E&M

2021/3

Alessandro Cravera

How to Exercise Leadership in Complex Contexts

The cultural model of the real exercise of leadership is still that of one person in control, with an array of followers. The concepts of leader and leadership are thus still associated with characteristics such as charisma, persuasive ability, assertiveness, and rapid actions and decisions. These are all abilities no longer appropriate to govern the complex reality in which organizations are immersed. The exercise of leadership in complex contexts must abandon the old logic of control and become smarter, moving towards "wise leadership." Exercising it means developing awareness of oneself (of one's limits and one's knowledge) and the context in which we operate. Wise leadership is based on four enablers: the propensity to prefer action oriented towards the "common good"; the understanding of the context in which one acts; relational ability, and thus inclusion and openness towards others; and constant attention to the temporal dimension, and thus the effects of one's actions in the future.

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