Share these talks and lectures with your colleaguesInvite colleagues
Sweet dreams and nightmares: learning from good and bad leaders
Other Talks in the Series: Leadership Development
Developing leaders and leadership, understanding developmental processes
- Prof. David Day
- University of Western Australia, Australia
Leadership development of women executives
- Prof. Monique Valcour
- EDHEC Business School, France
My name is Adrian Furnham, I am a Professor of Psychology at University College London. The topic of my lecture is called "Sweet Dreams and Nightmares, Learning From Good and Bad Leaders". I'm going to look at what we know about leaders and more particularly the recent research on failed and derailed leaders, and what it teaches us about the topic of leadership.
If we look at the topic of leadership, at least from a psychological perspective, it appears that there are a number of quite distinct topics. Six in particular seem to be quite common. One is called position power, and this looks at organizational roles and positions. It's got to do with organizational structure, whether you have a tall organization or a flat organization, and how power and influence is used in those organizations. So an example of a tall organization would be the military with people having a clear span of control. Certain number of generals, certain number of colonels, and under colonels, certain number of majors, etc, as opposed to a very flat organization like the Roman Catholic Church, which only has three or four levels. Power and influence are used differently in organizations depending on their structure. I'm not going to spend much time talking about that topic. The second topic is on the leaders themselves. This is a very long literature, it's called the "Great Man Theory of Literature", and I'm going to spend some time looking at that. The third topic is not on the leaders, but on the led. Looking at work groups and subordinates and how those individuals who are led by certain leaders have a significant influence on the leader. So the group size and experience of subordinates all affect the way they accept leadership. Again, this is a small topic, I'm not going to spend much time talking on it.