The Syrian crisis: Study leadership decisions not leadership styles …

The Syrian crisis: Study leadership decisions not leadership styles …

The concept of leadership styles and their interpretation has never been more evident or important than in the Syrian Crisis today. The attempts at negotiation, intervention and political management is really a study in leadership styles issues.  Whether you are assessing a business units leadership or a global political crisis, the “leadership dynamics” are front and center.

“The complexities of leadership make assessments of a leader’s style less effective than assessments of a leader’s most critical decisions and dilemmas The story of Syria’s internal conflicts and external attempts at intervention 

Media treatments

Media treatments are arriving at a narrative or interpretive story of events in Syria. In the narrative, the Syrian leader Bashar al Assad faces increasing attempts to overthrow his regime by a complex set of internal interests. The American President Barack Obama would like to intervene, preferably with support from the international community. The Russian President Vladimir Putin argues that the forces opposing Assad are waging war against a legally constituted leader.

The nature of narrative

Narrative by its nature is interpretative. It implies a belief in a story. I like to think of the story as a map or interpretation of a real-world reality. The Russian, American and Syrian maps differ. The real-world events involve thousands of people being killed, millions being displaced. If the narratives are maps, the conflict is the territory represented in the maps.

Dilemmas

News stories provide us with the maps. One way to examine them is to consider evidence of the most important dilemmas facing leaders. That way we glimpse the leadership processes better. For example, an excellent analysis in the Wall Street journal [updated and uploaded 15 Sept 2013] gives a Western map of current events. It also suggests the dilemmas facing President Obama.

This article points out a number of ways to assess and test the dynamics of a particular leadership style. We can see how important this is in a political setting. Some of this thought process can apply to business leadership as well.”

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