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Tune your leadership before losing the game: A study of how managers can improve their leadership by learning from the way conductors and football coaches handle mistakes.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

We, as authors, have noticed a paradox in today’s society. We often hear inspirational quotes such as “you have to fail in order to reach success” or “you learn from failure”. Thomas Edison himself said “I haven’t failed; I have just identified many ways that donot work”. Yet in society and within many organizations, there is a lack of discussion and acceptance when it comes to mistakes and failures, thus also a lack of the learnings from them. Failure is actually a neglected and feared topic, referred as “the Elephant inthe board room”, where mistakes are manipulated in hope of being forgotten and nevernoticed. Nowadays, we live in a society in which individuals are chasing perfectionism. Therefore, there is a fear of making mistakes which hinders followers to dare and take risk to progress. We believe that employees constantly suffer from this pressure and unhealthy environment within corporations. Therefore, we wished to go beyond this issue as we found ourselves astonished by the large number of quote present out there. In order to explore the concept of failure, we identified two kind of organizations in which the culture of mistakes and failures are different than in corporations. The two fields investigated are the orchestra and football team. Mistakes in these organizationsare not feared rather expected and accepted. We asked ourselves what do these leaders do differently and if managers could learn from the conductors and coaches in order to avoid or prevent. To answer these questions, we analyzed different major componentsof leaders such as their perspective about performances, their role as leaders, the communication and relationship with their followers and last but not the least their perspectives and way of handling mistakes. It appears indeed that organizational leadershave lessons to learn from coaches and conductors regarding the four main area we have analyzed such as considering mistakes as part of the past and source of learning as well as implementing a two-way communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 79 p.
Keyword [en]
Leadership, leader, follower, mistakes, failures, metaphor, football, orchestra, learning
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53157OAI: diva2:934431
Subject / course
Business Administration - Other
Educational program
Leadership and Management in International Context, Master Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2016-06-09 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-06-09Bibliographically approved

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