Leadership & Garcia

On August 16 I presented a paper titled ìTranscending the Power of Hierarchy to Facilitate Shared Leadership: The Historical, Counterculture Case of Jerry Garciaî at the annual Academy of Management meeting in San Antonio. †This is a very large gathering of management academics from around the world, and theyíre all pretty serious scholars. †So I was very pleased to be able to present this paper I co-authored with four colleagues. †The topic of Garcia and the Dead being presented in this setting shows how times have changed and how their legacy is shifting from ìhippies who never left the Sixtiesî to more serious business and entrepreneurial successes who might actually have pioneered some things such as shared leadership.

Garcia always claimed he wasnít really the leader of the Dead. †We all knew and the band knew he WAS the leader but his humility and charisma allowed him to create an extremely unusual but successful approach to creating a community of trust and of sharing leadership that offers important lessons for businesses and organizations today. †We say we live in a democracy, but we spend most of our lives at a job where we typically have no vote. †That wasnít true in the Dead organization where EVERYONE had an equal vote.