Lao Tzu

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Lao Tzu The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu put it best when he said, “A leader is best when people barley know he exists, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say: We did it ourselves.” Often when a person thinks of a leader they think of such great leaders as George Washington, George Patton, and Thomas Jackson. The word “leader” itself will invoke images of die-hard men with the charisma to command anyone and overcome anything. Yet despite this common image there was no theory of leadership that covered this common belief in a “super” leader. That was the case until 1983, then Charles C. Manz developed the theory of “Super Leadership.” This theory is based on the premise that a Super leader is one who, “leads others to lead themselves, by acting as a teacher and a coach, not a director”(DuBrin 97). Charles Manz writes about his theory that, “this perspective suggests a new measure of leadership strength – the ability to maximize the contributions of others by helping them to effectively guide their own destinies, rather than the ability to bend the will of other’s to the leader’s” (Manz xvi). SECTION II. REVIEW OF THE BASICS OF SUPERLEADERSHIP The Super Leadership theory evolved from the beliefs that the most appropriate type of leader in today’s society is a leader who can lead others to lead themselves. This type of “lead your self” leadership results in people who are self-directing and in return require little amounts of external control. The theory of Super leadership relies on the ability to teach the right thought patterns to the members of the organization while also ensuring that they think both constructively and productively. Manz states that the purpose of this type of thinking,... ... middle of paper ... if used correctly. If a leader follows the steps of becoming a effective self-leader, by modeling self-leadership, encouraging self-set goals, using rewards and constructive feedback, to create positive thought patterns, and to promote self-leading teams he/she will be an effective Super Leader. REFERENCES DuBrin, Andrew J. Leadership: Research Findings, Practice and Skills. New York. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1998. Horowitz, Shel C. Turn Leaders into Superleaders. The Umass Family Business Center. Apr 00. Manz, Charles C. Superleadership: Leading others to Lead Themselves. New York. Prentice Hall 1989. Manz, Charles C. The Leadership Wisdom of Jesus: Practical Lessons for Today. New York. Prentice Hall 1998. Manz, Charles C. Exploring Superleadership’s Spritual Foundations. Available:

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