A Paradigm Shift for Today’s Leaders

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.Elizabeth Bibesco

The entire realm of leadership training has taken a dramatic shift over the past three decades or so. The strong-armed approach to leadership success has given way to the concept of allowing the follower to become an invested contributor to the overall mission. There is a greater emphasis on intrinsic motivation rather than using extrinsic rewards as a means to individual or group achievement.

The cornerstones of this paradigm shift emphasize a win-win concept embracing both the requirements of the project responsibilities and the welfare of the people involved. It diminishes the power struggle often associated with the traditional positioning, turf protection, rank-and file status, etc. To find success in this modern-day blueprint of leadership style, these four laws of leadership must be understood and integrated into every decision made by the leader; they serve as the foundational blocks of contemporary leadership.

People are more important than titles. The focal point remains on the welfare of the people involved. The leader constantly monitors the overall attitude of the group, ensuring a sense of mutual understanding and synergistic effort based on individual and group commitment to focus on the agreed objectives.

We can’t lead others until we lead ourselves. Role modeling plays a vital part in the leader’s ongoing communication with the members of the organization. While delegation is still an important aspect of the process, the leader sets the pace by demonstrating the
expectations and the standards desired to achieve positive results. The most effective form of leadership is positive role modeling.

Leaders are measured by what they give. Leadership is an opportunity “to give” to those who are part of the group, organization, or ensemble. The position of leadership is a license to help all those who are part of the forum. If there is not a measured contribution to the forward progress of the group, the value of the leader is diminished to the point of being “merely a title carrier.”

Leaders assume total responsibility. When something goes awry, the leader immediately assumes the responsibility for the breakdown rather than pointing the finger of blame at anyone else. The welfare of the followers is primary in every facet of the leader’s agenda.

Adapting this new leadership consciousness to any classroom experience offers individuals a greater opportunity to “own the group” and accept the responsibilities for the positive growth and development of the organization. Everyone wins.


This article is adapted from the book “Everyday Wisdom for Inspired Teaching” by GIA Publications, and reproduced with permission from Tim Lautzenheiser.

Tim Lautzenheiser
Tim Lautzenheiser

Tim Lautzenheiser presently serves as Vice President of Education for Conn-Selmer, Inc. His career involves ten years of successful college band directing at Northern Michigan University, the University of Missouri, and New Mexico State University. His books, produced by G.I.A. Publications, Inc., continue to be bestsellers in the educational world. He is also co-author of popular band method, Essential Elements, and is the Senior Educational Consultant for Hal Leonard, Inc.

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