Leadership Schematized 
The way leadership works 

The schema below represents the way leadership works. Parts of the scheme will be explained hereafter.

The Environment

Every organization derives its right of existence from the environment in which it operates. The environment contains the customers, "the market" and other stakeholders. The organization has a right of existence while it handles those cases which the environment likes (or: buys, or: uses otherwise) and because the organization does so in a responsible way.
Besides the customers an organization also is dependent on its other stakeholders. An organization which behaves not responsible takes the risk that action will be taken against her by activists. This kind of action will damage the image of the organization. Each organization has to act in a responsible way.

The connection between environment and organization takes shape by the input the organization gets out of its environment and the output she brings back into it. The core tasks of an organization exists by processing input from the outside into output to the outside. The level of succeeding defines the appreciation she will get from her environment and the satisfaction from the customers.

Assessing the Environment

An organization derives its right of existence from the way the environment appreciates its actions. The environment is itself changing continually. The organization has to know what is going on in its environment just to make safe future existence. The organization has to perceive trends in the environment, has to know how the environment thinks about her and has to cope with that all.

De leader assesses the environment, perceives changes, chances, threats and trends. The leader has vision based on his knowledge of the sector and the environment. This constitutes his legitimacy.


The environment has two connections in this diagram. The first is the environmental assessment by the leader. The second is the connection concerning the input and output of the organization. The effectiveness of an organization, and her right of existence, is defined by the way the organization processes input from the environment into output in benefit of that environment.

If an organization is effective in its actions, than it will reflect on the leader. His legitimacy grows.


Acknowledgment, Acceptation, Legitimacy

In the upper part of the scheme there is a circle enclosing a triangle. The words acknowledgment, acceptation and legitimacy are connected with arrows in two directions. With this the mutual strengthening effect between the subjects is expressed.
Legitimacy leads to acknowledgment. Acknowledgment sees that a leader and his vision will be accepted. Acceptation enlarges the legitimacy of the leader.
It works the other way round as well. Legitimacy enlarges acceptation. Acceptation leads to acknowledgment and acknowledgment leads to enlargement of the leader's legitimacy.

From Acceptation to Effectiveness

When employees accept the vision, goals and activities of the leader, than this will bring enlarged motivation.

Leading is: letting others want what you want.

If the employees want what the leader wants than the goals of organization and workers are closely knitted together. Nothing will bring a worker more motivation than working on something he himself really wants.

Motivation brings more dedication by the workers. The higher the dedication, the higher the effectiveness of an organization.

Even better is that this rising effectiveness also effects the motivation of the people in a positive way.


Other Articles

Leadership, An Introduction. What makes a leader?

Self Test. Test your leadership capabilities.

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Copyright 2001- 2015 Peter Markensteijn. Alle rechten voorbehouden/All rights reserved.
Herzien/Revised: 20 juli 2009