Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for March 18th, 2012

Ego-Driven Leadership Versus Heart-Driven Leadership

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 18, 2012

Why do people want to be leaders? I have mused over this question for many decades. Clearly motivation is layered and complex. That is a platitude, I know. Still, I think there are essentially two kinds of people who are drawn to powerful positions. One leader is looking for self-esteem. He/she is driven by an external validation that they are worthy and important people. A second kind of leader is looking to change the world by exercising their vision. Again, I know that one leader may have both qualities and this is an artificial either/or distinction, but I am making this distinction to say that in every leader, one of these two motivations dominate their decisions. In the ego-driven leader one would see moves which might hurt their followers in that decisions are motivated by blinding self-interest. In the heart-driven leader, the followers thoughts and feelings are attended to, but that does not mean that the organization grows and develops in a healthy way. A leader may be sensitive to the feelings of others, but still lack the skill of single-minded focus along with a will of steel. In my earlier days I thought all leaders were heart-driven, but with age and experience, I have come to see that this way of thinking was naïve. In deciding which leader to follow, this line of questioning, ego-driven or heart-driven, is a very important point in the decision tree. I welcome your thoughts on the matter.

Posted in leadership, Psychotherapy | 8 Comments »

 
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