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Good enough leadership: realism without cynicism

Moses Pava (Sy Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University, New York, New York, USA)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




For more than 70 years, leaders of all types have consistently struggled to earn the respect and followership of others to earn the employee trust which is the key to innovation and competitive advantage and to create organizational systems and cultures that fit their strategic objectives. The purpose of this paper is to address what would be “good enough” leadership qualities.


Research methodology included research into several individuals that exceeded in leadership, and an examination of how they used the “good enough” leadership styles to be successful as leaders.


This paper suggests several ways to be an effective “good enough” leader. These ways translate your values into concrete directives, jettison dead metaphors, explore enlivening ones, subject your values to the test of dialogue, and hold onto your values less tightly.


Leadership and leadership qualities have been widely discussed in the literature. This paper approaches the situation differently. Rather than striving for perfection and being frustrated for not reaching it, this paper explores “good enough” leadership qualities that actually work well in the professional arena.



Pava, M. (2017), "Good enough leadership: realism without cynicism", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 76-84.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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