Essay Example on A Case for the Mediator Model of Leadership Human beings Today

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A Case for the Mediator Model of Leadership Human beings today live in an interconnected world a global village a community linked by telecommunication Information travel in modern times competes with the speed of light and news cycles have steadily become shorter and shorter While there are several highlights to the phenomenon of interconnectivity it has also created an increased awareness of the differences in ideologies cultures and traditions Conflict is constantly on the rise and the need for true leaders in today's world could not be overemphasized However leadership is a learned skill and not everyone is equipped to handle the burdens that come with the privilege to lead Every one of us deal with conflict on a constant basis from the disagreements of opinion of strategy roles and policy in the workplace to the feuds we face at home between acquaintances friends and family members parents and children husbands and wives etc Conflict is always with us and has the potential to lead to extremely volatile situations How we deal with it is essential to the outcome it could lead to inefficiency and chaos at the workplace and breakdown in communication and trust on the home front and elsewhere Kevin Kruse defined Leadership as a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal Kruse s definition presupposes that the success of a leader lies not in the leader but in the ability of the leader to magnify the efforts those he or she is charged to lead Mediation provides an avenue and a forum for practicalizing the above definition

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Merriam Webster defines mediation as the intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation settlement or compromise Mediation puts conflict at the center as a necessary test of leadership In his book Leading through Conflict Mark Gerzon proposes three archetypal faces of leadership Manager Demagogue and Mediator Manager Mark Gerzon posits that the Manager model is limited by its own identity and leaders who practice this model type are often imprisoned by their own job definition Managers he states can still solve the increasingly rare kind of conflict that requires nothing more than a unilateral decision Unfortunately for old style managers the set of problems they can fix this way is shrinking rapidly The reason is obvious there are rarely any problems or conflict in today's interconnected world that requires no input from other people Demagogue According to Mr Gerzon the leader who practices the demagogue model is the more dangerous kind of leader This kind of leader uses fear of difference as a lever with which to gain more power Gerzon establishes that people who use this approach wield their power in destructive ways in countless leadership contexts from dictatorial national leaders to corporate tyrants to classroom bullies This kind of leader has little to no regard for the views of others and this style of leadership usually results in catastrophic consequences Gerzon s third model of leadership is the Mediator Mediators are boundary crossers They move beyond whatever differences may be constraining them corporate civic national tribal etc in order to play a vital ground breaking stereotype shattering conflict transforming leadership role 



This model represents a leadership approach that transforms differences into opportunities These are leaders who can see or hold or take care of even the most complex challenging situations Leaders who adopt this model style are more than ever needed in today's world The County of Los Angeles is a case study for the Mediator style of leadership With over ten million residents over one hundred thousand employees a revenue of over twenty five billion dollars and an appropriation budget north of twenty eight billion dollars the County of Los Angeles has a GDP larger than countries like Belgium Saudi Arabia Cameroon Togo Norway and Taiwan to mention a few The employment process at the County of Los Angeles is stringent and consists of several stages in the process including tests and interviews systematically designed to filter into the County a class of people that embody the tools of a mediator persons who are not only qualified for and fill the positions for which they are hired but persons who will continue to maximize the skills and talents of those they lead positioning them and the County as a whole for continued success The team of people at the Los Angeles County at large imbibe all the tools of a Mediator leader as outlined by Mark Gerzon Integral vision a commitment to see the big picture Mediators see conflicts in all their complexities Systems thinking the ability to identify all the significant elements related to a task project or conflict situation and understanding the relationship between these elements

Presence committing to applying all personal faculty resources in addressing all conflict situations tasked with Inquiry a mediator does not jump to conclusion he she asks questions that elicit essential information Conscious conversation being conscious of how we listen and speak to others goes a long way in diffusing conflict Dialogue awareness that more can be achieved through dialogue Bridging building relationships partnerships and alliances that stand the test of time and create new options for moving through conflicts From department to department the County of Los Angeles has empowered the mediator style of leadership and has become the proverbial city on a hill In the words of Admiral Joe Dryer of the U S Navy mediators are the stewards of the whole rather than owners of the parts That statement accurately depicts the caliber of persons employed by the County of Los Angeles and is a testament for why the County and her employees will continue to be the foremost leaders of this and future generations


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