Intro - Barry Brownstein LO29792

From: Mark W. McElroy (
Date: 01/08/03

Replying to LO29785 --


I share your respect for McMaster's work. And thanks for the quotes.
Good stuff. May I also add my own view that leadership in organizations,
because they are complex adaptive systems, should be of a deferential
kind. Deferential, that is, to the self-organizing dynamics of collective
learning. What this means in practice is that leaders should be
responsible for creating and maintaining the conditions in which such
self-organizing behaviors can successfully unfold and flourish, unhindered
by the interfering hand of Prometheus, as it were.



Barry Brownstein wrote:

>Mike McMaster in his brilliant book "The Intelligence Advantage", helps
>answers the question of what leadership aimed at organizational
>transformation looks like in a complex self-organizing system. McMaster
>tells us that first and foremost "leaders have theories that guide their
>actions." "Leadership without a distinct theory is merely phenomenon of
>personality and will not survive the particular leader." McMaster's ideas
>are in contrast to much of conventional wisdom that extols leadership
>styles and thus encourages damaging organizational cults built around
>personalities. Mike points out that "leadership in transformation begins
>with the realization that we are part of a complex intelligent system and
>not separate from it." In all, in an organization that uses
>self-organizing principles, we can say that leadership is an emergent
>response to the needs of the system and will shift among the members of
>the organization.
>Incidentally Mike's book has just sadly gone out-of-print. It needs and
>deserves a publishing home.


"Mark W. McElroy" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.