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Understanding the Concept of Paternalism, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1923

Essay

The determination of the need to follow instructions has often led people into a determinable course of simply defining their ways according to what they have been instructed to do. For many years, there are particular proofs that support such an idea, especially in relation to the manner people deal with their fellowmen. Notably, the concept of paternalism recognizes the need of people to look up to a person, someone who could guide them while giving them the chance to realize the best individuals that they could be. Through such guidance, humans become aware of what they can and cannot do. However, the real question behind this concept is its effectiveness in leading people into a better status based on how it is being applied by the ones leading the group. In the discussion that follows, the understanding and perspective of Shiffrin, Conly and De Marneffe shall be used to identify the real value of the concept of paternalism especially as it is being applied in matters of governance and leadership as well as regular human relations.

The two elements most likely targeted by the application of the concept of paternalism include authority and autonomy. For instance, Shiffrin argues that paternalism disrespects the emergence of the right to autonomy that belongs to each person. Regarding this matter, Shifrin aims to impose that paternalism is more dependent on authority, something that follows the ideal process of leading through direction. Practically, this approach insists on people being fully dependent on what the leaders direct them to do; unless instructions are made, such type of leadership brings less out from the people as they engage in different tasks that they are being assigned with.

With authority being applied in the process of leadership, it could be realized that the people working under them do not have so much choice but to follow through with what they are being asked to do. Shiffrin points out that such approach to leadership is evasive of the right of human individuals to decide for themselves and explore their capacities accordingly. It is imposed by Shiffrin that the real worth of being human is the capacity that they have to become what they want to be, to be the best individuals they are likely supposed to become based on the talents and skills that they have and are willing to develop later on.

People have a different talents that can be improved further. Through good leadership, such talents could be better defined accordingly, especially when it comes to making a distinct impact on how individuals are better motivated to work on their weaknesses and improve their strengths accordingly. With determinable amount of autonomy, people are given the chance to explore on themselves and become more effective in making a distinct change on themselves thus creating a better version of themselves thus realizing their best capacities. Leaders are supposed to give a sense of importance on how they are going to help their team members to attain such aspect of personal development. However, in applying the concept of paternalism, the members of the team are expected to follow through what the leaders are going to instruct them to accomplish. They members have lesser capacity to explore what they can do and actually intensify the way they develop personally, as well as to how they are able to express themselves fully to realize their full potential as individuals and as workers.

In a way, leaders following the concepts of paternalism directly go against the right of people to become more of what they really are; instead, they are being kept out from such possibility of improvement. With the set of rules that are being imposed by the leaders, the team members [or the people being lead] are expected to keep themselves within the limits and not go beyond what they are expected to do. Practically, people who are kept within the limits act out like robots, not necessarily given the chance to grow, these individuals often become less interested in their jobs and are more likely to lose their sense of accomplishment. Living and functioning under specific expectations, people are pressured to remain in the position that they are expected to take note of and are then able to develop the idea of retaining their stand even when they hope they could do better and grow further.

On the other hand, Conly things otherwise, especially when it comes to pointing out that paternalism intends to lead and not hinder people from growth. Instead of putting it in such a negative perspective, paternalism is insisted by Conly as a concept of direction rather than control. Like in the case of a father, children ought to be given specific laws, principles that they could use to improve themselves. The father especially gives rules to make sure that the children are able to develop themselves fully according to their own talents and skills. Knowing his children better, a good father will not let his children go out in the society without knowing so much on how they are going to manage their strengths and weaknesses especially for the sake of embracing a better version of themselves fully.

Conly agrees that somehow, paternalism does impose on the idea that somehow, there are times that people are incompetent especially in determining the balance between their personal strengths and weaknesses and how they are going to manage these elements among themselves accordingly. Nevertheless, it is indicated that it is with such incompetence that individuals are able to rediscover themselves, therefore realizing how they are able to contribute towards the emergence of success that the group or the community hopes to accomplish. It is with such realization of incompetence that humans leave the door to improvement open at all times thus making sure that they develop according to their strengths as they manage their weaknesses properly.

Paternalism intends to lead with full consideration on the characteristics and capacities of the people, hence giving them guidelines that would lead them towards greater heights of success. Fathers are noted to want nothing but the best for their children. Utilizing this likeness to define the concept of paternalism as applied in leadership, Conly is able to provide the most effective indication on how leaders ought to lead and not control. Although there is a thin line separating these particular elements apart, it could be observed that when it comes to applying good aspects of leadership, paternalism need not be negative at all. Instead, the realization of its benefits for the ones being lead and protected ought to create a definite course of positivity that would help the people realize how they are being helped accordingly.

Through assessing the capacities of human individuals, leaders who use the concept of paternalism for guiding their team members and their people are able to bring out the best among the said individuals especially that they are able to give them the chance to take challenges that are best suited for the skills and talents they possess. Practically, people set in this setup of governance are given the essence of protection and support; something that can be fully realized as the father-like image of the leaders become emergent and strongly reflective of the full motivation and concern that the administrators have in bringing out the best out of the people being lead.

In a way, while Shiffrin tries to insist on the negativity of the application of paternalism, Conly tries to bring out what is best in the process of applying the concept of paternalism in leadership. Shiffrin hopes to provide such a vision to the readers especially as autonomy is considered as an important factor of human freedom that gives way to extensive growth based on individual realization of personal capacities. Conly counteracts such idea through determining the value paternalism through creating a picture that best defines the idea of what good leadership is about under the distinct description of good fatherhood. Helping the public see the good intentions of paternalism in leadership, Conly argues against Shiffrin’s idea through providing a concrete example that people would directly understand through the value of applicability of the matter among themselves.

On the other hand, de Marneffe tries to set the balance between the idealisms on paternalism that both Siffrin and Conly intend to give attention to. Instead of supporting either of the thoughts of the previous authors, de Marneffe tries to point out that unjustified insult imposed by Shiffrin that is a part of applying paternalism as a concept of leadership need not be accepted as somewhat usual or common. Instead, its application to leadership is considered evasive of the right of humans to live life with full control of their being and their capacities. To avoid such injustices, the law exists. Aiming to protect the lives and the rights of the people, these sets of laws and policies are designed to recognize the need of the people to grow and to become more endowed in the concept of personal development.

Morality is one particular foundation of the law that makes paternalism a valid form of leadership. Giving attention to how moral values are protected and are implied as part of the rules that humans should be able to consider especially as they give attention to personal growth. These limitations are helpful and assistive instead of evasive in many forms. People who are able to realize the real worth of these laws are the ones who are able to give a chance for themselves to grow under the guidance of good leaders.

Overall, the discussions presented by the three authors noted in this discussion provide a distinct indication of what good leadership is about and how it is likely to give a sense of positive motivation for the people to grow and develop individually. The desire of each person to learn and progress personally accounts for so much especially in determining the course of change that each person is to take into consideration. Practically, paternalism, as a concept of leadership, gives an ideal pattern that could be followed by administrators as they desire to give attention to the goodness and strength of every individual they aim to lead. Its application could become the basis of good source of motivation depending on how the people respond to this type of direction. Paternalism does have its pros and cons, somehow, such aspect of leadership could either be controlling or directive depending on how the leader[s] apply the overall concept of the process of human development that takes on the more positive side of matters.

No one wants to be limited, no one wants to be hindered from the growth they desire to attain. This is one fact that determines the determinable condition of applying the concept of paternalism into different procedures of leadership. Relatively, with ample guidance, leaders need not control their members or the people they are leading. It could be realized that with such approach to development, people ought to be guided and given the chance to make a distinct change among themselves while doing what they are asked to do. Organizations and leaders serving as their guidance need to give attention to such aspect of growth that could bring out the best in each individual. It is only through this process that people would be given the chance to improve fully and become the assets of every organization or team they are enjoined in. Proper application of paternalism as a form of leadership could indeed bring out the best in every person given that the leaders manage themselves and motives accordingly.

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