The Dialogue of Disciplines
- New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Michael Harvey and Ronald E. Riggio
Chapter 16: Questioning Leadership: An Integrative Model
Michael Harvey He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses. . . . He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. . . . you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen. . . .” But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:10–20, New International Version) We search eagerly for leadership yet seek to tame and cage it. We recoil from power yet we are bewitched or titillated by it. (James MacGregor Burns, Leadership (1978: 9) Well, you’ve gotta question everything. (Football coach Rex Ryan after a 45–3 loss) Leadership – by which I mean an interaction between leaders and followers rather than the traits or actions of leaders alone – is the most complex of human relationships. I think there are three main reasons. First, the overarching nature of leadership. It can concern itself with everything from the group’s identity and aspirations to any detail which might affect the group’s wellbeing. Second, the sheer number of people involved. All the members of a group, with their multitudinous interests, perceptions and judgments, contribute to the group’s experience of leadership. Third,...
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