Archives For leadership

Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty is an excellent book. Hirschman looks at decline in organizations and how members/customers react to decline. He merges theories from two fields, economics and politics, to explain the decisions that members/customers make regarding whether to stay or go.

It has long been thought that exit is the best barometer of the quality of a product. If the quality of a given product by a particular company declines too much, customers will stop purchasing it and move on to a competitor. Seems pretty straight forward, but as Hirschman points out, it is much more complicated than that. Customers don’t act in one unified way. Some have a greater tolerance for decline in quality than others. That is often linked to their mobility in the market, the availablity of alternatives, and the cost (perceived or real) of making a change. These factors combine to present a strata of customers, unequally distributed, that will react to decline in very different ways.  Continue Reading…

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I just finished reading Manfred Kets de Vries' The Leadership Mystique to kick off the fourth term in my doctorate. In terms of ink I put on the pages, this one is pretty high up there. Lots of underlining. 

I should tell you that I have quite a love-hate relationship with books on leadership. I'm really down on their use by pastors and churches. I've witnessed and experienced the "shadow side" (a term de Vries uses often) of church-as-corporation and pastor-as-CEO. I don't think that modeling a church after a corporation or modeling the pastoral role after CEO is faithful, helpful, or Biblical. But that is for a different blog post. Plenty of churches have bought into that model of "doing business" and, for them, this is one of the better books on leadership out there. Maybe Bill Hybels will even invite the author to the "Global Leadership Summit" one day. Ugh.