Leadership That Empowers: How Strategic Planning Relates To Followership

1160 words - 5 pages

In the article, “Leadership That Empowers: How Strategic Planning relates to Followership.” Brumm, & Drury, (2013), investigate the connection between leadership planning and its effect on followership. During the previous class much of the discussion centered on empowerment. It was clear that one of the attributes of a competent director is the ability to empower members. This article examined the outcome of strategic planning and its effects on followers.
According to Burns (1978) “Followers need leaders and leaders need followers” (as cited in
Brumm & Drury 2013, p.17). It concluded that followers felt empowered due to comprehensive planning. The study did not include other variables such as leadership styles. Brumm, C, explained that, he did not include management styles because that dealt with getting people to feel hyped up or emotionally connected to the task. Whereas planning gives followers a clear map to complete the task which was the type of empowerment he was referring to. (Personal communication, March 31, 2014)
It is difficult to look at strategic leadership and the ability to empower others from such a small viewpoint. Leadership has many dimensions and has to be analyzed from a broader perspective. For example; if an executive needed to build a bridge, and had the knowledge to build the bridge, would the he build it or would he empower others to build it? Leaders are not leaders if they are doing the work of followers. Leaders get the task done. The article suggests that good and detailed plans would be sufficient. I suggest that would be the work of an architect. But, a leader would go beyond the plans to get the bridge built.
Ultimately, this article examines leadership from a task management style. Its emphasis is on planning, implementation of plans, optimizing performances, and fulfilling plans, task and goals. It separates leaders and followers into ranks. Nevertheless, according to the study, there was confirmation that not only did the working relationship improve because of long term plans or better planning, but also because the followers felt empowered. It raises the question, is empowering others as simple as good planning?
If there is a disconnection within the organization, I submit that it is not because of the lack of planning, but perhaps the privation of leadership skills. Leadership is a people skill as much as it may be task oriented. Unlike charismatic leaders, task oriented managers lack the gift of empowerment. Nowadays, followers expect more from leaders because they have access to information and know what is acceptable. Thus, outdated techniques, (old paradigms) are no longer sufficient to lead new thinkers. Barak Obama, for example used the language tools of technology to plan, empowers and ultimately wins the white house (Leanne 2010). p.184).
Moreover, according to Brown (2014), while there is no magic potion to keep employees engaged and happy, there are some steps,...

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