Four-Cornered Leadership : A Framework for Making Decisions book cover
1st Edition

Four-Cornered Leadership
A Framework for Making Decisions

ISBN 9781466592896
Published August 6, 2013 by Productivity Press
277 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations

USD $62.95

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Book Description

W. Edwards Deming once stated that the job of management is not supervision but leadership. He also concluded that capable leaders were those who understood and applied the system of profound knowledge.

Four-Cornered Leadership: A Framework for Making Decisions examines the system of profound knowledge and identifies the competencies that set the stage for its successful application. Illustrating the relationship between leaders and followers, it analyzes each of the four pillars that support Deming's system, in relation to prevailing management and organizational theory. It describes a set of competencies based on these core principles that convey very different assumptions about people and organizations.

The book supplies you with a new way to view leadership that is based on learning and continual modification in response to prevailing conditions. Highlighting the connection between the four elements and an individual’s ability to lead, it presents methods that are applicable in any organizational setting—including government, industry, and education. Presenting information in bite-sized chunks supported by charts and graphs, the book provides you with a clear understanding of:

  • The importance of system interdependencies
  • Why people behave as they do
  • How people learn, develop, and improve
  • The variability of work
  • How to manage interaction dynamics

The book examines the complexity of human nature and relates it to group and organizational dynamics. Filled with examples, case studies, and tables, this is the ideal guide for leaders trying to adopt the principles of quality management and continuous improvement. It is also a suitable reference for newly appointed leaders, managers, and supervisors who have excellent technical skills but have not been exposed to the emotional aspects that typify a capable leader.

Table of Contents

Leadership Defined
Leadership and Profound Knowledge
Leadership Competencies
Leadership, Power, and Followers
Leadership and Management
Leadership Approaches
Leadership Implications

Understand the Importance of System Interdependencies
The Organization as an Open System
Processes are the Culprit not the People
Coordinating and Controlling Processes
The Leaders Role

Understand Why People Behave as They Do
Complexity of Human Nature
Group and Organizational Dynamics
     Organization Setting and Structure
     Task Complexity and Character
Interpersonal Skills and Attributes
Group Norms and Cohesiveness
     Group Development
     Group Interaction Patterns
     Group Communication
     Group Decision Making
     Group Task Accomplishment
     Group Support
Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation
Lessons Learned

Understand How People Learn, Develop, and Improve
Learning is about Theory
Organizational Learning
Learners Are Not All Alike
Growth Comes From Lessons Learned
Reinforcing and Sustaining Learning

Understand the Variability of Work
Data Provide the Basis for Decision-Making
System Ups and Downs are a Matter of Routine
Visualizing Process Variability
Process Behavior Chart
Interpreting Process Behavior
Tampering Can Be Costly
So What?

Give Meaning, Purpose, and Direction to the Job at Hand
Purpose and Why It Is Important
Creating the Purpose
     The Process and How to Make it Happen
Communicating the Purpose
Anchoring the Purpose through Constancy of Action
Interpreting the Organization’s Purpose through Planning
Appreciating that the Job At Hand Has Just Begun

Manage the Dynamics, Interdependencies, and Interaction
Plan for the Future
Create Less Structure and Share Tasks
Delegate and Coordinate
Problem Solve and Make Decisions
Monitor Results
Drive Out Fear
Build Trust
Final Thoughts

Assess Your Ability as a Profound Leader
Affinity Technique
Force Field Analysis


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John Roland Schultz is an independent management consultant and retired college professor. For 20 years, he taught management and supervisory development courses and was a program director overseeing an advanced technical certificate in quality management. Prior to teaching, his work experience included 25 years as a consultant, technical services manager, and new product development engineer. He has performed doctoral study in adult education, has a master of science degree in management, and has undergraduate degrees with a focus on industrial management and organizational behavior.