Agentic – Leadership Style

December 12, 2019 | By Colin | Filed in: Musings and Ideas for Discussion, Thought Leadership.

Agentic – Leadership Style

Agenetic. I learned a new word today. Quite a simple word, but seems to have two almost opposite meanings.

Let’s investigate.

Wikipedia: Agentic leadership derives from the term agency. This leadership style is generally found in the business field by a person who is respected by subordinates. This person demonstrates assertiveness, competitiveness, independence, courageousness, and is masterful in achieving their task at hand.

Then there is Milgram’s theory: which is the psychological state the obedient subject is in when he or she is obeying authority.

Milgram

Milgram (1963) was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person. for example, Germans in WWII.

Not the same I would have thought.

As the word was applied to me- I would like to think Wikipedia was more likely to be true.

Etymology

Although if we follow etymology agency, (and that would surely be where the word came from), seems to mean 'acting on behalf of', as in an actor’s, or an author’s agent. This would be an obeying authority kind of thing, wouldn’t it?

Hmmmmm.

Where to from here?

Another extension of one of the definitions suggests: Adjective. Social cognition theory perspective in which people are producers as well as products of social systems.

This a combination of both perhaps? I like this one.


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