chapter  10
Leadership and Ecology
Pages 33

The Aster Group, in our opening leadership profile, is a complex example of numerous, overlapping leadership approaches. The organization had been operating in a stable bureaucratic environment, with an incremental change philosophy minimizing the role of change. The board took charge of its own fate by finding an entrepreneurial director, rather than be buffeted-and perhaps eventually drowned-by the substantial changes occurring in nonprofit housing. The new director leads by using different change approaches simultaneously. He induces major organizational change (a type of induced crisis) by the use of reorganization and mergers, ultimately changing the philosophy of the organization. He is strategic, directive, and inspirational, but he is not particularly participative in making these decisions with subordinates. A contrasting change approach is in the quality of service that needs to improve. This takes many small, incremental changes by numerous employees at all levels. Here, he is only directive in setting overall goals (e.g., levels of satisfaction), but careful not to micromanage. His overall approach focuses on participation, distributed delegation, and an achievement mentality (to reach the set goal). In still other areas of the organization, he is deeply involved in major adjustments such as new products and services outside the government-sponsored sector. Here, he is directive and strategic in promoting the change, but he also fosters high levels of participation since followers will need to implement the detailed strategies.