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The End of Leadership by Barbara Kellerman

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Chapter 2

Cultural Constraints—leveling the playing field

Until recently, someone like me—a professor in an institution of higher education—would have been addressed as “Professor” or “Doctor.” Now I’m sometimes called “Professor Kellerman”—and sometimes “Barbara.” Similarly, we used to defer to physicians; we’d take their word as gospel and do what they told us to do. Now we pocket their instructions and then second-guess them by getting another opinion, or by getting another ten thousand opinions on WebMD. More generally, once upon a time we simply obeyed orders issued by our superiors, our leaders and managers. Now we incline more to challenge them, emboldened to do so by the spread of democracy, by the rhetoric of empowerment, and by the ...

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