Considering various leadership theories it is impossible not to go back to Deming and check what he was saying about it. What really surprised me is that lots of theories oppose to SoPK in different ways. How come that leadership – a way how to achieve business success and follow continuous and sustainable improvement, conflict one of the greatest study about improvement? There are the following contradictions that I found:
- Trait Theories: Deming was saying just opposite, - leadership is not something that you are born with, but something that you can develop by constant learning;
- Theories of Emergent Leadership: The first thing that come to my mind “firefighters”, a true leader is someone who control the situation and doesn’t let it become critical, so that another leader can't appear (or “firefighter”);
- Leadership Style Theories: The main issue here is “concern for task”. If the leader more task oriented that might focuse his or her attention on short-term goals and ignore people’s development;
- Path-Goal Theory: Even in the name there is a word “goal” that Deming was consider as one of deadly disease of modern management. To stay highly oriented on achieving goals put company in a trap;
- Transactional Leadership: To my mind is the most contradictive one. Setting work objectives and performance standards, focusing on financial reward, directive manner of leading people – all this things that Deming was fighting against.
To sum up, I have to mention that these theories are just a tiny part from the overall picture and almost in every theory there can be something that contradict to Deming’s SoPK.