i know there are probably hundreds of leadership styles and different nuances...
but when it comes to the foundational assumptions a leader starts out with about PEOPLE specifically.
i found the greatest quote i've ever seen to summarize the other view:
"Why is it that whenever I ask for a pair of hands, a brain comes attached?"
- Henry Ford
Henry Ford. the name you think of when you think the invention of the automobile, the assembly line, the Model T...
he was fully immersed in a leadership paradigm that said "just give me a body that's alive. let them do exactly what i tell them and that's all i need."
unfortunately that's still a pretty popular leadership paradigm. people are a means to an end. just a cog in the assembly line. in fact, if we could use robots they would be even better BECAUSE AT LEAST THEIR BRAINS WOULDN'T GET IN THE WAY.
innovation is essentially what Ford was complaining about. people can't help but use their brains. they innovate naturally.
i imagine people on Ford's assembly lines would inevitably innovate. they would think "there's a better way to do this." and they would try it. but those ideas probably didn't work most of the time. they would break the system. the assembly line halted. the bottom line was stalled.
i imagine Ford was livid. if he could just have a pair of hands without a brain - that would fit his leadership paradigm perfectly.
big problems with this paradigm, though. i hope they are painfully obvious.
the other paradigm is extremely opposite. it's innovation. the best thing about people is not their hands, but their brains. their ability to innovate. create. think outside the box. make things better.
and true innovators could not work for Henry Ford. they couldn't work on an assembly line for long.
because true innovators are never bound by what is.
instead they dream of what could be.