Witness to the dramatic fall of a giant corporation, Patricia Pitcher set out to find out why it had to happen. Her discovery: a profound crisis in leadership, grounded in a misunderstanding of the personalities and gifts of the company’s executives and managers. From there Pitcher embarked on an eight year study of fifteen chief executive officers. Her findings and recommendations are insightful and startling.
Pitcher paints the portraits of the three types of leaders found in organizations: the Artist, the Craftsmen and the Technocrat. The Artist is people-oriented, open-minded, intuitive and visionary. The Craftsman is humane, dedicated, knowledgeable and wise. The Artist and the Craftsmen are “fellow-travellers.”
But the Technocrat is another story. Detail-oriented, rigid, methodical, and hardheaded, the Technocrat is the enemy of both the Artist and the Craftsman. His analytical thinking leaves no room for fresh ideas and new pathways; he follows an uncompromising set of rules he believes are right. To the Technocrat, the Artist is out of control, “nuts,” and the Craftsman is old-fashioned.
The terrible irony is that too many of us have been conditioned to think the same way: that is why so many Technocrats, rather than Artists, are mistakenly admitted into the corridors of power. But, as Pitcher shows, Artists are necessary for successful management, and Craftsmen play an equally important role. Technocrats, meanwhile, undermine and ultimately destroy both.
Artists, Craftsmen and Technocrats is a passionate appeal for us to develop the kind of leaders who can take us successfully into the twenty-first century.
Patricia Pitcher is a professor of leadership at Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Montréal. She earned her Ph.D. at McGill University. Prior to her teaching career she served as senior vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and is director of economics at the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has been a member of the boards of major institutes and corporations.