Myth Of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations

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9780891064008: Myth Of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations
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When we join an organization, we're immediately slotted into a hierarchy based on a rank-based system of "leaders" and "followers." We then make false assumptions about our place in these hierarchies that divide our efforts, limit our growth opportunities and rob us of meaningful, dignified work. These assumptions are what Jeffrey Nielsen calls the "myth of leadership." In this unconventional book, Nielsen calls for an end to "rank-based" organizational structures, which foster secrecy and miscommunication and steal the joy from work, while breeding corruption and abuse of power. Nielsen's new model is the "peer-based" organization, which uses rotating peer leadership councils and crossfunctional task forces to manage the organization's work. These new entities are better suited to making decisions based on the organization's competencies and customer needs, rather than on static functional groups or other artificial divisions. Nielsen's experience with dozens of organizations showed that while workers were universally motivated to make their organizations profitable, artificial barriers consistently prevented them from reaching their potential. Real-world examples from contemporary peerbased organizations help make his point for creating leaderless organizations.

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From the Author:

My purpose in writing THE MYTH OF LEADERSHIP is to make organizational life for all of us as meaningful, joyful, and prosperous as possible. A book also, I believe, needs to influence, if not change, the way a reader views the world. Hopefully, reading this book will positively affect your perception of the possibilities of life in organizations. My book is not meant to answer all the technical questions surrounding organizational management and design, but to introduce a new paradigm and point out a possible path to follow as we create peer-based organizations. The key idea to keep in mind as you think about how you can apply the book to your experience is the distinction between rank thinking and peer thinking.

I define rank thinking as the belief that only a few in any organization should be given special privilege to monopolize information, control decision-making, and command obedience from the vast majority either through coercive or manipulative power. Peer thinking, on the other hand, is the belief that everyone in the organization should have equal standing to share in information, participate in the decision-making process, and choose to follow through persuasive means. Peer thinking assumes that we each have equal privilege to speak and an obligation to listen. Peer-based organizations create a space--an arena--where we come to recognize and respect one another as equal participants in organizational life. The message of the book applies to our family, our workplace, and our community life together.

From the Inside Flap:

As individuals, we share many basic values and desires. Yet when we join an organization, we're immediately slotted into a hierarchy based on a caste system of "leaders" and "followers." We then become trapped in what author Jeffrey Nielsen calls the "myth of leadership"--a set of false assumptions that divide our efforts, limit our growth opportunities, and rob us of meaningful, dignified work.

In this unconventional book, Nielsen calls for an end to "rank-based" organizational structures, which foster miscommunication, corruption, and abuse of power. He argues that our obsession with leadership has blinded us to the fact that top-down, hierarchical control doesn't work. It creates top-heavy, inefficient organizations that are slow to adapt to changing business conditions.

Nielsen's new model is the "peer-based" organization, which relies on peer leadership councils and cross-functional task forces. These new entities are better suited to making decisions based on organizational competencies and customer needs, rather than on static functional groups or other artificial divisions. The author uses real-world examples from contemporary peer-based organizations to help make his point for creating leaderless organizations.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780891061991: The Myth of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations

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ISBN 10:  0891061991 ISBN 13:  9780891061991
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2004
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9780891063896: Myth Of Leadership: Creating Leaderless Organizations

Nichol..., 2011
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