Managers today are faced with numerous complex challenges speckled with paradoxes. They must have a sharp economical focus while simultaneously engaging in creative and innovative thinking. They must support individuals as well as teams, think globally, and do business locally. This book views complexity as a fundamental element of leadership, rather than something that should simply be reduced and removed. It presents a leadership concept that includes both sides of the paradox.
Managing Leadership Paradoxes uses case studies and practical exercises to show how managers can maintain decisiveness in the face of paradoxes, complexities, and contradictory demands. Lotte Lüscher draws on research gleaned from managers within the international corporation, Lego, to provide first-hand knowledge of how a large-scale organization meets and manages change paradoxes, rather than treating them as something that needs to be reduced and removed. It will assist managers and aspiring managers in expanding their understanding of leadership challenges beyond dilemmas, and equip them with the managerial skills to handle the most persistent and pervasive paradoxical challenges that arise as a result of organizational change.
The book will be of interest to leaders and managers, as well as students of leadership, management and organizational studies.The intent is to provide the reader with a foundation for reflecting on his or her own leadership practice with special focus on organizational complexity, ambiguity, and paradoxes.
Table of Contents
1. Complex Leadership
2. Leadership Concept Across Paradigms
3. The Lego Project: An Encounter with Leadership's Paradoxes
4. The Organizational Paradox: The Paradox Inherent in Organizational Life
5. Organizational Paradoxes in Practice: Examples of Organizational Change
6. The Role Paradox: Contradictory Demands of Leadership
7. Role Paradoxes in Practice: Examples of Leadership Development
8. Paradox of Belonging: The Emotional Aspect
9. The Paradoxes of Belonging in Practice: Moving woward Relationships and a well-functioning Management Team
10. Integrative Thinking
11. Reflective Distance, Oscillation and Positioning
13. Managerial Flow – Leading through Paradox
Lotte S. Lüscher, Founder, Clavis Business Psychology, and external lecturer, Aarhus Business School and the Department of Psychology, Aarhus University, Denmark.
"Lotte Luscher inspires leaders to not only work through but to thrive with paradoxes - the interwoven contradictions that pervade our organizations and our leadership lives. Through insights and examples she demonstrates the value of engaging tensions, accepting paradoxical challenges as opportunities for innovation and improvement. Such a paradox mindset holds promise for more sustainable approaches to leading in times of rising change, ambiguity, and competing demands."
Marianne W. Lewis, Dean and Professor of Management, Cass Business School, City University, London
"Leadership is full of paradoxes and every leader struggles to cope with them. This book digs into the heart of what paradox is and how to deal with the dilemmas that confront us every day. Everyone with leadership aspirations should read it."
Morgen Witzel, Fellow, Exeter Centre for Leadership, UK