What is leadership?
LEADERSHIP ….. defined:
Our understanding of LEADERSHIP has changed and keeps changing now that it is housed in the popular culture. Still, it has throughout history had a universal characteristic:
It changes the course of things…for the better IF worthy leadership, for the worse if not.
- That begins with changing the course of one’s thinking or feelings (or another’s).
- Then changing the course of a conversation with oneself or another. That can change lives.
- Changing the course of the routines and rituals of an organization (or part of an organization) changes its destiny.
- In every field of human endeavor, like music or medicine, it is changing the course of things for the better…for people. That is the task of leadership, revealed in retrospect.
- Leadership changes the course of history, writ small or large – the history of a life, a marriage, a classroom, an organization, or a whole society.
- Good leadership humanizes what might otherwise become dehumanizing.
- Without the intervention of competent leadership, things will simply evolve in the direction of the course they are on – teleology at work.
- With efficacious leadership, their trajectory is changed for the better for all of those involved – whether parents or pupils, spouses or siblings, friends or neighbors, bosses or subordinates – and thus for the larger social systems of which they are a part.
- Leadership is most usefully defined solely by its worthy or unworthy consequences.
Why should you be interested in participating in this course?
Any person at anytime and anywhere in an organization has the opportunity and the obligation to change the course of things for the better. That’s what leadership is all about. If you’re waiting in the wings to be appointed “leader,” don’t. That may not happen. The possibilities of exercising leadership are in your life and in your work world. . .today.
What could you learn?
What you need to know about leadership and who you need to be in order to practice it. This course offers real-life strategies for providing leadership within the situations that people in any position, in any kind of organization or relationship face on a daily basis.
What should you expect?
6 months of highly interactive and intensive learning.
The course begins and ends with a two-day gathering in Flat Rock, North Carolina where you will learn to unpack what we mean by leadership thru role-plays, questions and study resource exercises and discussion.
There will be webinars every other week, weekly written thinking exercises and various additional learning opportunities throughout the course.
Why can’t leadership be taught?
Leadership is a way of life. It is not a destination. That’s why it cannot be taught, it can only be learned. This course will not magically transform you into someone who can provide the kind of leadership needed in any situation. But it can provide you with a compass and a path for doing so, IF you are the one who wants to live the life of leadership. And take the risks required.
What resources are used?
Study resources include excerpts from movies, cartoons, podcasts about relevant perspectives and ideas, provocative webinar guests and draws from one or more of Dr. Thayer’s books. Resources are always provisional, determined by your needs and the questions you raise as the course progresses.
Why is there no recipe?
There are no short-cuts. There are no five or seven easy steps. Becoming a virtuoso at changing the course of things, at intervening and putting a person or situation on a better path for everybody, requires more of you than would becoming a virtuoso singer, dancer, or concert pianist. It is more difficult and requires more focus and diligence.
Sure, you can buy the latest leadership or management fad today, and then another one tomorrow, and another one the day after. You can be known as the person who pursues “the flavor of the month.” Or. . .you can get on the path of real achievement, which means practicing today in order to perform better tomorrow. And then tomorrow you practice again. So you are forever practicing in order to do everything better. That’s the path to. . . .real achievement and leadership from where you are.
Would you be interested in a mantra for this course?
Those who you cannot influence, will influence you.
What are some examples of the written thinking exercises?
- Tell us, in a brief essay (less than 2 pages), what the ideas and perspective from The Oppressed Middle mean to you, and how you implemented your interpretation of your reading in your life and at work.
- Write, for discussion, two short character studies (about those you know or imagine) that illustrate one or more of the individual competencies described in the first two chapters of The Competent Organization.
What would your role be?
- To raise the kind of questions that will provoke the most productive discussions and thinking.
- To diligently study the reading material, optimizing everyone’s learning with your valuable feedback.
- To actively participate in a way that enhances the learning and mental / emotional resources of all those involved.
- To offer issues and concerns that move the group toward critical lessons learned.
- To demonstrate an insatiable, unquenchable curiosity about anything that bears upon the success of the course.
What are the details for the course?
- Each class is limited to 15 participants.
- Two on-site, two-day gatherings at Highland Lake Inn & Resort in Flat Rock, North Carolina. One at the beginning of the course and one at the end of the course.
- One-hour webinars every other week, excluding weeks of major holidays.
- Weekly study assignments, exercises and quizzes.
- Learning Leaders who will be competing with you to learn more than you learn will facilitate, with additional participation and provocations by Dr. Thayer himself.