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I am most familiar with the “Pyramid structurer of management” as discussed in the course content document titled Bodies of Knowledge or Schools of Thought (Berryman-Dages, no date). It has generally been my assumption that this is the best avenue of management regardless of the circumstance.
Although I have not held a management role, I have been privileged to be involved with a senior leadership team, under two different presidents. This organization also utilized the Pyramid structure, in which managing responsibility and authority levels are highest at the top. However, there is a difference between how the two presidents approached managing and therefore, a difference in their results.
In reflecting on my time with this leadership group, and comparing the leadership style of the two presidents, I have learned much about the difference leadership can make. One president ruled as I have always witnessed the top-down method to operate. The latter president also operated under the top-down method. However, she also incorporated a team approach, which was also discussed in the course content document Bodies of Knowledge or Schools of Thought (Berryman-Dages, no date). Each level of management had a certain level of authority, but ultimately, the president shouldered the responsibility of the organization. Instead of making decisions strictly from her own experiences or knowledge, the president relied heavily on her competent and knowledgeable staff. Her approach to leadership rendered a boost in morale among the employees. It also rendered proven results that can be seen in the organization’s data.
As we learned in Kegan & Lahey’s Story of Two Professionals, strengths in some areas means weaknesses in others. It is always good to take an honest look at what has and hasn’t worked in the past and how one’s own personal approach could be improved upon. As in Fiddler and Marienau’s diagram Events Model of Learning from Experience, that experience changed my school of thought on leadership. I now believe that in many cases, a hybrid model that combines the Pyramid and team approach can work nicely to keep all levels of management informed and provide the best results for the organization.
Berryman-Dages, Kim M. (no date) Bodies of Knowledge or Schools of Thought. Module 2, Course Content.
Fiddler, Morris, &Marienau, Catherine. (2008, summer). Developing habits of reflection for meaningful learning. In, S. Reed & C. Marienau (Eds.), Linking adults with community: Promoting civic engagement through community-based learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 118. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 75-85.
Kegan,Robert & Lahey, Lisa L. (2010), From Subject to Object: A Constructive-Developmental Approach to Reflective Practice. Handbook of Reflection and Reflective Inquiry: Mapping a Way of Knowing for Professional Reflective Inquiry. Nona Lyons, editor; Springer Science and Business Media, LLC

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