Learning Leadership?

I am taking a module called Leadership and Ethics this semester. Funny isn’t it? Can leadership be taught in one semester? Can leadership be learned by reading a textbook?

This module makes me feel like I’m wasting time in school. I shall be kind and just list out three irritating things about this module.

1) Leadership theories are useless

If anyone wants to challenge me on this, please just go knock your head hard on the wall first before coming. I think that would wake you up. What is the use of knowing about path-goal theory, influence tactics, multiple linkage model? What is the use of knowing about terms like instrumental leadership, transformational leadership, relations-oriented? Let’s not even talk about using the knowledge to earn a living. If someone has ever got the need to “apply” these “theories” on himself, then I think he must either be  fucking stupid or lazy to perform his leadership requirements. What else are these theories useful for? For a HR personnel to assess the leadership of a manager? So the manager’s pay is going to be determined by what kind of leadership skills he possess… #okaycan. Well, for people like Gary Yukl to write a book that has not much meaning and earn royalties. This is valid.

I know I have referent power. So what? I know you suck up to your boss, and ingratiation makes it sound nicer. Please, suck up means suck up. Don’t come up with such a sophisticated word. My point here is that this leadership theory thing is just an act of beautification, much like trying to beautify cat shit and sell it. Well I’m referring to cat shit coffee, or Kopi Luwak. Shit means shit right? Why would people still want to drink it? It doesn’t even differ from normal coffee, just that the method of production sounds interestingly shitty. When you take it in, it does no harm to your body, but it does no good either. It does nothing. You end up peeing. You spent your money and time. It’s the same thing here for these leadership theories! You take it in, and it comes out soon after the semester ends. It doesn’t benefit you, nor does it harm you. You just wasted your money and time, which brings me to my next point.

2) The textbook changes almost every semester

Really, what are the differences among all these textbooks when all they are trying to communicate are these old leadership theories? How much can they differ? If the school wants us to take this compulsory module, fine. Why must we be “forced” to purchase a new edition just because it’s for our own good, our better learning? If every semester the textbook changes because there is always a better one out there, then the focus isn’t the content anymore right? Textbooks are not like Samsung Galaxy or iPhone you know. New theories or concepts don’t just appear within 6 months or even several years. So my conclusion is it must either be a scam or the department is seriously incompetent.

3) The author of this textbook suck

Let me find a classic example from the textbook, and do a favour by typing it out wholesale.

Review articles or meta-analyses of relevant research have been published for path-goal theory (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Ahearne, & Bommer, 1995; Wofford & Liska, 1993), situational leadership theory (Fernandez & Vecchio, 1997; Graef, 1983, 1997; Thompson & Vecchio, 2009), leadership substitutes theory (Dionne, Yammarino, Atwater & James, 2002; Podsakoff, Niehoff, MacKenzie, & Williams, 1993; Podsakoff et al., 1995), cognitive resources theory (Vecchio, 1990), the LPC contingency model (Peters, Hartke, & Pohlmann, 1985), and the normative decision model (Vroom & Jago, 1988).”

Wow, wait a second. Was that one full sentence? Oh yes. It could easily be written as:

Review articles or meta-analyses of relevant research have been published for path-goal theory,  situational leadership theory, leadership substitutes theory, cognitive resources theory, the LPC contingency model, and the normative decision model.”

And I would have known that the main points are “path-goal theory,  situational leadership theory, leadership substitutes theory, cognitive resources theory, the LPC contingency model, and the normative decision model.” 

How the hell am I supposed to read the citation-littered sentence smoothly? My overall reading momentum was halted the moment the bracket came it. I’m sure there is a better way to credit the relevant persons, but definitely not citing them in every fucking line! I have no interest in knowing whether it was Podcast or MacDonald or Boomer who wrote the theories. I just want to know the content for my quiz! Gary Yukl you tell me, how am I supposed to concentrate studying it even if I want to? You are an author yet you can’t organise your book. Fuck you. We pay you so much for your lousy piece of shit work. And the school is convinced to use this book. Why don’t you share this influence tactic with us instead?

I don’t have to say much now. It was just a rant anyway. In my next post, look out for CK’s Leadership Theory. It is the most novel, practical and useful theory.

Goodnight 🙂

Chun Kiat

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