to analyze and assess.
However, even more important, leaders as self-aware human beings can be made conscious of their actions and the responses of other to those actions. When such self-awareness occurs, the leader is no longer the “rat in the maze,” responding to situations and conditions in accordance with some rote procedure or consistent style. Leaders can modify their own behaviors and actions while in the process of leading. And that enormously complicates the issue of studying leadership and leading.
The eight assumptions briefly explicated in this document suggest that the study of leadership is vastly more complex than would be suggested by most of the findings represented in existing research. Further, leadership theories are woefully inadequate in that they focus on single leaders, develop static descriptions of those leaders, do not specify the context within which the leaders operate, ignore social system norms about leadership, deal with the leader-follower relationship from the standpoint of the leader, do not take into account the division of labor in leadership teams, do not reflect the process nature of leading, rarely provide insight into the leader as a developing human being, and disregard the ability of the acting human being to be self-aware.
A good theory of leadership must begin with a specification of the context within which the leader operates and the kinds of social system norms that influence leader behaviors in that context. This suggests that, at this time, there is little possibility of a universal and general theory of leadership. The first step is to develop limited and specific theories.
Those smaller theories need to incorporate more than descriptions of leader functions, skills, and traits. They must include descriptions of the nature of the relationships between leaders and subordinates in the particular contexts and with the organizational norms that dictate the nature of such relationships. It is also important that theories of leadership for large organizations, for work teams, for voluntary associations, and all the other contexts should provide insight into the nature of the leadership team supporting the top leader. These theories also need to take into account the ways in which leaders act over time, how they adapt to changes in the entity being lead, how they develop as leaders, and how their effectiveness waxes and wanes over time. Finally, such theories should provide insight into how leaders develop their competencies and values and also how their needs and motives emerge from their life histories.
There are also implications for training and consulting based on the assumptions outlined in this document. However, some of the assumptions are neatly taken care of in practical leadership development efforts. The most obvious is that leadership development programs are aimed at individuals coming from specific kinds of entities. Leadership training for the corporate world is quite different from that offered to persons returning to community groups.
If leadership is indeed determined by the context, that is, the way to lead is dependent on social system norms, then leadership training needs to be focused on how to get individuals to understand and conform to those norms. If there is a need for more effective leadership, then the appropriate strategy involves changing the norms.
Leadership is a matter of the relationship between the leader and subordinates. There appears to be little argument on that subject. It suggests that leaders, potential or in place, need to be given more information and advice on the nature of human relationships and particularly the differences that exist in values, needs, and motives and how to deal with such diversity. A very specific need is to develop leaders who are capable of working with people who differ from the leader in those important areas of values, needs, and motives.
Since a leader rarely operates alone but with the support of a leadership team, a staff or executive committee or board, practical leadership development programs must focus on how to create and manage such groups.
An additional potential in leadership development is information on and advice about the process of leading. There are practical suggestions and recommendations, as examples, for ways in which to introduce changes, potentials for creating or eroding support over time, dealing with the dynamics of changing membership, and handling shifts in follower capabilities and skills.
Leaders and leaders-to-be come to their positions with an accumulation of personality traits and cultural norms. It is useful for individuals to become aware of how and why they have become the persons they are in the present situation. Understanding personal history is the foundation for growth and development in the future. It also provides a basis for understanding personal mission and vocation.
The ultimate goal of any leadership development program ought to be raising the consciousness of leaders or leaders-to-be as to their values and behaviors and to produce self-awareness so that they can continue to mature and adapt on their own. Additionally they should be provided with suggestions for how to acquire additional insight and understanding when such a need arises.
A complete leadership development program, then, would consist of sessions to identify organizational norms of leadership behavior, the nature of leader-member relationships and how they develop and deteriorate and how to deal with diverse personalities, the kinds of leadership teams and how they can be created and used, the way in which a leader’s influence increases and decreases as a result of the accumulation of actions over time, and, finally, opportunities to understand from how the leader’s own values, needs, and motives arise.
Ernest L. “Ernie” Stech is the Principle in Chief Mountain Consulting, Flagstaff, Arizona; Adjunct Professor with Arizona State University; and Executive Director of the Flagstaff National Monuments Foundation. He is author of two books, The Transformed Leader and Leadership Communication, and is contributor of a chapter on the psychodynamic approach in Northouse’s Leadership Theory and Practice. Stech helped develop an undergraduate course in leadership at Western Michigan University in the early 1970s and is emeritus from that institution. He co-authored two texts on small group communication and has had several other works published. Stech was President and CEO of Frost Engineering Development Corp. in Englewood, Colorado from 1985 to 1994 and is co-inventor on several patents. He has held several positions as a research engineer specializing in ergonomics and human engineering in large aerospace firms. Stech consulted with a number of small businesses. His interests are in developing leaders, formal leadership theory, and leadership processes.