The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu put it best when he said, “A leader is best when people barley know he exists, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say: We did it ourselves.” Often when a person thinks of a leader they think of such great leaders as George Washington, George Patton, and Thomas Jackson. The word “leader” itself will invoke images of die-hard men with the charisma to command anyone and overcome anything. Yet despite this common image there was no theory of leadership that covered this common belief in a “super” leader.
That was the case until 1983, then Charles C. Manz developed the theory of “Super Leadership.” This theory is based on the premise that a Super leader is one who, “leads others to lead themselves, by acting as a teacher and a coach, not a director”(DuBrin 97). Charles Manz writes about his theory that, “this perspective suggests a new measure of leadership strength – the ability to maximize the contributions of others by helping them to effectively guide their own destinies, rather than the ability to bend the will of other’s to the leader’s” (Manz xvi).
REVIEW OF THE BASICS OF SUPERLEADERSHIP
The Super Leadership theory evolved from the beliefs that the most appropriate type of leader in today’s society is a leader who can lead others to lead themselves. This type of “lead your self” leadership results in people who are self-directing and in return require little amounts of external control.
The theory of Super leadership relies on the ability to teach the right thought patterns to the members of the organization while also ensuring that they think both constructively and productively. Manz states that the purpose of this type of thinking, “is to enable workers to gain control over their own behavior” (DeBrin 97).
In order to practice Super Leadership both the leaders and the followers should follow three main attitudes and behaviors. The first being th...