This book supports the idea that ‘leadership’ is a phenomenon created through interdependent and distinct variables in the situation, the person, and the person’s ability to appropriately respond to the situation. Leadership is not the result of a ‘list of traits’ and getting a certain score in a psychometric test is no guarantee of leadership behavior, although biopharmaceutical executives may find that lists and tests can be useful tools in their own leadership development.
Without a practical framework of commitments, competencies, or conditions for biopharmaceutical executives to express their commitments and competencies, the exploration of ‘leadership’ becomes an abstract and elusive ideal not unlike a Castalian pursuit of Herman Hesse’s Glass Bead Game and renders the study of leadership an abstract and elite exercise.
The study conducted for this book also found singular ideas on ‘leadership’ problematic, and similar to Jaques’ study of leadership (Jaques and Clement, 1994), identified leadership experiences as dependent on variables beyond the executives themselves. In fact, many of the executives interviewed in this book have worked for chief executives who, by popular ‘personality’ standards, appeared to be angry, withdrawn, uncommunicative, antagonistic, and awkward – words that we would never find in a ‘list of leadership personality traits.’
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