Posted: February 15th, 2022

The new leadership paradigm









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Book Review

            In his work, Richard Barrett involved profound wisdom and clarity in outlining the comprehensive leadership development procedure ever presented in history. Notably, The New Leadership Paradigm’s revolutionary and seminal insights involve the leadership kind essence needed in the current world. Generally, current leadership should be value-driven and vision-led. 

             According to Barret, the world needs a new leadership paradigm for various reasons; for example, a new leadership paradigm will address the existing challenge of global sustainability. Noteworthy, the existing problems are currently global; however, the structures for decision-making are national. This subjects people to the sustainability challenge whereby it is difficult to progress without a high global cooperation degree (Barrett, 2014 p. 137). This is particularly true since the significant global issues faced today are more challenging than the thinking level that resulted in such issues, hence the need for new leadership. 

            Besides, a new leadership type is required due to failure to cooperate, especially in the existing leadership. This is because leaders have divided the world into different governmental, private, and social sectors, which are not working (Barrett, 2014 p. 140). Consequently, artificial barriers have been developed. However, since people contribute to such problems, they are forced to combine forces, competencies, and efforts in addressing the issues. 

            Moreover, new leadership is required since the existing leadership has no compassion, particularly for its people. This is true since average leaders focus on personal care and their families. They have forgotten that good leaders extent their social care. They should learn from great leaders and companies who care for their stakeholders and focus on changing the world (Barrett, 2011 p. 201). Generally, great companies and leaders emphasize leaving a better world than how they found it. 

            Worthy mentioning, in the face of new leadership kind and sustainability, business leaders should acknowledge that businesses are society-owned subsidiaries, while society is an environmentally owned subsidiary (Barrett, 2011 p. 456). This statement means that if the environment and life support systems are lost, the entire society will die. Again, if society is lost, businesses and the economy perish. 

            Barrett wrote about a leadership crisis as addressed by John Kotter in the Havard Business School following fourteen formal surveys and studies, interviews, and observations. Barrett concluded that currently, most firms lack the most anticipated leadership (Barrett, 2014 p. 143). Besides, under leadership crisis, as reported by Shoshana Zuboff in the Harvard Business School, Barrett stated that his colleagues and his teaching about new leadership types resulted in sufferings, wealth creation suppression, world economy destabilization, and the fastening of the twentieth-century capitalism demise (Barrettt, 2014 p. 147). This is because Barrett and his colleagues produced a managers generation and business experts that were highly despised and mistrusted at the societal level and globally. Such a failure in embracing new leadership change was terrible. Additionally, Barrett talked about the leadership crisis as reported by  Bill George in the Harvard Business School, whereby the main focus was on the substantial leadership vacuum that currently exists, particularly in non-profit organizations, religion, education, government, politics, and in businesses (Barrett, 2011 p. 135). Markedly, the vacuum does not mean there are no individuals with the capacity to lead; however, the issue arises whereby people have a wrong idea about what it takes to be a leader, something fueled by top leaders’ obsession. 

            Therefore, according to Barrett, a new leadership kind is needed, which will change the existing leadership by shifting the leaders’ focus from focusing on personal good to the good of the entire society. Moreover, the new change in leadership will result in a shift from the leaders’ self-interest to emphasize the overall good of the people. Equally, the new change in leadership will lead to a shift from the leaders focusing on becoming the best globally to focusing on becoming the best for all individuals across the world. Nevertheless, the question remains on what these changes mean for both businesses and politics. Notably, for political leaders, the change will call for them to surrender their self-interest parochial and their exaggerated national sovereignty false belief, particularly by learning to solve existing issues primarily through international collaboration and cooperation (Barrett, 2013 p. 190). Similarly, for business leaders, the change means that they will be required to cooperate with their societal and political leaders as well as their competitors to come up with a policies framework for supporting global society evolution development, especially in industry charters involved in competition rules regulation amongst companies to full support common good in the society. Worthy noting, developing all individuals’ sustainable future is both a business and societal imperative, hence should be a priority in the new leadership forms. 

            Equally, the new leadership framework should focus on addressing the ultimate existence issues people are subjected to since the problems are majorly consciousness issues (Barrett 2009 p.81). This way, the world will progress beyond the stagnating stage of leadership in the collective evolution, mainly by emphasizing eliminating self-interests amongst leaders and working towards improving the entire system of leadership as well as developing values-fueled policies’ framework for supporting the common good. 

            Most importantly, as stated by Barrett, the three universal evolution principles are learned due to the essential lessons about new leadership forms. For example, the universal evolution stages, especially the Big Bang, to the current leadership entities of stage one teach both leaders and the people that they should always be conversant with ways of being independent and viable in their existence frameworks (Barrett, 2013 p. 245). Equally, stage two of the universal evolution states that since living conditions keep on becoming more complicated, viable independent components should be capable of bonding with one another to develop a team of structures. The last universal evolution stage defines that the viable independent team of structures should collaborate to create a higher entity order. Overall, this is a concept that leaders should borrow from science: energy atoms and molecules form cells, which then develop organisms that become more complicated creatures and join together to form homo sapiens. 

            In line with the universal evolution stages, Barrett defined the three stages of leadership development that leaderships should embrace for a successful evolution of the existing leadership forms. These include stage one, mainly personal mastery, whereby leaders should encourage people to become viably independent (Barrett, 2014 p. 148). This way, people will be responsible and accountable for themselves. The next stage is internal cohesion, whereby leaders should encourage people to bond together to develop businesses and groups units with universal values and a shared vision and mission sense. The last stage is external cohesion, whereby leaders should encourage business and teams units to collaborate to develop a higher entity order, an organization. 

            Noteworthy, the new leadership types learning system involves six parts: fundamentals, leading, leading others, leading a firm, leading a community, and the three annexes such as the learning system annex, cultural transformation tools annex, and the seven consciousness levels. Notably, people should be aware that they should lead themselves, since if an individual can not lead themselves, then it is impossible to be a leader to others (Barrett, 2009 p. 81). Similarly, if a person can not lead, others can not be leaders in any organization. Equally, if unable to lead an organization, the individual can not lead a nation or a society. 

            According to Barret, ordinary people will be using the new leadership learning system, regarded as the new good. This change will be witnessed in history since people are currently capable of making consciousness evolution conscious. This is especially true since, currently, people can measure evolution at national, organizational, and personal levels. Therefore, if leadership evolution can be measured, it is manageable. 

            Significantly, regardless of its purpose, change is attached to cultural transformation, regardless of what it may be, where it comes from, and its purpose and the change depending on the different tools involved. For the new leadership forms, the cultural tools of transformation involved include self-actualization. Notably, self-actualization comes in whereby any form of growth requires the initial fulfillment of needs, engender more profound commitment and motivation levels (Barrett, 2014 p. 149). Besides, under self-actualization, there if deficiency needs, whereby a person does not attain any lasting satisfaction due to lack of meeting such needs; however, the individual is subjected to an anxiety sense, especially when the needs physiology is not attained. This concept of self-actualization can be explained in Maslow’s needs through Barrett’s consciousness, as shown in the image below;