Edgar Schein on helping and asking for help

In the talk, embedded below, Edgar Schein mentions 4 factors, which will complicate the leadership of the future, and which make it necessary for a leader to become a receiver of help, a person who asks for help.

Factor # 1: Everything is becoming technically more complex
This means that the leader often knows less than the people he / she leads. The people, whom the leader leads, often have much more knowledge about different technical issues, than the leader has. Because the leader has less knowledge, he / she needs to be good at listening.

Factor # 2. Globalism
As people, who have grown up in many different cultures, increasingly work together, a leader will need to seek people’s help to find out what he / she should do to create the climate in which people can work well together.

Factor # 3: Information technology
Due to the fact that more and more people work with each other using IT and may – to a relatively large extent – not see each other face-to-face, a leader needs to seek help from people, who work together in the different networks, in order to help develop trust among them.

Factor # 4: Social responsibility

About 13½ minutes into his talk, Edgar Schein mentions that in most cultures, a social rule is that you should be able to solve your own problems. This means that if a person has to ask another person for help, he/she is put at a disadvantage / in a vulnerable, lower status situation. Edgar Schein questions this social rule, as he mentions that the leader has to get better at asking for help in order to do his / her job as leader well.

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