Curriculum Development for Contemporary Leadership Education

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Curriculum  Development  for  Contemporary       Leadership  Education    







           Peter  Chiaramonte,  PhD   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)

Example(of(an(Abandoned(Masters(of(Contemporary( Leadership(Education(Program(Content(

©Marygrove College, Detroit, October 17th 2014

LDC523'–'Leadership'II:'Current'and'Contemporary'Models' Year'and'Trimester'



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

Description' As'in'Leadership'I,'this'course'continues'to'emphasize'the'vital'importance'of'context'among'diverse'social'

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.!!

Content'Outline' •


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.'' •

Interactional'psychology'for'understanding'the'context'of'contemporary'leadership'in'relation'to' individual,'group,'and'organizational'identity.'In'both'personality'psychology'and'social'psychology'



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.



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







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.        

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