Theatrics of Leadership? © David M. Boje 12-10-2000
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INDEX TO Theatrics of Leadership page
Three Dimensions of Leadership
1. BUREAUCRATIC LEADER
Bureaucrat pretending to be heroic; Hero who is tamed by bureaucracy 3. HEROIC LEADER
Bureaucrat pretending to be the prince; Prince who has become engulfed by bureaucratic counter measures EXECUTIVE LEADER W/ 4 CHOICES? Heroic leader who leaves the group to find self; Superman who becomes puppet of group 2. PRINCE LEADER
Prince who gains power but does not know how to handle it; Superman who becomes prince 4. SUPERMAN/ SUPERWOMAN LEADER
Figure One: Four Types of Leaders and their Rhizomatic Hybrids © David M. Boje
INTRODUCTION TO THEATRICS OF LEADERSHIP
Max Weber (1947), distinguished between the bureaucratic and the heroic charismatic leader, as well as the traditional (feudal) leader. For James MacGregor Burns (1978) Princely political leaders and Bureaucratic leaders were engaged in transaction behaviors and modal moral values (means instead of ends). For Burns, Weber's charismatic Heroic leader was the epitome of transformational behaviors and transcendent moral values (ends over means). Burns had less to say about the Princes or what Weber termed the Sultans of his Traditional (Feudal) leader. Burns did not believe great men should be driven by ambition or the need for power. Machiavelli (1610) disagreed. The Prince is the première text on ambitious leadership, and treating people as objects, as means to ends. This dualism of being against or for ambition has split the leadership into half, as depicted in Figure two (top versus bottom theories of leadership). Nietzsche thought that leadership was beyond simple choices of good versus evil. The novel I am reading captures this point:
All the great men of history were driven by ambition. It goes hand in hand with power. Contrary to public opinion, the world is not divided by good and evil, but between those who do and those who do not, the visionaries and the blind, the realists and the romanticists. The world does not turn on good deeds and sentiments... but on achievements (Cussler, 1997: 281, Flood Tide).
A bureaucracy is also quite a modal (mean-become-ends) institution, in which both leaders and followers become objects and become servants to others (it is supposed to work that way, but doesn't). In bureaucratic leadership, the Prince intrudes, and the ends of serving the people become displaced by the means, survival at all costs and fiefdoms develop everywhere. Even in Alfred Chandler's M-Form (multidivisional professional bureaucracy) this means-ends displacement happens. Contemporary leadership theories of transaction (Bureaucracy and Prince) and transformation (Quest for the Hero) have had very little to say about Niccolo Machiavelli's or Frederick Nietzsche's leadership theory, the Prince and the Superman/ Superwoman.
I therefore theorize two dimensions of leadership as depicted in Figure Two.
Figure Two: Dimensions of Leadership © David M. Boje
WILL TO SERVE OTHERS
Bureaucrat pretending to be heroic; Hero who is tamed by bureaucracy
Bureaucrat pretending to be the prince; Prince who has become engulfed by bureaucratic counter measures
Heroic leader who leaves the group to find self; Superman who becomes puppet of group
Prince who gains power but does not know how to handle it; Superman who becomes prince
WILL TO POWER
The horizontal dimension is Transactional to Transformational. The vertical dimension is from Will to Serve others to the Will to Power.
My quest is to work with Weber, Burns, Machiavelli, and Nietzsche's theories of leadership, to discern the roots of what I call the Theatrics of Leadership. This will be a theory of leadership that is not about traits or lists of behaviors.
Theatrics of Leadership has these elements:
Set (resources available to lead) Time (history and situation) Place (social and economic context) Spectators (audience) Characters (actors and their relationships) Plots (romantic, tragic, comic, satiric)
The elements of theatrics, story, and situation can come together in many ways. There can be an unfolding of plot that draws in characters, scripting their lines and scenes. Or, the spectators and actors can migrate and wander from stage to stage, change their masks as they go (See Tamara).
Some corporate executives are born actors, able to take the role of prince, hero, bureaucrat or superman/superwoman. They play the role that will manipulate the situation to the advantage. Others are reactive, responding to the situation as it unfolds, or just clueless to situation, playing the same role even when the context pleads for another one. Spectators in more postmodern dramas can be actors and spectators at one time (what Augusto Boal calls spec-actors).
Corporate Theatrics is not some structural functionalist role theory of leadership (Merton, 1957). Leader acting is not so tightly coupled to situation; the roles are not a function of situation; it is a loosely coupled scene. The actor is aware of situation (more or less) and can respond, ignore, or manipulate the situation.
My work here owes much to Weber, Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the brilliant work of Eugene Jennings (1960). Jennings resisted the turning of leadership study into an empirical science; he wanted to linger and take one last look at the Great Man Theory of Leadership. My contribution will be this, to resurrect a forgotten typology of leadership, and rewrite it in terms of Theatrics of Leadership. Corporations are plays, great stages, with wandering audiences, trying to make sense of fragmented storylines. Leaders are actors, directors, and script writers.
What did Jennings (1960) contribute? He looked at situation, behavior, and situation theories of leadership and found them fit for the modernist organization man, the society that preferred bureaucrats to heroes. He developed a typology of leaders: as mixtures of superman/superwoman, prince and hero. But he had a fourth category, that can easily be missed: the bureaucrat executive. The great men and women who wrote our history were rule breakers, value creators, supermen and princes, and sometimes heroes, but never the bureaucrats that pass into the executive suite today.
And in between the main four types (See Figure One), there are hybrids, combinations of these ideal types. What is interesting is the rhizome, the flights between the types, the migration of leader as actor from one to the other. The bureaucrat pretending to wield power like the Prince, but not knowing how. Or the CEO trained to plan and organize who picks up the latest book on servant leading, trust, and visioning, and now pretends to be a Leader-Hero. Leadership has made us prefer weak leaders. And Weber correctly described bureaucracy as the attempt to keep the manager under strict control. In a time of robber barons and greedy entrepreneurs, there was great need to tame leaders.
Ours is a postmodern society, caught up in modern leader and bureaucratic structures. We confront transformations as great as those that marked the end of feudalism and the emergence of modernity (Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Newton). The invention of the printing press, steam engine, and telegraph (then telephone) brought the modern age and with it a transformation of leadership. Biotechnology, cloning, death of the nation state (birth of corporate state), TV, and WWW, are creating the new revolution, one that is redefining leadership in a postmodern world. McDonaldization is everywhere (modernity's last breath); and Disney is a factory pretending to be postmodern (beneath the Happy Kingdom, sweatshops persist), while Las Vegas uses the spectacle and carnival to lure suckers into the casinos (who believe Paris, Las Vegas is more real than Paris, France), to become one with their machines. Yet in Disney, Las Vegas, and NikeTown there is a proliferation of Princes who gain corporate power. But are these great leaders? For Nietzsche (Will to Power #875) great men, "individuals, princes, statesmen, geniuses, generals are the levers and causes of all great movements." And we have many movements of late. The Supermen were capable of setting the masses in motion. They did more than continue to proliferate mechanistic sweatshops shrouded in postmodern architecture and heroic spectacle. The Superman/Superwoman (not the weak character ones) meditated on their inner self, built their power to be a great human being, and defied the herd. The Superman/Superwoman leader had the ability to "extend his will across great stretches of his life and to despise and reject everything petty about him, including even the fairest, 'divinest' things in the world" (Will to Power #961). Whereas today many of today's corporate and political leaders fear the "opinion" of the masses, there are leaders who do not wear masks of Hero. For me, I think Gandhi was a great leader, because he had conviction and a strength of will to enact Ahimsa. To be sure there are other great leaders with a slavish love of power and violence, but to me, these are Princes, not Supermen leaders. The Will to Power, in my own translation, is a will to life, a will that every animal possesses. The human challenge is to master inner enemies, not to develop a theatrical mask.
Nor, is corporate theatrics some stylized behaviors, that fit neatly into behavioral leadership theory. There are behaviors, but the behaviors vary with the scenes, other actors, time, place, and the plot. And most of all there is a wider array of options than just initiating structure, consideration, and participation. The behaviors are duplicitous, masking more covert plans and schemes. An actor who appears to be a hero, turns out to be a Machiavellian prince. The prince turns out to be a mask for a bureaucrat; he or she pretends to be a prince.
If anything, the theatrics of leaderships, asks why is it that leadership science decided to kill off "great men (and women) leaders"? "Great changes in the history of an organization of society generally result from the innovative efforts of a few superior individuals (Jennings, 1960: 1). After Stogdill's reviews killed off trait theory, we stopped studying great men and women, with their drives for power, their sense of mission, mixed with risk and adventure. We studied the behavior of Boys' Clubs, high schools and college students, and Army recruits. We created behavioral theories and contingencies that eliminated the study of the dark side of leadership.
Theatrics is the stuff of spectacle (See Guy Debord). The corporate leader plays scenes to several audiences (customers, employees, investors, suppliers, community, and family). Mask and costume changes are frequent as well as strategic. If the same mask is wrong in every scene for every audience, the executive gets typecast. They can no longer fool us. Prince like executives keep their options open, play the hero to the crowds or if necessary the Lion Prince, to bring fear to the masses. We do not know the inner being of the Prince (not for sure). We are bluffed in every scene, each spectacle character erected to gain our purse.
The hero is the stuff of spectacle, but his or her director is the prince. And only the Superman/Superwoman is able to resist socialization, culture, religion and corporate allegiance. The Superman/Superwoman has a will to power, but one that wants to effect self-will, and self-control. The Superwoman/Superman is able to embrace power, without getting corrupted like the Prince. The Superwoman/Superman has the will to power to resist the weak character flaws of the Prince. And the Superman/Superwoman is not as trusting and ethical as the Hero. Of all the characters in the corporation, the Superman/Superwoman has the will to power to be who they want to be. They are feared by bureaucrats; superman/superwoman is dangerous.
The corporate leader busily assembles a cast of characters to make the spectacle believable; contemporary audiences are calling for trust and credibility, and even spirituality and ethics. The Prince cleverly manipulates behind the scenes, tripping and setting traps off stage (out of view). A fox is able to roam the territory. The lion is able to roar. Such is the dual character, the double role of the Prince like executive.
There are fewer heroes today than ever before, but princes are everywhere (all pretending to be heroes). There are hardly any supermen or superwomen. The bureaucratic iron cage and the McDonaldization of the corporate scene have made the system, its efficient teams of munchkins more important than real people. Leadership theory is dead because it has killed the subject; the leader has been replaced by behaviors, situations, and profiles. But beware, behind this simulation, the leaders do live on, playing their scenes with theatric skill. The audience conspires in the death of the leader. The audience does not trust the Prince, fears the Hero will change things too much, and the Superwoman/Superman could create revolution. Best to let the scientists have their way. They have reduced leadership to simple charts, lists of behaviors and traits; notice how initiating structure, consideration, and participation in this or that situation is just all about bureaucracy, not much more. And transformational leaders, with charisma and vision; is this some call for the hero to take the stage, or even yearning for superwoman/superman?
In sum, corporate theatrics of leadership is not a theory of traits, behavior, or situation (but these do matter). Theatrics is more about spectacle, fashion, the consumption and production set on a global stage. The science of leadership pretends that people do not matter; only traits, skills, behaviors, and situations matter. In the theatrics of leadership, the person is reborn, at least the masks are visible to us on a wide array of stages (board room, stockholder meeting, news reels, documentaries, training video, and corporate web sites). It is not evolution, it is an act. It is not the stuff of situational determinism or functionality. It is not a pattern of measurable traits. No, it is just theater, fooling leader science into thinking the illusions are the real behaviors and the situations are forcing one to act this way or that.
THESIS: Great leaders are a delicate and rare mix of the qualities of the Prince, the Hero, the Superwoman/Superman, and the Bureaucrat. And there are fewer Heroes and more Princes and Bureaucrats than ever before.
The leader mixes four roles in the theatrics of leadership:
1. BUREAUCRATIC LEADER
|Max Weber argued that the capitalist entrepreneur has the choice of charismatic, feudal, and bureaucratic authority. And other things being equal bureaucracy gets selected, and the bureaucracy prefers the bureaucratic leader to the hero, prince or superman/superwoman. For more on Weber; also see Fathers and Mother of Management Site.|
|Leaders have been tamed by the modernist era. The herd abhors a non-bureaucratic leader. Departmentalization (division of labor), hierarchy, and now teams has defanged the executive leader. Global corporate society has drifted into the anonymity of the virtual corporate network, subcontracting to factories, who subcontract to unknown producers. As a result, leaders are alienated from their own will to power, and must masquerade and camouflage their power.|
|Search for trait theory, behavior theory, situation theory, and even transformation theory killed off the "leader" as a person, as a human being that makes history.|
|Bureaucratic leaders are what Whyte calls "organization man." Leadership has been defined in ways that fit the need for the organization to survive without risk. Feudal and premodern society had called for this new form of leadership; the modern age of bureaucracy.|
|Initiating structure and consideration are attempts to cage leadership within the bureaucratic frame; leadership is dead. In organizations with division of labor and HR departments, such behavioral factors of leaders work well; although measuring their impact seems elusive).|
|The system and culture and group has become more important and more alive than the leader, who is now dead.|
|In the bureaucratic mindset, people are selected, trained, and disciplined to no longer see themselves as powerful. Thus they must be reborn and "empowered." Leaders must alienate themselves from power and politics, the stuff of feudal and charismatic organization, that bureaucracy was meant to displace. In the bureaucracy there is no room for super star or powerful performances. Best pretend to be impersonal and hide behind committees (sorry now they are teams) and reports, charts and numbers.|
|Bureaucracy dethroned the Prince, Hero and Superman/Superwoman Leader. The CEO knows full well that he does not "run" or "rule" the corporation, but is a member of an impersonal team, a network of committees. The responsible executive (Prince, Hero or Superman/Superwoman) has been replaced by the responsible team. There is no more opportunity to be her, but there is some opportunity to play at being the Prince. And there is a recent resurge of spirit at work, where the executive works on their superman/superwoman, superior inner awareness and sensitivity, rather than charting the direction of the firm.|
|With the Hawthorne studies of the late 1920s the group became a more important factor than the individual in explaining effectiveness.|
|Bureaucracy is suspicious of the heroic style; heroic styles are steeped in intuition and mystic callings, which is dangerous to the bureaucratic way of being in the world.|
|Executives buy lots of books about helping elephants to dance or teaching buffalos to fly; they yearn for the romantic age when leadership meant the power to take action. People call out for the bureaucratic executive to lead, to give more direction, vision, and set out on a tranformative campaign. But that leader died long ago. Now the leader reads the situation, tweaks variables, and keeps a low profile. Best not to be too risky, too innovative, but still appear to be doing these dangerous things.|
|Modern Examples: Charles Sorensen (executive in Henry Ford's empire), Harry Bennett (henchman in Ford's empire), Frank Kulick, executive who was made to lie prone on the running board of a car driven by Bennett and then driven through the plant gate and spun about until he was thrown from the fast moving car (Jennings, 1960: 59). Also Herbert Hoover and a long list of presidents of US.|
|For more on the bureaucratic mindset, see BUREAUCRATIC.|
|NOTE: The TRAIT STUDY Guide has more on Machiavelli|
|"From this rises the question whether it is better to be loved than feared, or feared more than loved" Machiavelli (Machiavelli's portrait; Press for Prince image with quote). Press for The Prince book and all its chapters on WWW.|
|Machiavelli thought the power to change kingdoms and societies rested with the superior talents of great men, the Princes.|
MACHIAVELLI - Here are common mistakes and correctives:
|Premodern Princes - use spectacles in the town square; a good hanging or a gladiators in the coliseum would persuade the empire. Foucault's (1979) opening theatrics scene in Discipline and Punish is Damien being drawn and quartered, but the spectacle is poorly performed by the executioner; Damien meanwhile is playing the saint to his audience by refusing to swear and forgiving his tormenters and torturers. The fact that a public spectacle draw the King's authority (as a God sent) into question, took punishment (hangings and torture as entertainment and lessons in leadership) out of the town square and into the prison dungeon. Yet, even inside Versailles Louis IV and Mary Antoinette had a steady stream of spectators viewing their grooming, eating, and mating habits. The tour of Versailles was then a way to govern, now it is just Disneyfied tourism.|
|Modern Princes - use the invention of the printing press to sway the masses. Hitler used theatric spectacles (staged complex choreographed marches and programs) and long, carefully crafted speeches to erect a charismatic image. Hitler used the media to craft his omniscient image as Princely leader. Hitler and Stalin rejected the free press in favor of state-controlled propaganda machines (Masters, 1996: 155). But so did Roosevelt, Churchill, MacArthur and other modern Princes. Hamilton, Madison & Jay used the printing press to convince voters in New York to ratify the American constitution (Masters, 1996: 153).|
|Postmodern Princes - use television sound bites and corrupt
visual images to change the political and emotional attitudes of viewers
and the buying habits of consumers eager to have define their role in
popular culture through their symbolic purchases (See Guy
Debord). Every campaign has a web site, and web images travel quicker than
print or TV. "What it took Hitler massive theatrical preparations to
stage at Nuremberg is achieved routinely on the nightly news of every
country in the world: (Masters, 1996: 156). Leaders and celebrities are
now commodities: packaged with sound bites, story spins, and images to
manipulate the public who will buy label over substance. The postmodern
Prince and their enemy become simulations and theatrical illusions in Wag
the Dog media spectacles.
| Postmodern Princes have several Achilles' heels.
|Since Plato the leader was someone who took action, began projects, and achieved. Leaders were great persons, drawn by spiritual and mystical forces.|
|The prince is a power seeker (The lion and the fox). The rising bourgeoisie class saw the need to constrain the power of the prince; better to let the bureaucrats change the details, than for a Prince to change the game.|
|In contemporary times the heroic executive may be a prince in disguise. The CEO strives to get to the top not for the organization, but totally for him or herself.|
|Despite the modern era, the feudal empire is still part of corporate reality. And the prince aspires to head up the feudal corporate kingdom. The executive is the little monarch, building a mega-empire on a global stage. Despite the modern bureaucracy and the postmodern virtual network, the prince is still weaving the web with manipulative skill.|
|Every executive denies that they are a politician. To be a politician, would be to admit that corporations are engaged in a constant struggle for power.|
|The corporate prince is a shaker and a mover, who wears the mask of the hero; he pretends to be in the service of a great corporate mission. For Machiavelli the prince led the power struggle as if it were a game of chess. He moved his pawns, tricked his knights, and captured the queen.|
|Princes are subtle in their maneuvering and manipulation of people (the Fox).|
|Prince leaders seek status and power. And in a bureaucracy, the princely leader plays the politics of departments, in-groups, and rivalry.|
|The Prince will conjure up a great mission to appear heroic, but the boon is power itself and no other prize. Princes can use hero worship to their advantage. Princes learn to walk, talk, and act like heroes.|
|Contemporary corporate princes are skillful in getting support, popularity, an rapport with a minimum of general resistance or involvement is heavy issues (Jennings, 1960: 230).|
|The princely corporate executive is caught in a system in which there are few opportunities to play out heroic roles, and succeeding gets redefined into winning at power struggles.|
|Princes try to write autobiographies that record themselves as heroes.|
|The Lion and the Fox are interdependent
roles (what Roosevelt was referred to).
|Rules of the Fox:
|Rules of the Lion:
|Human relations has sought to put hurdles in the way of both Lion and Fox. Bureaucratic controls such as group meetings, conferences, division of labor, and participation attempt to counteract the Princely powers. The drive to dominate and secure power is seen as inappropriate to modern corporate culture (so the Prince must wear the mask).|
|Premodern Examples: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cesare Borgia, Queen Elizabeth.|
|Modern Examples: Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Gould, Fisk, Leland Stanford, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Roosevelt, Walt Disney. Robber barons and captains of industry - Ford for example created the five-dollar work day (it was $4 at the time) to be seen as humanitarian, while cutting higher paid employees, and getting workers to step up their output by 47% to get that extra dollar. (Jennings, 1960: 60-61). zIt was a noble myth that covered over the sweatshops of the day. For moved his men about the chessboard with the crude power of the Prince.|
|Postmodern Examples: Phil Knight, Michael Eisner, CEO of Monsanto. These CEO try hard to persuade the masses that they are sincere; that they are lovers of the common man. Phil Knight for example, sustains an aloofness, keeping apart from his employees, while using many advertising dollars to convince the public that there are no sweatshops, Third world women work in the best conditions, and that his leadership has led to economic development and progress in Third World nations.|
|HYPOTHESIS: Prince leaders are proliferating while heroic leaders are getting more scarce.|
|The hero type of leader
acts as though possessed by a destiny that requires his being the
center of attention, and having arrived there, he never willingly
retires from the center until he feels no longer needed (Jennings,
A hero's cause requires great stamina, self-reliance, and confidence, without which the forces that keep people within bounds of uniformity will engulf the hero and his cause (p. 122).
|For Weber, the charismatic leader was the most heroic leader.|
|We all want to see a heroic leader act to serve the charismatic cause of society and corporate transformation. Since Weber, the transformational leader has been one who is charismatic. And Weber say that the charisma would undergo routinization, to be less a threat to bureaucratic capitalism. Still the charismatic leader, could be useful to promote reform and revolution when the bureaucracy turned static and even traditional with fiefdoms everywhere. For more on Weber's three ideal types (bureaucratic, charismatic (hero), and traditional Sultanism (prince), see the Weber web site.|
|For Jennings, Carlyle and Mill, the heroic leader "has a kind of religious sense of mystical awareness of a greater life existing beyond mere appearance" (Jennings, 1960: 73).|
|The hero was a product of his past, his present social milieu (including friends and teachers), his economic class, and his calling to discover a higher self by undertaking a great and dangerous journey.|
|Don Campbell gave us the paradigm of the
|Currently there is a search for servant leaders, the hero who will be in bondage to the organization. Heroes can end up being puppets for some great mission or idea.|
|The heroic leaders has a deep and dedicated sense of mission. The heroic leader can devote themselves fully to the mission of the organization; if this devotion is excessive, they give themselves; their is a loss of self.|
|The bureaucrat may be powerless to control the mega corporation, but likes to wear the hero's halo. Yet, in reality, he or she is one of a long line of executives, each adding another dot in a line of dots (Jennings, 1960: 222). No major innovation happens on their watch; heroic leadership is an illusion and a facade.|
|The leader may have to become the Prince to cajole, manipulate and maneuver those along the way of his mission. But, seeking Princely power is not what the Hero has in mind. Power is a means to an end, not the end itself. Yet naked power grabbing will be met by opponents come forth to enter and control the game.|
|Wisdom comes from intuition and discovery, not empiricism.|
|The heroes of the 1800s to late 1900s were production types who began industries and created inventions. The heroes of 2000s are sports figures and celebrities; heroes who have fortunes that come consumerism, not from production. This is the classic shift from Marx to Debord, from spectacle of production that Marx wrote about in mid-1800s to spectacle of consumption that Debord uses to define the postmodern condition.|
|Icons are representative of saints; they are not necessarily leaders, the stand for something we also aspire to stand for. So celebrities (movie stars, TV casters) and sports figures are icons are not leaders.|
|Premodern Examples: Lord Nelson, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, John Kennedy|
|Modern Examples: Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Theodor Vail (AT&T), John Paul Getty; Ford began is a hero-inventor, then became the Prince. Roosevelt had heroic qualities that inspired followers.|
|Postmodern Examples: Sports legends such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods; Celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Madonna, and Cher. Corporate celebrities such as Michael Eisner, Bill Gates, Phil Knight, Steve Jobs, etc. Virtual heroes such as Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and the Marlboro Man simulate desire in consumers.|
|Hypothesis heroes of production have been replaced by the heroes of consumption (Jennings, 1960: 116). We have entered a heroless age; a craving for material things and taking others and the world for granted. The idea of a hero on the battlefield or on a journey has fragmented into an amorphous crowd of consumers worshipping the celebrity and sports personality, channel surfing to a designer experience of heroic spectacle, but without the risk of the premodern hero. Today's heroes do not want to risk hardship or too much danger. Las Vegas Pyramid is preferred to the one in Egypt. Th more we hear CEOs use heroic jargon, the more absurd the work life becomes.|
|For more on the heroic leader, see QUEST.|
|The essence of leadership is the ability to be and do differently, not because of weakness such as is found in the current pre-occupation with power seeking, but because of strength that comes from a sense of duty and responsibility to one's unique self. The individual who is a point of contact with the future and who creates new values or goals is called a superior man... we might just as easily call him the free man. Friedrich Nietzsche used the term superman (Superwoman also applies) (Jennings, 1960: 125, additions mine).|
|Frederich Nietzsche crafted the
leader theory. In 1873 he wrote that the world is waiting for
superman/superwoman to destroy the weak habits of a thousand years and replace them
with new ones. For
more on Nietzsche; also see Fathers
and Mother of Management Site.
|For Nietzsche the world is chaos and it takes a leader of great strength to change history.|
|The higher and the terrible leader
inhabit the same body. The fallacy of leadership science is to ignore the
terrible, and pretend that leaders wear the halo. Thus Nietzsche's call
"Beyond Good and Evil." "Everything good is the evil of
former days made serviceable" (Will to Power #1025).
|Nietzsche though "to place the goal in the herd and not in single individuals" was a basic error (Will to Power, #766). Nietzsche was not in favor of socialism or democracy, just greatness.|
|The degree of resistance that must be continually overcome by a will to power to remain on top is for Nietzsche the measure of freedom. Pone must have no choice: either on top-or underneath... one must oppose tyrants to become a tyrant, i.e., free" (Will to Power #771).|
|For Nietzsche, Will to Power was partly Machiavellian. The oppressed (e.g. slaves) have a will to freedom. Getting ready for power is a will to overpower, the will to justice. (#776).|
|The individual submerged in serving the institution has little self-consciousness.|
|Marx believed that history would see the rise of the working class and their ascension to leadership. It did not happen.|
|The superman/superwoman puts their self in order (their own house), then their institution, and the world. It is a personal crusade to restore the free man/woman and the independent spirit within a society that has turned bureaucratic.|
|The problem is how not to become absorbed by a cause or an institution.|
|The fully organized and controlled modern bureaucratic life threatens the emergence of the superman/superwoman by surrounding him or her with conformity norms and surveillance. As does the postmodern network of connectedness among organizations that control the orbit of power and control (at the very least the stage moves from local to global). Complexity of both huge corporation and networks of organizations may exceed the ability of any one individual to realize either heroic or superman/superwoman leadership.|
|At the same time working in a Transorganizational (multi organizational) milieu provides more opportunities to play an active and aggressive role of personal strength. This is especially true where recharting the direction of the corporate enterprise is not possible. Faculty, for example maintain an extraorganizational pattern of involvement (conferences, research grants, consulting) that transcends their lack of power in the college or university. It is something for the superman/superwoman with a vast reserve of energy to turn their self-control to.|
|Is not on call to take some heroic journey to save some mythic community.|
|The superman/superwoman challenges complex historical, economic and sociological forces.|
|Superwoman/superman is the vehicle role to actually restore the executive to his lost will to lead (Jennings, 1960: 232).|
|Supermen leaders (be they male or female) have a will to power. It is not the same power as the prince, and not the journey defining the hero in search of the Holy Grail.|
|Bright Examples: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. Nelson Mandela|
|Dark Examples: Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, & Stalin.|
|For more on what is postmodern, see POSTMODERN.|
|BUREAUCRAT||Senator Gracchus - "Fear and wonder, a powerful combination"|
With a principled pre-battle oath of “strength and honor” and a compelling admonition that “what we do in this life echoes for an eternity,” (wav file) Roman General Maximus (Russell Crowe), gives us a striking portrait of the Heroic Leader.
The war won, Maximus dreams of home, wanting only to return to his wife and son; however,
the dying Caesar Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) has one more duty for the general—to assume the mantle of his power. Maximus is loved by Caesar, and envied by Caesar’s son,
Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Marcus Aurelius asks Maximus to prepare the Roman people for transition from Feudal Empire to Senate democracy Commodus is the Princely Leader. In a grab for power, Caesar Marcus Aurelius is killed by his princely son Commodus who also swiftly murders Maximus' family. Commodus assumes the purple robes of power, and orders Maximus' execution which is bungled. This prince tries to be Machiavellian, but does not succeed. The plot goes as follows:
The general who became a slave
The slave who became a gladiator and hero
The Hero who defied the Prince
Maximus becomes the slave of Proximo (himself a former gladiator). Maximus knows he can only attain his revenge by becoming the greatest hero in all the empire. Commodus is a prince who can not wield power. To gain the love of the citizens, and to keep their attention away from the problems of the empire, Commodus stages months of gladiator spectacles. Commodus, certainly a despicable individual (first lusting after his sister and then blackmailing her), is shown as someone who might also have Rome's glory at heart.
As a gladiator, Maximus wins his matches against incredible odds, and soon challenges the young impotent and ill-qualified princely heir, Commodus. He is also a just and principled leader (of the other gladiators); like the famed Cincinnatus, he does not want to rule, but he does his duty because it is best for Rome. He is not a power-hungry like his nemesis the Prince. As a heroic figure, Maximus is willing to die for his principles.
There are at least three superman/superwoman roles in the story. First Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), who is the only match for Prince Maximus and who completely dominates her weakling brother. Second Maximus has the will to power to avenge the death of his family and to transfer power from the weak Prince to the Senate. Third is Proximo "Gladiators, I salute you!" He is a former gladiator who by strength of character and skill in combat buys his freedom, founds his own gladiator business. He admits that he is an entertainer, that he exists because people are drawn to bloodsport. Proximo dies a heroic death to set Maximus free.
Proximo - "I know that you were a man of your word general, I know that you would die for honor, you would die for Rome." (wav file)
In my multi-dimensional view, there are three critical dimensions to Nike's transorganizational leadership. For simplicity, I will label them X, Y, and Z.
X - Transactional to transformational leadership, as studied by Burns (1978) and Bass (1985).
Y - From the Will to Server to the Nietzschean Will to Power. The Will to Power is specifically excluded from transaction and transformational leader theory by both Burns and Bass. I therefore treat it as a second dimension of leadership (See Boje, 2000b) for an overview..
I did my dissertation on the centrality of organizations and leaders in various interorganizational networks, such as communication, resource, and reputation (Boje, 1979a).Along with David Whetten, we posited that leadership takes place in an interorganizational field of strategies and environmental constraints (Boje, 1979b,1999a; Boje & Whetten, 1989; Boje, White & Wolfe, 1994).
Since then, I have looked at how change and transformation takes place in transorganizational networks (Boje & Wolfe, 1980). The field of transorganizational development theory and praxis was first appraised in a seminal article by Culbert, Elden, McWhinney, Schmidt, & Bob Tannenbaum (1972). For a more recent review, see the Transorganizational Development Web Site).
I will review a three-dimensional model of transorganizational network leadership.
X - Dimension - As an overview, James MacGregor Burns (1978) based his classic study of leadership on Kohlberg's levels of moral thinking to differentiate between transactional and transformational leadership (Dimension X). Burns looked at modal thinking (the means over ends reasoning) in the early stages of development and held these leaders to be "transactional." Transactional leadership "requires a shrewd eye for opportunity, a good hand at bargaining, persuading, reciprocating" (Burns, 1978:169). A "transformational leader," on the other hand, "recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower... (and) looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower" (p. 4).
Y - Dimension - The Y Dimension extends from Will to Serve (WTS) to Will to Power (WTP). Nietzsche's notebooks (1967) on Will to Power (WTP) were written from1883 to 1888. The transaction/ transformational leadership theorists reject the WTP bas being too immoral, merely a brutish self-indulgent or tyrannical power wielding that is immoral. But, a more careful reading of Nietzsche reveals quite a different approach to both leadership and the study of morals. The WTP for Nietzsche has something to do with the will to initiate and implement a goal as well as the more macro construct of Darwin's theory of natural section, the power to transform the inherited advantages from generation to generation (WTP #362). And WTP is also a Will to Truth (TSZ, pp. 28, 113). For Nietzsche the world revolves around the inventor of new social and cultural values (TSZ, p. 52). Nike is a Superman leader, extending its power from cultural transformation through celebrity and star power to the factories and sweatshops of the Third World nations. The WTP is a will to overcome the small people, "they are the superman's greatest danger" (TSZ, p. 287). And the superleader is not satisfied with the happiness of the greatest number of workers or consumers (TSZ, p. 287). The Super leaders sees the abyss with the eyes of an eagle and grasps the abyss of poverty and misery with the talons of an eagle (TSZ, p. 288).
Resituating the Transaction/Transformation Model of Leadership - Figure Three crosses the X and Y dimensions of transaction to transformation with WTS to WTP. The horizontal X dimension of transactional to transformational made famous in the work of James MacGregor Burns (1978) and Bernard M. Bass (1985); and the vertical Y dimension I am adding, extends from the will to serve others to the will to power of Friedrich Nietzsche (writing in the 1870s). Burns and Bass restrict leadership to the bureaucratic transactional and heroic/ charismatic approaches (cells 1 and 3) to a will to serve others. I would like to resituate leadership by including the work of Machiavelli and Nietzsche (cells 2 and 4). Burns, more than Bass, disqualifies leaders who wield power, including those with a strong "will to power" as well as tyrants and dictators who use power in what Burns and Bass see as amoral. In short, the contemporary transaction/ transformation duality restricts leadership moral uses of power, to the will to serve others. Burns sees the transactional leader as either opinion leader, group leader, party, legislative, or executive leader. In each case, the transaction leader "requires a shrewd eye for opportunity, a good hand at bargaining, persuading, reciprocating" (p. 169). The transactional leader approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign contributions.
WILL TO SERVE OTHERS
pretending to be heroic; Hero who is tamed by bureaucracy
pretending to be the prince; Prince who has become engulfed by
bureaucratic counter measures
leader who leaves the group to find self; Superman who becomes puppet
Prince who gains power but does not know how to handle it; Superman who becomes prince; Superwoman who resists Prince
Burns' transformational leader can be an intellectual, reform, revolutionary, or (charismatic) hero. The transformational leader "recognizes and exploits an existing need or demand of a potential follower... (and) looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower" (Burns, 1978: 4). Few, if any, leadership theorists have noted the transactional aspects of Weber's (1947) model of the three leaderly authorities. Yet, what Weber theorized is quite consistent (though not identical) with the transactional theory of Burns (1978) and Bass (1985). All do recognize Weber's charismatic leaderly authority, but never seem to read the part about the routinization of charisma, or see how bureaucratic transaction and heroic charisma interact with the third category of authority, the traditional feudalistic enactment of the Sultan and Chief. Burns and Bass seem to accept a linear progress model of leaderly power and authority that suggests that transaction and transformation are beyond the feudalistic form. Yet, for Machiavelli's strategic advice to Prince, the types of power Burns finds amoral, and therefore outside his definition of leadership, is still, I think, very much in evidence today. And so is the Superman, the will to power of Nietzsche. Figure One, therefore is an effort to resituate the discussion of transactional and transformational leadership by adding a second, vertical dimension. To me the Princely leader is concerned about the means of power, and will sacrifice ends over means. However, the Superman or Superwoman leader is more transformational than transactional (For more on this topic please see Transformational Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, and the Theatrics of Leadership study guides).
Figure Three adds a third dimension to what was displayed in Figure Three (and Two). This is the Y dimension of monophonic to polyphonic narrative. The (blue) boxes in the lower potion of the figure on the monophonic narrative types, whereas, the upper (orange) ones represents the polyphonic ones.
In bureaucratic leadership, for example, there is mostly monologue; other voices are there on the stage but forbidden to speak, or they can only be whispered, their words unhearable, drowned out by the one official narrator who is authorized to take center-stage and speak and speak some more. As Kirkeby (2000: 232) argues it is the right of power to narrate events, to declare them romantic, tragic, comedic, or ironic, and then of course make them all into a romantic narratives that fits the bureaucratic pension for monophonic (single voiced) influence. For any other voice to speak would be an act of bureaucratic espionage; certainly for the secretary to speak would be unthinkable rebellion. Barry and Elmes (1997) look at monophonic and polyphonic aspects of leadership strategy. See Boje (2000c) for more on the multiple voices of leadership.
This brings us to what I consider a three dimensional model of leadership. The X (Transactional - Transformational), Y (Will to Server - Will to Power), and Z (Monophonic - Polyphonic). The combination of the three dimensions (X, Y, & Z) provides eight types of leadership. The first four are more monophonic than the last four (on Z narrative dimension). In this next display, I use the three dimensions to position a number of the types of leaders that Burns (1978) writes about, plus I include the Prince.
Bureaucratic (X = Transactional; Y = Will to Serve; Z = Monophonic)
Heroic (X = Transformational; Y = Will to Serve; Z = Monophonic)
Prince (X = Transactional; Y = Will to Power; Z = Monophonic)
Super (X = Transformational; Y = Will to Power; Z = Monophonic)
Government (X = Transactional; Y = Will to Serve; Z = Polyphonic)
Intellectual/ Reform (X = Transformational; Y = Will to Serve; Z = Polyphonic)
Opinion (X = Transactional; Y = Will to Power; Z = Polyphonic)
Revolutionary (X = Transactional; Y = Will to Power; Z = Polyphonic)
We have articulated a theory of network leadership within this three-dimensional space. It is space that bridges managerial capitalism (heroic-quest and bureaucratic) with the more intellectual capitalism (postmodern and chaos). The Antenarrative is the story before it is told, before the bits and pieces find some narrator to give it a sensible storyline.
Figure five positions a postmodern network theory of leadership in contrast to the bureaucratic (transactional) and heroic (transformational) one we have seen thus far. The situation of chaos is one that Nietzsche wrote about. Today chaos is the new science of leadership and bureaucratic (even the Chandler M form), the old science. If we cross the Z dimension (monophonic - polyphonic) with the A dimension (scientific - aesthetic) we can look at various narrative frames or contexts of leadership.
- --- - Z -- -- -- -à
|See alternative view of this Table of Narrative types|
Figure Five: Four Storytelling or Narrative Types of Organization © David M. Boje
There are four voices of leadership (4 Voices of Leadership, Boje, 2000d). In the bureaucratic form, the voice of the leader knows all and tells all, and becomes as Mintzberg argues, the spokesperson for all. In the heroic journey, the leader becomes aware of the internalized other. What else is a journey for, if not to discover the other. In chaos, we dance around the abyss and sometimes descend. And it is here that for Nietzsche we find a moral plane that is beyond the dualistic reasoning of good versus evil. Adam Smith (1776) gets at it clearly as the internalized spectator.
Figure Six. Putting Four Organization Forms together
The postmodern (network) context of leadership is the opposite in quality to the bureaucratic (one voice) context of leadership. Similarly, in this formulation, quest and chaos are narrative opposites.
For more on Network and other types of leadership, see Network Leadership.
In Figure Seven we look at the types of leaders that fit with the four types of organization situations.
Figure Seven: 8 Profiles of Leaders
If you like it Inside the Leadership Box, then you can pursue it further by taking a Myers-Briggs archetype test, then seeing which leader modes you seem to prefer, and which group roles to enact.
|Gladiator: storyline and dialogue|
|What does a hero look like?|
|Flight of the Buffalo Model|
|Four Voices of Leadership|
|How the 8 Leader Profiles fir with Myers-Briggs Archetypes|
Bass, Bernard M. (1990) Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research and Managerial Applications. 3rd Edition. NY: The Free Press, A Division of Macmillan, Inc.
Boje, D. M. (2000a) "Nike, Superman, and Superwomen."
Boje, D. M. (2000b) Existential Leadership.
Burns, James MacGregor (1978) Leadership. NY: Harper & Row, Publishers.
Jennings, Eugene E. (1960 An Anatomy of Leadership : Princes, heroes, and supermen. NY: McGraw-Hill Publishers.
Machiavelli, Niccolo (1610) The Prince. Amsterdam/NY: DA Capo Press Theatrvm Orbis Terrarvm Ltd. English version 1968. Press for The Prince book on Web. 2nd site for The Prince. 3rd.
|Dr Siegel's Study Guide; another|
|Concordances for The Prince|
|Clinton, Machiavelli's Indolent Prince - Michael Ledeen|
|Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince": A Textbook for|
Diplomacy - Tim Hoyt
Discourses - Web version.
Masters, Roger D. (1996) Machiavelli, Leonardo, and the Science of Power. Notre Dame & London: University of Notre Dame Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1960) The Will to Power. Translated by Walter Kaufmann & R. J. Hollingdale. NY: Vintage Books (Random House). Written 1883-1888 in notebooks.
Weber, Max (1947) The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. Edited by Talcott Parsons. NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. Basis for theories of charismatic, bureaucratic and feudal leadership.