Understanding the idea of Parent Leadership, or paternalistic leadership, is important if you work in India or many other Asian countries, but you might still be on the fence about it. Leading as if you were a father or mother might sound rather sticky or messy, especially when you think about your own family.
However, Parent Leadership is a legitimate leadership style, and instead of judging if the style itself is bad or good, you should look at good and bad examples of people who use it.
In my time in India, I’ve interacted with many leaders who naturally use this style. Some are very inspiring, like the one who made it a point to visit the housewarming ceremony of a junior employee. Others are extremely dysfunctional, like the one who refused to believe anyone else could do a better job than him at any business function.
In the next two articles, I will offer a picture of the best and worst sides of Parent Leadership. First, we’ll look at the best-case scenario to see the enormous potential this style holds. Next, we’ll look at a worst-case scenario to show just how bad things can get. [Read more…]