A brief glance at history shows that leadership is a neutral tool, as it can be used to help or hurt people. Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King are revered because they stressed humane solutions to problems. Dictator Adolf Hitler and cult leader Jim Jones are examples of corrupt leaders; they certainly motivated their followers, but the effects of their rule was ruinous.
Modern corporate management is starting to stress the softer of these two approaches, rejecting the traditional authoritarian management techniques that depended on fear for empathetic motivators who practice the Golden Rule. The key tto each manager's effectiveness lies in their "ability to inspire trust, loyalty, commitment, and collegiality among team members" (Eade 1996).
Comparing traditional autocratic managers to abused children who grow up to be abusers, Eade writes that this style of dealing with subordinates causes employee turnover, low morale, which in turn makes productivity suffer.
The antidote to this negative, selfish, ungrateful, blaming approach is to pay more than lip service to making collective decisions arrived at by consensus, rather than top-down directives which are obeyed grudgingly out of fear of the consequences for non-compliance. Eade goes on to list a series of traits that good leaders must both embody in themselves and encourage in others: plan; teach; delegate rather than dump; encourage independent thinking; build a team; listen; set an example; accept responsibility; and share the spotlight. The most important of all these concepts is being a teacher, one whom a shortcoming or failure is an opportunity to learn, rather than a shameful failure for which to be humiliated. The subtext of all this respectful coaching is that the leader must embody these traits in his or her actual behavior, essentially earning respect by integrity.
Under the title of "Effective Leadership" self-styled "Business e-Coach" Vadim Kotelni...