Curriculum Development for Contemporary Leadership Education
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Curriculum Development for Contemporary Leadership Education
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Peter Chiaramonte, PhD
www.Facebook.com/p.chiaramonte www.DrPeterChiaramonte.com www.DrPeterChiaramonte.wordpress.com www.NoJourneysEnd.com www.independent.academia.eud/peterchiaramonte
Overture In case you missed it the last time, I’m attaching my previous notes on emergent complexity theory—as well as those providing an example of an (abandoned) masters of contemporary leadership education program I’d started, a sample course I developed on current and contemporary leadership foundations, a review of University of Chicago sociologist Andrew Abbott’s musings on the future of academic disciplines in colleges and universities, and a paper I first presented at the International Conference on Leadership Studies at the University of Birmingham, England, titled “Turning Points and Tumbling Horizons: The Rhetoric of Leadership in Times of Crisis.” In the interest of having an enlivened and substantively worthwhile interactive session, it might serve the group as a whole if participants come prepared to discuss and, perhaps, to prepare and present leadership speeches that further our mutual purposes—in terms of social innovation, individual creativity, and reflecting a deeper understanding of the ever-‐ unfolding Marygrove College institutional identity. On the Theory and Practice of Contemporary Leadership Education
Peter Chiaramonte, BA, BEd (Toronto) MA, PhD (California)
©Marygrove College, Detroit, October 17th 2014
The$membership$of$the$Program$Advisory$Committee$for$this$program,$including$ the$members’$names,$occupations,$related$credentials,$professional$affiliations$and$ employers.$$
The Purpose of Theory – The Laws of Media – The Misplaced Emphasis on Leaders Vs. Leadership – Theoretical Antecedents of Contemporary Leadership – Back to the Future – Rost’s Post-Industrial Definition of Leadership – Lessons in Leadership from the Last Place on Earth – Does Evaluation Help or Impede Social Innovation? –On Leadership Vs. Management – The Rhetoric of Leadership – Turning Points & Tumbling Horizons – Postmodern Constructionism & Leadership – Emergent Complexity: Theory & Applications – A Speculative Curriculum for Contemporary Leadership – The Mystery of Leaderly Being
Attach$copies$of$relevant$minutes$of$Program$Advisory$Committee$meetings,$ including$the$minutes$that:$contain$the$motion$to$support$the$program$proposal;$and$ confirm$that$the$program$meets$or$exceeds$the$requirements$of$the$field$of$study$and/or$ practice.$!
environments'with'respect'to'developing'a'holistic'understanding'of'human'systems'disciplines.'In'addition,' this'program'attempts'to'apply'current'theories'regarding'leadership'and'complex'emergence'to'projects'in' various'organizations.'Leadership'II'extends'earlier'studies'using'a'multiEtheoretical'lens'that'includes' psychology,'social'psychology,'and'education'to'examine'contemporary,'discursive,'and'constructionist'
There!are!currently!no!regulatory!bodies!governing!the!practice!of!leadership,! organization!development,!or!coaching.!There!are,!however,!two!organizations!whose! guidance!has!been!sought!in!the!development!of!this!degree!program:!The!Graduate! School!Alliance!for!Executive!Coaching!(GSAEC;!of!which!Adler!Graduate!Professional! School!is!a!member!institution!with!two!of!its!faculty!on!the!board),!and!the!Canadian! Organization!Development!Institute!(CODI;!of!which!one!of!Adler’s!faculty!is!the!coJ director).!!
Abstract The majority of leadership studies of the past one to two hundred years have been focused primarily on individual leaders and the kinds of select, identifiable behaviors and characteristics that they represent. However, regardless of theory, what works in one place at one time with one group of people doesn’t necessarily translate very well to other places at other times and with other people. The emergent complexity of twenty-first century organizational life demands more of leadership in the manner in which we reflect the purpose of group and network interaction. In our work here today, we will review the purpose of leadership theory in general, then apply a critical inquiry approach to swiftly revisit the enduring influences from more than a century of theoretical antecedents bearing on contemporary practice and development. For example, before discussing the ways social innovation phenomena emerge, become institutionalized, known to others, and made into tradition here at Marygrove College, I’d like to present some definitions that distinguish leadership from management, while recognizing the importance of both. Finally, by employing a complexity lens to view how adaptive systems outcomes are achieved in organizational structures and contexts in which leadership occurs, we can discuss ways of enhancing an environment in support of social innovation, individual creativity, and organizational learning.
emerging'influences'of'diverse'social'forces'and'new'environments,'thus'setting'the'stage'for'the'frontier'of' leadership'and'organization'thinking.' Method(s)'of'Instruction' InEclass'seminars:'9'instructional'seminars;'2'seminars'for'presentation'of'student'projects;'1'integration' seminar'
GSAEC!is!in!the!process!of!developing!academic!standards!for!programs!focused! on!Executive!(workplaceJoriented)!Coaching.!Although!the!proposed!Master!of! Leadership!and!Organization,!Development!and!Coaching!degree!has!a!considerably! broader!scope!than!a!singular!focus!on!coaching,!Adler!Graduate!Professional!School’s! organization!plan!and!specific!M.LODC!curriculum!are,!for!the!most!part,!consistent!with! the!current!draft!revision!of!the!GSAEC!standards.!A!summary!of!these!standards!are! included!as!Appendix!I.!!
The'state'of'the'organizational'art'at'the'beginning'of'the'21 'century.'No'matter'how'good'our' theory,'not'all'attempts'to'implement'new'systems'lead'to'those'theories'being'put'into'effective' practice.'Simply'put,'action'research'is'“learning'by'doing,”'whereby'a'group'identify'a'problem,'do' something'to'resolve'it,'see'how'successful'their'efforts'have'been,'and'if'not'satisfied'with'the' results,'try'again.'In'this'session'we'will'examine'some'concrete'examples.'When'applied'to'
CODI!is!in!the!process!of!developing!an!accreditation!program!towards!the! awarding!of!a!new,!professional!designation,!the!Certified!Organization!Development! Professional!(CODP).!Adler!intends!for!its!M.LODC!program!curriculum!to!conform!to!the! academic!requirements!necessary!for!its!graduates!to!qualify!for!a!CODP!designation.!To! this!end,!Adler!has!included!collaboration!from!CODI!faculty!in!the!development!of!the! M.LODC!degree,!and!invited!its!coJdirector!as!a!member!of!the!M.LODC!program!faculty.!!
organization'development'and'planned'change,'the'twin'focus'of'OD'practitioners'using'action' research'methods'is'to'study'an'organizational'system'for'improved'understanding,'and'concurrently' collaborate'with'its'members'in'moving'the'system'forward'to'real'enhancement.'' •
The!proposed!master’s!degree!program!has!five,!thematic,!learning!outcomes! that!will!be!fulfilled!through!a!combination!of!coursework,!practicum!experiences,!and! the!completion!of!a!researchJoriented!thesis:!Savoir3,!Knowledge!Integration,! Complexity,!Emerging,!and!!EffectJoriented!Practice.!
psychology.'The'view'is'that'the'interactions'between'the'individualEgroupEenvironment'are'given' meaning'by'and'for'the'perceiver.'Therefore,'in'theory,'what'emerges'is'a'more'thorough' understanding'of'individual'behaviour'that'is'more'integrated,'dynamic'and'situated'than'singular,' static'approaches.'This'session'will'test'some'of'that'theory'based'on'the'ideology'of'managerialism' and'a'contemporary'tradition'that'accords'with'individualist'politics,'and'invite'new'ideas'to'explore.'
On the Future of Academic Disciplines in the American University: A Review of Andrew Abbott’s “The Disciplines and the Future” 1 Peter Chiaramonte
We identify four key rhetorical features which are salient to contemporary leaders, especially where risk-taking and pioneering are prerequisites for a successful outcome: dramatic ‘identity stories,’ symbolic turning points, commitment to freedom of choice and consensus, and competitive ‘counterstories.’ We believe this narrative approach to the study of the drama of organizational life offers a meaningful glimpse into the mind of a great leader in times of crisis. Upon review, we discover the full range of challenges we all face, when we odyssey bravely into uncharted territories.
Challenging the widely accepted belief that academic structures are in a
constant state of upheaval, University of Chicago professor of sociology Andrew Abbott contends that there is little likelihood of drastic change for the next forty to fifty years. For this author, even the changing demographics and resource dependencies of so many university systems cannot overcome the fundamental inertia of the status quo. Looking through the lens of social sequence analysis, (areas of sociological research that center on problems in their temporal context, e.g. the tangle of literatures related to careers), Abbott explains how various forces of change do and do not affect the underlying nature of academic research, curriculum development, and the organization of faculty disciplines. Students and scholars conversant with systems of higher education will be well served by Abbott’s brief but relatively thorough discussion of the topics and issues raised in this chapter.
Key Words Crisis Dramatic Leadership Rhetoric Turning Points
Rather than simply recounting the history of events that has led the disciplines to their current and soon to be future states, Abbott puts forward his thesis that academic disciplines such as linguistics, sociology, psychology, education, comparative literature, and so forth, are resilient social structures because they are based on the organizational form of the department. The department is an essential social unit for the organization of two vital institutional domains: curriculum and careers. Even beyond the microstructure of each curriculum and the macrostructure of the labour market for faculty, departments also provide significant support for the social identity of its faculty.
Introduction Great leaders and explorers are emulated when they suit us, and overlooked when they do not. Fifty to 100 years ago, characterized by world war and national sacrifice, Englishman Robert Falcon Scott seemed to fit the bill. More recently, fellow countryman and Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s achievements—putting the highest premium on loyalty and survival—resonate more powerfully than ever before. But the explorer who actually won the race to the South Pole in 1911, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, has yet to capture similar prominence and recognition in the academic and popular literature on organizational leadership.
From Steven Brint (Editor) The Future of the City of Intellect: The Changing American University. Stanford University Press, 2002: 205-230. Photos: University of Chicago; Professor Andrew Abbott; Jill Levi, Chair of the University of Chicago Women’s Board; and Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.
LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP
Reading the biographies of great leaders and explorers is a time-honored way of gaining knowledge and inspiration for models of leadership. In this essay, we apply a narrative approach to studying leaders’ rhetoric in times of crisis. In particular, we review the books, diaries, and documents of twentieth century Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, from his 1911-12 expedition to be first to the South Pole.
Shackleton’s ship the Fram, January 1, 1908
Lessons in Leadership from The Last Place on Earth1
BY PETER CHIARAMONTE AND ANTHONY R. YUE
THE WORKPLACE REVIEW April 2006
Leadership Opportunities Emerging From Crises Contemporary leadership studies are by their very nature confluent, interdisciplinary studies. Paradoxically, there is an inherent characteristic of interdisciplinarity that makes it unlikely to drive structural, if not functional, change in our colleges and universities. The reason I say this is that interdisciplinarity has generally been problem-‐driven. And problems famously come and go like so many short-‐term political issues that arise in the news cycle, then just as quickly fade away or are displaced by other topics. Ironically, interdisciplinary studies in general do not provide a strong foundation for academic career building, among other things. Even at a time in history when some faculty see their intellectual life shifting from departments to centers, no one has yet come up with a comprehensive model for a contemporary, interdisciplinary leadership curriculum that does not involve traditional disciplines and departments. Everybody seems to think the interdisciplinary overlap among and within academic disciplines is a great thing—and it is—but nobody has yet figured out a way to make it work as a formalized, permanent structure. Until now… As a lifelong scholar in the history and philosophy of leadership in higher education, I feel we may have reached a new turning point. A special moment the ancients referred to as a crisis. The signal of new challenges and opportunities for leaders to act upon and embrace.
Barbarians @ the Gates Despite the university’s image or reputation for being on-‐the-‐cutting-‐edge, it is possible that future innovations in human teaching for human learning will come from the private sector. Business tends to view higher education as a region for easy profit through downsizing and explicit product differentiation. The American higher education outlay is currently over $250-‐billion a year and the commercial sector has the money, talent, and desire to take it over. But that alone would not mean the end for traditional college disciplines. University of Chicago sociologist, Andrew Abbott, has predicted that in the next half-‐century there will be continued expansion of intellectual environments outside the college and its traditional disciplines. Abbott expects the trend to commodify academic knowledge (already familiar in the physical sciences) will expand to include all current academic disciplines. Certainly the business sector will exploit the fact that, according to present tendencies, Americans will continue to spend more time at all levels of the educational system. As a result, colleges and universities will continue to be subject to enormous political and economic pressures that will invariably require greater, and more distributed, leadership to meet our current and future needs.
On the Future of Disciplines and the Institutionalization of ‘Distributed Leadership’ In the next 30 years, Abbott envisions the overall higher education system of the United States as divided into two principal types. First, he predicts there will be one type made up of a fairly small group of elite universities and colleges (less than 100) who will be—coupled with a significantly larger group of multipurpose state universities—wealthy enough to act as gatekeepers to prestigious postgraduate programs. Second, the rest of American higher education will continue to employ off-‐the-‐shelf and off-‐the-‐screen Web-‐based curricula taught by local faculty through materials they themselves will not have prepared. Effectively, the main purpose of many U.S. residential colleges has already
4 become social rather than educational. And even on-‐campus education, notes Abbott, is distance learning once students get there. As I wrote in one contemporary leadership course syllabus I created (attached file)—instead of examining more secure, risk-‐free and predictable leadership outcomes—we might profitably explore determinants of leadership emergence that come about by chance, unplanned events, and oftentimes-‐involving chaotic contexts, unpredictable risks and uncertainties. It is from such events that we could expect to redeem some measure of creativity, learning, communication, emancipatory democracy, and virtuosity for education beyond training. Among other things, a distributed model of leadership is premised upon the inter-‐changes between many leaders and followers, rather than the actions of an individual leader. The institutionalization of distributed leadership is therefore concerned with mobilizing leadership at all levels in the organization, not just relying on leadership from the “top” only.
Since Last Time … The last time we met—exactly five months ago in October—I took too long to talk about how, in my opinion, what most theorists of the 20th century were calling “leadership” was really a “wish list” for “good management.” I rambled on about what I believe is the misplaced emphasis on “leaders” versus “leadership” proper. And I said that what works in one place at one time with one group of people doesn’t necessarily translate very well to other places at other times and with other groups of people. Nothing stands still in emerging and progressively complex environments. Since then, as I understand it, Marygrove College has continued in its struggle with the BOLD Urban Leadership program and for good reason. I think it is extremely difficult to provide the kind of “deep, sustained, and informed thought and discussion about leadership that should be higher education’s purpose—aiming for the intellectual content and excitement that should arise from a truly revitalized contemporary leadership curriculum.” What you want is what I want—so maybe today we can help one another further—by uncovering something more about the dynamics of power and communication in higher education together, that is intellectually riveting, as well as social constructive.
Taking Ourselves Into Action With Words Now the hard part begins: making things happen. I promise this time not to talk so much about things you can read for yourselves. In fact, in your read-‐ through of the materials in today’s package, you will see an example of the recent—and now abandoned—Masters of Contemporary Leadership Education curriculum I co-‐authored with former Adler Graduate Professional School dean and VPA, Mark Federman, and our colleagues Marilyn Laiken and Adler president Linda Page. The other, rather long, piece in your packet is from a conference paper my colleague Michael J. Flynn and I gave to the International Conference on Studying Leadership at the University of Birmingham, England, titled: “Turning Points and Tumbling Horizons: The Rhetoric of Leadership in Times of Crisis.” Please, if you can, have a look before we get started. Later this afternoon, representatives from each table in this room will put forward brief, yet inspiring speeches to help us to see what it will take to engender real social innovation in terms of higher education, for authentic leadership for the twenty-‐first century. First in small groups working at separate tables, and then coming back together as a whole cohort together, I’d like for us to explore the notion of an alternative, ontological conception of higher education together—meant to bring about a renaissance of Marygrove College’s commitment to excellence in contemporary leadership education in all its disciplines. But first, if you will indulge me, I’d like to set the stage by providing the necessary context—based on what I know of your faculty’s concerns about the urban leadership project at Marygrove—and give you more detailed instruction based on what I know about the rhetoric of leadership.
The Rhetoric of Leadership in Times of Crisis Virtually every situation an executive leader faces has everything to do with rhetoric of one type or other—private conversation, speeches, written documents, small group discussions, press releases (blogs), sound bites (tweets), letters, articles, vision statements, planning reports, and so forth. Each of these is to some extent the result of key rhetorical actions that serve to shape and direct the whole enterprise. For example, the rhetoric of
6 leadership in times of crisis must create identification for, and with, a worthy goal of achievement. Or else we’ve missed our chance to intend real changes. That’s what, in terms of being leaderly, a crisis is often for. Invariably, the protagonist in every such leadership “identity story” announces his or her goal as something new and different. But at the same time embodying values and themes from a more stable, less turbulent past. The reflective leader should also make the counterstory case that undertaking such noble tasks will be a competitive struggle for high stakes; therefore not easy. * * * Leadership for the twenty-‐first century cannot be sustained or determined by any one individual, but decided by free will and a commitment to teamwork and consensus. Remember: “We are all captains; we are all crew.” Thus the “embodiment of consensus” must be a lived daily experience to be effective. Words alone just won’t do any longer. However, as essential and popular as talk of espoused values and commitment toward “teamwork” in organizations may be—teamwork is not always a solution. Not all by its lonesome. While many claim that every complex problem has a simple solution, it’s almost always not true. Baking a cake is a simple problem to solve, whereas sending a rocket to Mars is more complicated. But raising and educating the next generation of social leadership is complex, and therefore can’t be solved using the same simple approaches and methods. Why not? Because rigid protocols, recipes, or formulas have limited application for educating young and old alike. Raising and educating one person provides us with experience, but is no guarantee of success with the next person or next generation. In fact, it is more often counter-‐productive. Expertise only helps when balanced with responsiveness to the particular individual, group and culture. Each one is unique. And no matter how much we try and list all the parts and specify the exact relationship in which to assemble our blueprints, we can’t separate the parts from the whole essence that exists in the relationship between different people, different experiences, and different events as they unfold over time. For instance, if an organization pushes too far in emphasizing team development, it must neglect certain aspects of an individual’s personal creativity. To move an organization towards team building also means
7 moving away from something else. This can lead to too much conformity and bland sameness. Likewise, the downside of over-‐focusing on the individual is to keep people isolated without common direction. Therefore, there is a distinction to be made between problems we can solve and dilemmas we need to manage and lead.
Turning Points and Tumbling Horizons The rhetoric at turning points or periods of organizational transition is usually created for providing a clearer sense of future direction. And whenever a crisis occurs, the next step forward is greatly enhanced by leadership rhetoric that customarily states: This is a new idea, which represents a break from the past, or a radical return to roots of the past that have been neglected or misused. The rhetoric of leadership requires that leaders continually point the way ahead to the next horizon. And as each new horizon appears, the goal itself continues to tumble away from view. For a practical example, elsewhere I have discussed the last place on earth, the great race to be first to the South Pole in 1911, by rival British and Norwegian expeditions to Antarctica. The Norwegians arrived at the South Pole in mid-‐December 1911, healthy and in good spirits. They had extra fuel and plenty of food for men and dogs left over. They could not know the comparatively dire circumstances faced by their British rivals in this regard. The British were more than a month and hundreds of miles behind the Norwegians. When asked what he thought his men should do with the surplus food and fuel, Norwegian leader Roald Amundsen decided to take it with them, reasoning that they might still need it to get back to civilization safely. Speaking from the mathematical end of the Earth, Amundsen voiced another reminder to his men—that they hadn’t won the race until they’d gotten back first with the news. The speech at the Pole includes the following statement by Amundsen: For those who think we have already won, let me say this: the British will be here, perhaps soon. They don’t give up easily. And, if we should make the mistake of letting them reach the telegraph first, the issue of priority might become quite
8 confused. And.... we still have business at the other end of the earth remember? We are a long way from home. Shall we go?
Dramatically structured identity stories are those that embody shared values, mutual goals, and values collaborators can relate to and identify with for themselves. These “stories of identity” are narratives that help individuals to think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed. Such stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader’s literary arsenal. Great leaders are prodigious storytellers who take a story that has been latent, but muted or neglected in the culture, and bring a new twist to that identity story for a new audience of followers. Thereby leaders revive stories and reactivate themes from one place and past, on to another stage from which to build new and exciting ventures.
How to Go About Creating a Unique Identity Story There is always a new adventure on every horizon. We study the rhetoric of leadership and the dramatic structures of organizational life—not for the sake of finding any definitive answers— but in order to broaden our conception of what is possible, sharpen our aim, and enrich our imaginations. This is also why slick sophism doesn’t work—it’s counterfeit, and everyone’s immune to that already. The only leadership that we usefully follow must be—first, foremost and forever—authentic being. There is a crucial element of urgency embedded in all turning point stories. Rhetoric at significant turning points indicates that—whatever our achievements in overcoming obstacles may have been to date—leaders are obligated to show the way ahead to challenges appearing beyond new horizons. Without the imperative challenge to competitive excellence, organizational leadership would cease to exist at the point of our last accomplishment—rendering us without goals and aims for the future. The rhetoric at turning points or periods of organizational transition are appropriate for emphasizing recurring values that can offer leaders and followers a clearer sense of direction. And whenever a crisis does occur, the next step is greatly enhanced by leadership rhetoric that customarily states: This is a new idea, which represents a break from the past, or a radical
9 return to the roots of the past, which has been neglected or misused. Marygrove’s fine tradition of excellence and commitment to teaching and learning in the liberal arts, serves us well as an example. Looking over Marygrove College’s long history, I see several opportunities for narrating team and individual identities by engaging symbolic rituals, celebrations, and turning points like this workshop today, for instance. Furthermore, I see these as constituting freedom of choice and consensus, as well as embodying a competitive spirit in crisis circumstances, which in turn leads us to new opportunities.
The Dramatic Structure of Organizational Life Everyone can relate to crisis. Most of us gain reassurance and resolve from hearing tales about how crisis and failure do not condemn one to failure, but offer hope. The word itself denotes a turning point, from Greek, krisis, or ‘decision.’ The general sense of a ‘decisive point,’ in English, dates back to the early 17th century. Dramatic crises often produce lessons of fortitude and renewal that captures our attention and concern. It’s the getting up again that counts. The way to get change in an organization is the same way you get growth in an individual—by having a new kind of narrative that serves to focus and crystallize meanings for all involved. Accordingly, innovative leaders take a story that has been latent in the audience, and bring a new twist to those themes that have already existed, but had been neglected over time. Leaders tell stories about themselves, the groups to which they belong, where they were coming from, where they were headed, and about what was to be struggled against and dreamed about. A crisis is a tipping point as well as a turning point. A situation of crisis exists when familiar routines, identities, values and attitudes are laid open to question. A crisis is an opportunity to change things about organization that need changing but that weren’t challenged before. Thus, this is a chance to introduce structured identity stories, rather than going off in all directions without rhyme or reason. Crisis leadership is a time to focus attention.
False Start By the end of August, just a week to the start of the final assault on the geographical South Pole, the temperature sunk to below 55 degrees of frost (Celsius). On Friday, September 8th 1911, the Norwegians left their base at Framheim heading south. Then the cold weather counter-‐attacked. By Monday, less than 40 miles out on the Barrier, the thermometer sank to minus 60 degrees. The winds were gusting to 90 mph and the men had to build Inuit-‐style igloos to wait out the storm. The next day the liquid in the compasses froze solid. Amundsen put the decision to his men and, using consensus to reach all decisions on key matters, was persuaded by the moral authority of his comrades to temporarily retreat. At the point of exhaustion, and after 12 continuous hours of merciless struggle against the cold and wind, all the men arrived back safely to their base camp at Framheim, in the Bay of Whales. Five of the dogs had died and most of the men were blistered and frostbitten. Hjalmar Johansen flared up bitterly and rebuked Amundsen for allowing him to become separated from his followers. “I don’t call it an expedition,” he said, “it’s panic!” And he launched into a prolonged tirade against Amundsen’s entire leadership. At breakfast the next morning, most of the men agreed that Amundsen’s idea of starting so early for the Pole had been a mistake, but they withdrew at open rebellion. Amundsen later wrote that this was perhaps the worst crisis of his entire career as an explorer—having his leadership openly challenged at such a crucial moment. Later that evening, Amundsen called the men one at a time into the kitchen where, under pledge of secrecy, he got a declaration of loyalty and a commitment to accept his judgment come what may. In his diary, Amundsen defended his actions by reminding himself that, despite the fiasco of their false start on the Ice Barrier, the Norwegians had gotten their food and fuel supplies up to their depot at 80 degrees latitude. Although the false start had set them back by three weeks, the Norwegian team actually profited by the delay. The retreat had exposed certain weaknesses in their equipment and these were subsequently corrected during their second layover at Framheim. In fact, these improvements proved to be a significant
11 contributing factor in the overall success of the expedition. For example, the ski boots, which early on proved to be too stiff in the extreme cold, went through four generations of inventive mutations, until they were supple and spacious enough to prevent frostbite. The carpenters were also able to plane down the weight of the sledges from 150 to 48 pounds, without sacrificing strength or durability. In all, the Norwegian’s confidence in themselves, their dogs, and their equipment only increased as a result of this chilling early fiasco.
Counterstory Challenging a commitment to excellence is part and parcel of the envisioning process. In his leadership speeches, Amundsen was always quick to reinforce the competitive counterstory. “The British are already here,” he would often remind them, “and they don’t give up easily—just in case anyone was discounting them from our reckoning.” Amundsen mentions the obstacles and doesn’t hide the risks. “Besides,” he reminds them again and again, “there’s no use in taking the Pole if we can’t get the word out.”
Consensus Sharing responsibility means having responsibility to determine for oneself what personal attitude to take toward particular crisis events in the first place. (Just as interdisciplinary studies presupposes strong disciplines to begin with.) Amundsen was consistent in exercising consensus and in seeking to persuade rather than to control. In fact, he was often heard to remark something akin to this: “I think this blizzard may lift and that we should go. I won’t insist. If there is one voice against it, we stay put.” Amundsen knew to address each individual’s sense of identity in the group—as well as help each of the crew to frame future options for themselves. This model of leadership makes out that the primary motivation of each person in the organization is to discover and establish one’s own unique identity in the undertaking. * * *
BREAK BEFORE THE INTERACTIVE TABLE WORK AND PRESENTATIONS * * * Further (Optional) Discussion On the Noble Subject of ‘Leaderly Being’ Leaders achieve their effectiveness chiefly through the stories they relate. Dramatically structured identity stories are those that embody shared values, mutual goals, and values collaborators can relate to and identify with for themselves. I have argued that the power in leaders’ rhetoric lies in narrating team identity, engaging in symbolic turning points, constituting freedom of choice and consensus, and embodying a competitive spirit (counterstory) in crisis circumstances. Leaders achieve their effectiveness through the stories they relate and, equally important, embody. These “stories of identity” are narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed. Such stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader’s literary arsenal. Great leaders tend to be prodigious storytellers who take a story that has been latent, but muted or neglected in the culture, and bring a new twist to that story for a new audience of followers. Thereby leaders revive stories and reactivate themes from one place and past, on to another stage from which to build new ventures.
Leadership Comes in All Shapes and Sizes … In his later work, 20th century German philosopher Martin Heidegger sought to offer a strategy for resolving our current educational crises by forestalling the technological dissolution of the historical essence of education. (The technological move in the works to reduce teachers and scholars to “online content providers” simply extends the worldview whereby faculties are becoming mere “human resources.”)
13 At the heart of our current misunderstanding of higher education (that Heidegger sought to recover from the shadows of history), is the unlimited quantification of human relations. This, I submit, strips human beings of their inherent meanings, distinctive qualities, and unique capacities—manufacturing us into meager resources to be optimized and ordered with maximized efficiency. Leadership is an emergent system, not some simple ten-‐step foolproof recipe. Additionally—in keeping with the overarching guiding philosophy of encouraging a confluence of individual and social transformation—we can add the explicit acknowledgement that there are multi-‐variant ways of being leaderly. No one best size fits all. Leadership is one’s life and being—not a mere job, career, or profession. So how do we give meaning to contemporary leadership education that is clear about the mystery of being—one that is rooted in interdependence rather than hyper-‐individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance, and cooperation rather than hierarchy? Perhaps first by defining what contemporary leadership is not any longer. Contemporary leadership is not about leading in the conventional sense of assuming control or coercing others to work collectively towards predetermined objectives. Nor is it about a few privileged individuals working alone or in cahoots behind closed doors, creating a template for others to follow. Nor is it just about ensuring the alignment of individual and group tasks in support of some predetermined mission, if that’s as far as it goes. Nice as all of this sounds in principle, that’s really a job for “good management” teams, not cadres of leaders. Contemporary leadership is not necessarily leading by determining the vision, setting the missions, decomposing the objectives, ensuring task alignment, and compensating those who do our bidding. Contemporary leadership is more about enabling an environment where we bring people together, and engage them in creating new possibilities for an alternative future. Things will change. So why not change things for the better? * * *
Further Notes on Emergent Complexity: Theory & Applications The conditions of the contemporary world are far different than those that were experienced throughout most of the 20th century. Whereas, in a lost world whose organizations were largely shaped by practices arising out of the Industrial Age, today’s organizational environments may be better characterized as ubiquitously connected. People, institutions and information are inescapably proximate. Therefore, different aspects of knowing, doing, and being are never distinct and entirely independent of each other. But rather are integrated in each group, individual, or organizational endeavor. If we can agree that the contemporary world cannot be readily accounted for through deterministic, clockwork-‐like models that presume the predictability of future outcomes—where else might we look among the rags and bones of our cultural artifacts for clues to what leadership for the future demands? The massive interconnectivity and the multiplied interactions of human activities suggest that employing a complexity lens may be of some use in thinking ahead to new human endeavors. The term “emergence” itself seems to have been coined by 19th century English philosopher and religious skeptic G.H. Lewes. More recently, American biologist and systems scientist, Peter Corning pointed out that no human system could be reduced to the underlying laws of physics or so-‐called rules of the game. Thus—as with leadership—vision, purpose, mission, values and so on, all emerge from the same source and that’s people. Change the people and the organization’s purpose changes also. Not the other waysround. In contemporary social studies, leading humanist educators have come to realize that to enable well-‐educated individuals to make significant contributions to groups and organizations in society and its ongoing development—more is required of higher education than simple content-‐ focused, instrumental training. Many students and organizations— especially in human service disciplines and social sciences—are now
15 demanding an emergent “whole-‐person” approach that has been too often neglected. “Emergent,” in this sense, means occurring when the individual explicitly realizes, and can articulate, a fundamentally new context for an organizational life in which prior (and future) experiences can be enhanced with new meaning.