Leadership & Dark Matter

Leadership Events:

I trust I have made the point that
organizational dark matter exists and pervades every organization, actualizing
through leadership events that may be expected or unexpected, wanted or
unwanted, good or bad. Some people are acting and behaving so as to get other
people to act and behave in ways that benefit the organization, but also in
ways that do not. Following the majority convention in the literature, my use
of the term "leadership" will now be limited to those
"leadership events" that benefit the organization, unless otherwise
specified. For example, Williams (2005) believes that leadership gets
colleagues to confront reality and change values, habits, practices, and
priorities in order to deal with the real threats or opportunities the
organization faces; and leadership gets colleagues to do something that has
never been done before. (p. 247) Here, leadership clearly refers to the
complete leadership event, with emphasis on the leader’s actions and behavior.

It is helpful to briefly consider a
few types of leadership events that the experts I studied presented as
representative of good leadership and as typifying the actions and behavior of good

Influencing colleagues to achieve a common goal. (Northouse,
2004, p. 3)

Influencing colleagues toward the achievement of a vision or set
of goals. (Robbins & Judge, 2010, p. 160)

Influencing colleagues in a productive, vision-driven direction
through the example, conviction, and character of the leader. (Brady &
Woodward, 2007)

Influencing, shaping, and mobilizing action towards articulating
or achieving goals and playing a major role in whether and how the organization
acquires, evaluates and uses knowledge, and engages in learning to achieve
improvements. (Walshe, Harvey, & Jas, 2010, p. 166)

Integrating the various other roles of the organization and
maintaining unity of action in the organization’s effort to achieve its goals.
(Bass & Bass, 2008, p. 22)

Empowering others on their journeys. (George & Sims, 2007, p.

Modifying the attitudes and behaviors of others in order to meet
shared group goals and needs. (Hackman & Johnson, 2009, p. 11)

Anticipating, initiating, and implementing change. (Bass &
Bass, 2008, p. 15)

Developing the latent capabilities of colleagues over the long
term. (Williams, 2005, p. 246)

Liberating colleagues to do what is required of them in the most
effective and humane way possible. (De Pree, 2004, p. 1)