Complexity Leadership Essay

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Complexity Leadership: A battle between the Id, Ego and Superego Complexity Leadership: A battle between the Id, Ego and Superego Traditionally, leadership has been defined as the ability to influence and facilitate individuals and collective aggregates to accomplish a goal(s) (Yukl, 2012). However, this top down approach to leadership can be misplaced and overly simplistic (Lichenstein, Uhl-Bien, Marion, Orton, & Schreiber, 2006). Traditional leadership theories and research have worked to identify behaviors that impact the performance of a team into taxonomies. These taxonomies can cover a couple of leadership traits or the full range a leader needs to effect the change that is attributed to their success or failure (Yukl, 2012). This approach to leadership appears to apply a simplistic methodology to the complexities that besiege leadership and its study. It seems that the simple mathematical approach of leadership, A+B = C, is outdated and in need of a more complex analysis. Leadership and the environment that it takes place within is extremely complex and dynamic. Complexity Leadership Theory (Lichenstein et al., 2006) is a nascent theory designed to account for the complexities of leadership and its impact on organizational structures. The theory of Complexity Leadership elevates the math from simplistic addition to a more complex calculus that allows for a greater incorporation of variables that impact the equation of leadership. Complexity Leadership Theory utilizes a combination of scientific theories to battle traditional linear thinking, organizational culture unawareness, and lack of innovation preparedness that may result from the traditional leadership models (Weburg, 2012). The basic scientific principles employed include systems thinking, nonlinear dynamics, and complex adaptive systems (CAS) (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).

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