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Warren Bennis and his leadership theory

The prophet of the end of bureaucracy machined components manufacturers Manufacturer in Xiamen China

Warren Bennis was a pioneer in leadership research, before he published the revision of leadership Theory in the Harvard Business Review in 1961. The study of leadership can be said to be nonexistent. Tom Peters, in 1993, created a Life for Bennis’s autobiography: a Meditation on leadership and change. An Invented life: Reflections on Leadership and change). “Bennis’s study of group behavior at MIT on 60s foreshadowed and helped to drive us to fewer levels today,” the preface said. “the brave pursuit of more democratic and more adaptable organizations,” Bennis said, breaking with Chen and first pointing out that people-centred, more democratic leaders are better suited to the complex and changing contemporary environment.

Bennis was one of the first disciples of group dynamics group dynamics.He had a deep relationship with MIT, the sacred place of group dynamics. He came to Cambridge under the advice of Master Thomas McGregor to focus on the study of human organizations.

Bennis’s subsequent reputation for leadership theory overshadowed his contribution to organizational theory. Bennis made bold predictions of organizational change trends, such as delegation of authority, as early as -40s. The development of flattening has been proved by later facts. After an in-depth analysis of the very popular hierarchical organization, that is, bureaucracy, he suggests that bureaucracy will not disappear immediately. But the trend of change will not change. In 1964, Bennis gave a keynote speech at the American Psychological Society in Los Angeles, entitled “organizational Development and the fate of bureaucracy.” It is pointed out that the problems brought by the change of environment to bureaucracy are insurmountable, which indicates the eventual collapse of bureaucracy. These changes include: first, the increasing influence of intelligent technology and the growth of R & D; Secondly, the increasing integration between the knowledgeable and the powerful; Third, the fundamental changes in the basic philosophy of supporting management behavior are reflected in 1) A new concept of human beings, based on our deeper understanding of the complex and changeable needs of individuals, replacing the simplistic and ignorant. The idea of a push-button person; 2) A new concept of power, based on cooperation and rationality, replaces the power model based on coercion and threat; 3) A new concept of organizational values, based on humanitarian-democratic ideals, replaces bureaucratic systems of value that obliterate individuality and mechanistic values, all of which, together with other dynamic factors such as demographic change. It makes the former bureaucratic system organizations into serious problems. The bureaucratic system is developed under the condition of relative certainty. At that time the environment was stable and predictable. But now the environment is often in a state of change, the causal mechanism between the various forces is volatile, nothing can be expected.

In 1968, the publication of the nice (The Temporary > < temporary social Society) a book, won the Harvard Business Review > McKinsey award. In the book, he created the “ad hoc organization” (ad-hocracy) of the word, it was almost synonymous substitution as “overly rigid bureaucratic organization is more flexible and the informal organization and management method”. The word was also used for Toffler and Mintzberg et al. Bennis said, the future will be the keyword temporary organization, is also has the ability to adapt to the rapid change of the system, temporary. These systems will be around to solve the problem to the organization. These problems will be solved by those representatives different skills, and leadership and influence will belong to those who seem most has the ability to solve problems, rather than the established role expectations.

Today, read the text, you are not that familiar? Just think about them, written 40 years ago, You’ll see. Benesse amazing foresight ability. In the new economic ties, we will act more like a biological community, such as the Benesse said, no control should be centralized, will organic development, evolution, integration and adaptation.

At this point, Ben ness is a brilliant futurist. As Tom Peters said, few of us can get the chance to declare publicly: “I have told you before.” machined components manufacturers Manufacturer in Xiamen China

Without enthusiasm, you can’t be a great leader.

Just as Bennis made his debut in organizational and leadership research, he resigned from an easy and rewarding career at MIT to become provost at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Then he became president of the University of Cincinnati. He spent 11 years as a university manager, despite the sarcasm and exhortations of his colleagues at MIT, who considered it the stupidest decision Bennis had ever made.

Bennis clearly believes that leadership researchers, if they lack leadership practice. It’s like the bullfight critic. He quoted Robert Graves, a British writer, as saying, “Bulls critics sit in rows in the stands / the huge bullring is full of seats;” “but there is only one person who really knows the situation / he is the matador in the middle of the field.” Bennis wants to be bold in the arena and wants to see if what he writes can be concretized in the world of practitioners; In matador’s field, action is more important than empty talk.

“I don’t want to miss it or go through it again,” Bennis said years later, recalling the experience that caused him a serious heart attack. He realized for the first time. Doing one thing is completely different from writing one thing. The 11 years of hands-on management, he says, give yourself a sense of leadership. And the personal experience of the leader. He wrote two books, “the Leaning Ivory Tower.” And “unconscious collusion: why leaders can’t lead.” (. TheUnconscious inspiration: Why Leaders Can’t lead). Sophocles likes to quote Sophocles in Antigone: “unless the supreme position of power is tested, it is difficult for anyone to understand his own soul or spirit. Power can prove a man.” machined components manufacturers Manufacturer in Xiamen China

What did power prove to Bennis? First of all, as a leader, he is “looking for someone else’s liking in the wrong place”. Intellectually, he knows that a leader cannot and should not be expected to be liked. But. He grossly underestimated the emotional impact of angry members. The lesson is not to rely on the false illusion that everyone in the organization understands leaders and likes them. Second. Bennis concluded that every leader must address the relationship between himself and the organization, so strongly integrated into an organization that his self-esteem is affected by the results of the organization. This would be very dangerous. A leader should have enough love for the organization to be able to help it achieve a self-motivated lifestyle. Work hard to create an environment in which others can understand and care for the organization. At the same time, a leader must care enough about the organization so that it can be independent and function well without him.

There is also a truth that matters to Bennis personally. As a leader, especially a leader of a well-known organization, it is easy to assume that your influence comes from factors other than your position. Your influence is nothing more than the power of a position-it is the only power that an organization can give to a leader. Bennis finally realized that he will never be completely satisfied with the power of the position. What he really wants is personal power. It is influence based on the right to speak. It can also be called the power of speech.

This personal truth brings Bennis a great discovery about leadership: leaders love what they do all the time, if not with enthusiasm. No one can be a great leader. “you don’t have to see what a person is doing,” Oden says. “know if a person’s career is right for him or her / you don’t have to see what he’s doing.” Just look him in the eye / a cook will mix his seasonings / a surgeon will open the patient’s knife / a clerk will fill out a bill of lading. / they will have the same look. They are all engrossed in their duties. ”

Bennis finally realized that administration was not for him, and that his vocation was to advise and coach old readers in business, government agencies and colleges. 1979. He returned to the USC business school as a professor and happily discovered that “this is a good chance to leave a real mark in the universe and make some useful pranks.”

Bennis caught up with the good times: it was a boom for business schools. Almost every business school had some form of “organizational behavior” department. The words “management and organization” or “management and strategy” tend to brag. Bennis is a fish in water. Entering the high stage of leadership research: with Bert Nanus, Leaders: Strategies for TakingCharge. Write on Becom-ing a Leader.OnBecom-ing alone. Goldsmith. “Learning to lead: AWorkbook on Be-coming a Leader.” With Patricia Bedelman, the Story of the Seven Genius teams (. Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collobulation. Wait. machined components manufacturers Manufacturer in Xiamen China

The book “Leader” has a huge impact. Bennis interviewed more than 90 people, 60 of whom were successful CEO. There are 30 leaders who have made outstanding achievements in the field of public service. “some of them are used to thinking in the right brain, some are good at thinking in the left, some are tall and fat, some are short, some are good at speech. Some are not good at words, some are resolute and confident, some are humble and courteous, some are successful people, some are unruly, some like to let everyone participate, some like to make arbitrary decisions. ” They don’t seem to have something in common. What does that mean? The good news: everyone has a chance to be a successful leader.

However, if there is no common ground, there is no need for the so-called leadership research to exist. So Bennis is still rummaging through interview notes to find commonalities. Finally, four abilities of leaders are refined: the management of attention, the management of meaning, the management of trust, the management of self. Some of the most useful ideas include: leaders are made, not born; Leaders are ordinary people, charisma comes from leadership, not leadership from extraordinary charm; Leadership and management are different, Bennis coined the phrase “managers do the right thing, leaders do the right thing” this sentence was later widely quoted; Leadership is not confined to the top of the organization, but related to every level of the organization. Key elements of leadership success include vision and trust. The leader’s job is not to control his subordinates, give orders, and play tricks.

Too much management and too little leadership

Bennis is clearly a humanist who believes that the process of becoming a leader is a process of self-realization through education, vision, the pursuit of excellence, and adherence to morality. He discusses how people become leaders and how they lead. And how the organization encourages or stifles potential leaders. The book follows a logical line: first assume that the leaders are people who can fully express themselves. They know who they are. They know what their strengths and weaknesses are, how to make the most of their strengths and how to make up for them. They also know what they want and why they have such goals. And how to communicate their goals in order to win the support and cooperation of others. Finally, they know how to achieve their goals. The key to fully expressing themselves is to understand themselves and the outside world. The key to understanding is learning-learning from your own life and experience.

In fact, some of Bennis’s best writings on leadership come from his experience as a college administrator. In Buffalo, for example, he was asked to become provost by the president as an airborne soldier. This experience has permanently changed his view of change. “it is a typical management mistake to fail to correctly understand the importance of the members of the original organization. It is also a mistake that new transformational managers are particularly prone to make. “to be an effective manager of change.” It is necessary to be faithful to both the symbols of tradition and stability and the symbols of amendment and change. This is because existing organizations have history. Without continuity, successful change cannot take place.

In Cincinnati, Bennis discovered a law: routine work drives away non-routine work and stifles all creative planning and all fundamental change. People don’t want to take responsibility for the decisions they should make. As a result, “wet babies” are left on the leadership table. Drain the leader’s energy. To make matters worse, it’s depriving all of his potential leaders of the opportunity to learn and prove themselves.

Unfortunately, this law is often unhindered in organizations. Most organizations today have only management, not leadership… “they may be able to manage their daily affairs very well. But I don’t know if these matters should exist. ” machined components manufacturers Manufacturer in Xiamen China

In the track of leadership: a selection of leadership Masters Bennis’s 30-year study, it is not the leadership wisdom that Bennis conveys that is most readable. It’s his personal autobiography and academic memory, from poor kids, World War II soldiers, college students, MIT Ph.D. students, MIT professors, Boston University professors, and State University of New York’s Buffalo provost. Bennis, a lifelong professor at the University of Southern California, the president of Sincinnati, told how much he knew about himself. He was honest about his career failures and prejudice against others.

This lifelong leadership scholar also talks about his indefatigable source of motivation. “I have a terrible sense of uncertainty: it may be the state of a minor, in my early years. There are only two things I can be sure of: my ability to observe, and my never-weary desire to learn. The latter is not born of anything as neutral as curiosity, but of the illusion that I need an understanding. To give himself a sense of security. “for Bennis, he felt safe only after he understood the new things;” So he will study hard.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Bennis not only believes that leadership is learnable, but directly defines a leader as a learner. “our leaders seem to retain a lot of their children’s fine qualities: enthusiasm for others. Be proactive, imaginative, and have unlimited learning skills, “Bennis said in particular. Leadership learning is “organizational reality” learning. There are two types of learning: maintenance learning and innovative learning. The former is the acquisition of fixed views, methods, and rules to cope with what is known. It will happen again. And innovative learning is more difficult, and it is committed to bringing about change, renewal, restructuring, and redefining the problem. Help the organization prepare for the future environment. In learning, it is necessary to learn to discard, that is, to give up old knowledge when the external situation changes and the organization conflicts with the environment.

In the end, Bennis saw the process of learning to be a leader as a process of being a complete and sound person. No leader intended to be a leader in the first place. People planned to live their lives. Show yourself well. If this performance is valuable, they become leaders. Therefore, the key is not to be a leader, but to be yourself. Make full use of yourself. Use all your skills, talents, and energy to allow your vision to unfold, Bennis says, as an inner force to shape him into what he will be. Each leader may want to ask. How can I be molded?

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