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The Leader’s Light or Shadow “We know where light is coming from by looking at the shadows” - Paul Woodruff Dr. Hays Leadership and Ethics Bishop Kearney.

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Presentation on theme: "The Leader’s Light or Shadow “We know where light is coming from by looking at the shadows” - Paul Woodruff Dr. Hays Leadership and Ethics Bishop Kearney."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Leader’s Light or Shadow “We know where light is coming from by looking at the shadows” - Paul Woodruff Dr. Hays Leadership and Ethics Bishop Kearney High School

2 A Dramatic Difference Moral and immoral leaders/light and darkness – Leaders have unusual degree of power – Create conditions under which people must live and move – Illuminating as heaven or shadowy as hell Special responsibility – What is going on inside – Can create harm or good – Do you see this happening in health care organizations? Octave Tassaert, Heaven and Hell, 1850

3 Types of Bad Leaders Incompetent – Lack motivation or ability to sustain effective action Rigid – Unyielding, unable to accept new ideas, etc.. Intemperate – Lack self-control and enabled by followers Callous – In uncaring or unkind; ignores needs of followers Corrupt – Lie, cheat, and steal; put self interest ahead of public interest Insular – Draws clear boundaries between welfare of organization and outsiders Evil – Use power to inflict severe physical or psychological harm

4 Behavioral and Personal Characteristics of Toxic Leaders Destructive behaviors 1.Leaving followers worse off 2.Violate human rights 3.Create dependence 4.Play to basest fears and needs of followers 5.Stifle criticism 6.Mislead followers 7.Subvert ethical organizational processes 8.Fail to nurture followers, including successors 9.Make themselves indispensible Toxic qualities 1.Lack of integrity 2.Insatiable ambition 3.Enormous ego 4.Arrogance 5.Amorality 6.Avarice (greed) 7.Reckless disregard for costs of their actions 8.Failure to understand problems 9.Incompetent in key leadership situations

5 Casting Shadows Toxic (poor) leaders cast shadows – Negatively impact followers Four predominant – Power – Privilege – Mismanaged Information – Irresponsibility

6 Shadow of Power Leadership cannot exist without power Is the foundation for influence attempts Abuse of power is all too common in organizations More we have, more likely others will comply Types of power – Coercive power: based on penalties and punishment – Reward power: depends on delivery of something of value – Legitimate power: resides in position, not the person – Expert power: based on characteristics of person – Referent power: based on admiration one has for another Draw on more than one source of power

7 Shadow of Privilege Leader excess is not a new phenomenon Old Testament prophets railed against the political, religious, and social elite condemning them for hoarding wealth, feasting while the poor went hungry etc… “Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man, and his inheritance.” Micah 2:1-2 Leaders enjoy greater privileges than followers Greater the power, greater the rewards Link between power and privilege – Abuse of one leads to abuse of other Questions to consider: – How many additional privileges should leaders have? – What should be the relative difference in pay and benefits between workers and top management?

8 Shadow of Mismanaged Information Deny having information in their possession Withhold information followers need Use information solely for their benefit Release info to wrong people Violate privacy rights of followers

9 Shadow of Irresponsibility Leaders held accountable for everyone in organization Determining extent is far from easy – Do employers owe employees a certain degree of job security? Leaders act irresponsibly when: – Fail to make reasonable efforts to: Prevent followers misdeeds Ignore or deny ethical problems Do not shoulder responsibility for consequences of directives Deny duties to followers Hold followers to higher standard than themselves

10 The BIG Question Why is it, when faced with the same ethical challenges, some leaders cast light and some cast shadows?

11 The Dark Side of Followership Followers walk on the dark side when they fail to meet their own moral responsibilities – Challenge of obligation – Challenge of obedience – Challenge of cynicism – Challenge of dissent – Challenge of bad news

12 Unhealthy Motivations Leaders must pay attention to their motivations – WHY?? Leaders project shadows out of their inner being that produce unethical behaviors 7 internal monsters – Insecurity – Battleground mentality – Functional atheism – Fear – Denying death – Evil – Selfishness

13 Insecurity Leaders are often deeply insecure Mask feelings of inner doubt Leaders are inextricably bound to what they do Use followers to serve selfish interests

14 Battleground Mentality Often use terms like wins and losses, allies and enemies They do battle with the competition Acting competitively becomes self-fulfilling prophecy Can be counterproductive

15 Functional Atheism What is it? – Leaders belief that they have ultimate responsibility for everything that happens in organization “I have to make it happen” Symptoms include: – High stress – Broken relationships and families – Workaholism – Burnout – Mindless activity

16 Fear What type of fear drives leaders? – Chaos – Unknown – Change – Fear itself What results?? – Stifle dissent and innovation – Emphasize rules and procedures instead of creativity – Consolidate their power instead of sharing it How would this unhealthy motivation in leaders affect heath care organizations?

17 Denying Death Leaders do not: – want to face fact that projects and programs should die if no longer viable – face fact that they may have made mistakes Fear negative evaluation and public failure Need more leaders like IBM founder Thomas Watson – What he said How would having leaders like this transform health care as an industry?

18 Evil Not as common, but must be aware of Lot of inner demons lurking in leaders – Jealousy, envy, rage Some people are driven by force more powerful than anxiety or fear – EVIL Insecurity and desire to vanquish enemies leads to shadows being cast

19 Selfishness Self-centeredness manifests itself through: – Pride, greed, and narcissism Proud of themselves and their accomplishments Lack empathy for others Focus on defending their turf and maintaining their status Do not cooperate with others to serve common good Ignore creative ideas and valuable data

20 The Warped Mind of Leaders Insatiable desires of out-of-control leaders has less to do with money and more to do with the following: – Poor self-image: low self esteem, want to put past behind them (Martha Stewart) – “I Deserve It” myth: leader should get all credit for organization’s success (Jack Welch) – Unchecked fantasies: desires are not controlled by harsh reality facing their followers (Jim Jones) – Society’s blessings: leaders can do whatever they want as long as they produce – Competitiveness gone awry: leaders compete with peers for higher and higher salaries – Lonesome soldier syndrome: leaders find it hard to make friends because they fear others are only attracted to their power – Boredom: leader’s do not know what to do next; new challenges can place in moral jeopardy – Power corrupts: leaders lose sight of what is rightfully theirs and what isn’t

21 Leaders and Decision Making Biases Ethical miscues by leaders can be determined by the way in which decisions are made Three theories – Of the world – About other people – About themselves

22 Theories of the World Ignore low probability events when could have serious consequences later Limit search for stakeholders and thus overlook needs of important groups Ignore possibility that public will find out about an action Discount future by putting immediate needs ahead of long term goals Underestimate impact of a decision on a collective group Failure to acknowledge and confront risk Framing risk differently from followers Blaming others when larger systems are at fault Excusing those who fail to act when they should

23 Theories About Other People Believe that their group is normal and ordinary (good guys) whereas others are strange and inferior (bad) Give special consideration and aid to members of the in-group Judge and evaluate according to group membership (stereotype)

24 When Leaders Rate Themselves More Highly Than Others Do You Consider Yourself Dumb? During a Democrat fundraising event in Massachusetts, Obama "faulted the economic downturn for Americans' inability to 'think clearly‘ “ – Barack Obama, October 18, 2010 "Democrats aren't running on the administration's accomplishments like health- care and financial-regulatory overhaul and the stimulus because it's just too hard to explain. “ – Joe Biden, October 14, 2010

25 Theories about Themselves Rate themselves more highly than other people Underestimate the likelihood negative things will happen Believe they can control random events Overestimate their contributions to organizations and society Overconfidence (which prevents from learning more about a situation) Conclude that normal rules and obligations don’t apply to them

26 Effect of Toxic Leadership on Followers Followers have deep seated psychological needs and fears that make them seek leaders – Need for parent figures – Exchanging freedom for security – Need to feel chosen – Need for community – Fear ostracism, isolation, and social death – Sense of personal weakness and powerlessness

27 Toxic Leadership in Health Care Immediate leader at every level of a healthcare organization who determines results Most frequently cited reason employees are unhappy and quit is their immediate leader Healthcare organizations are moving to a focus on leadership as the means to drive success

28 What Type of Leadership is Required? Transactional Leadership – NO Transformational Leadership – NO Servant Leadership – YES WHY?? – influences, models, supports, and encourages people to serve others first “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12) Suigii, The Missing Piece, 2007

29 The Missing Piece Jesus provides the example of true servant leadership and humility by washing His disciples' feet These two traits are crucial in a leader’s daily life. We still struggle with making our lives be a daily testimony for others to witness. The missing piece of this puzzle is to actually put it into action servant leadership and humility Daily put into practice the example Christ set before us. How will this impact the future of health care? YOU are the missing piece!!


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