The opportunities for leadership constantly increase without a proportional rise in number of individuals who can take up such leadership opportunities. Indeed, the world is rife with people who can lead, but are not the true leaders. Leadership is defined as the process of wielding influence upon others to an extent that it can result in their incorporation and contribution towards achieving an objective (Gold 2010). According to this definition, the role of leaders stretches beyond the basic assumption of delegating duties and decision-making. They have a more important role; it involves fuelling and firing the passion and drive in their followers to enable the process of implementation of policies and make it fast and efficient. The need to develop worthy leaders capable of taking organizations, corporations, and the world in general to the next level has seen the rise of scholars; educationists and other stakeholders take up the issue of leadership with much needed zeal and zest. As a result, talks have been held, pieces of advice given, and notes shared and compared in a bid to bring success at different levels of human endeavors (Lussier, 2010).
One of the names synonymous to the task of nurturing and guiding up the coming leaders is Robert Quinn. A professor of Business at the University of Michigan School of Business, Robert Quinn has been instrumental in giving the general public deep insight in the world of business and management (Quinn, 1996). Through his numerous books and other literary works, Robert Quinn has delved deeper into the art of leadership giving his readers the opportunity to relate to some of his works personally while learning at the same time. Buoyed by his position as the chair of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Michigan School of Business, Quinn has written and co-authored a number of books on leadership. Among other things, he wrote the books A Company of Leaders and Deep Change. In addition, he co-authored Becoming a Master Manager and many other books. His books are aimed at triggering people’s interest in making achievements and sustaining the gains made. One of his most outstanding pieces of work is Deep Change.
In the book Deep Change, Robert Quinn takes the reader through the roles, duties, and responsibilities of a leader and a manager. He asserts that a great leader can only effect change on his or her subject by adopting a different individual approach. He suggests that adopting a different approach amounts to change, which has to begin from the top before trickling down to the rest of the subjects. Through the book, Quinn provides revelatory and self-awakening insights for the benefit of budding leaders. He takes the reader through the definition of change, breaking it into two entities: deep change and incremental change (Quinn, 1996). Quinn defines an incremental change as the outcome of a rational and carefully undertaken analysis and organized process. The incremental change has an end objective, and it is more often than not accompanied with the relevant methodology and procedures that serve to drive the implementation process to completion. In addition, an incremental change is reversible and has a narrower and more limited scope. It neither changes nor alters the past patterns but rather continues with the current undertakings, albeit with one or two additions and/ or subtractions. A deep change, on the other hand, is the opposite of most of the aspects of an incremental change. It does not bear any relations with the past and is irreversible. Quinn suggests that the most essential single factor that can oversee the transformation of a corporation remains to be a deep change (Quinn, 1996).
Robert Quinn (1996) discusses the need for personal change with greater in-depth precision. He suggests that deep and incremental changes are all significant in instigating new ways of thinking and behaving. However, he points out that a deep change is more likely to produce the turn-around results. Despite this assumption, Quinn (1996) acknowledges the risks that may come with deep change. For a manager, bringing change in an organization may prove to be one of the most daunting and demanding tasks (Lussier, 2010). Resistance to change is always rife on many fronts. Nevertheless, Quinn sees a person who has undergone deep change as the right choice to take an organization through the cautious and uncertain steps of change and transformation. He asserts that such a person has enough character to weather any storm that may come in his or her way. Indeed, in the world of leadership and management, strength of character is a simple essentiality that can make the leadership role a lot less draining (Lussier, 2010).
The ever-changing and developing world (the business world inclusive) requires the ability to keep in touch with current trends and practices for an equal measure of change (Gold, 2010). Quinn, who feels that, without the chance to change and transform, one can undergo psychological death, shares the same opinion. In this assertion, he means the death that comes with feeling caged, working to see others happy with one’s own work instead of focusing on what is at hand.
Leadership needs to be taken and implemented with cautious and watchful steps. The leader or manager carries on his back not only his goals and ambitions but also that of the whole organization. It, therefore, requires skill and art that can enable one cope with challenges while, at the same time, developing and streamlining the organization on the path to excellence and success (Gold, 2010). A leader needs to possess internal strengths that would enable him or her motivate the people around while, at the same time, providing the much-needed inspiration, particularly during the times when it is needed the most.