Leadership and Critical Thinking
Examining the evolution of leadership demonstrates that leadership in today's world requires more than the ability to manipulate data and manage people. "To survive in the 21st century, we're going to need a new generation of leaders--leaders, not managers" (Bennis, 1999, p. 63). These two managerial functions are certainly aspects of the commonly held views of traditional leadership, but to survive in today's world, leaders cannot rely only on managerial skills. To develop strong leadership, leaders need to think about their role in a more holistic sense by shifting away from traditional paradigms of leadership and employing a learning attitude within their leadership role.
Holistic leadership requires using creative and critical thought as an agent of change. In the past 15 years, leadership has undergone tremendous change. The typical decision-making through the top-down corporate hierarchical structure has given way to organizational teams empowered with decision-making capabilities (Swenson, 2000). Creativity and critical thought play a key role in successful leadership. As companies become larger and more diverse, necessity dictates that leadership be a shared activity.
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