Rethinking Leadership
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Rethinking Leadership

A New Look at Old Questions, Second Edition

Donna Ladkin

This thoroughly revised and extended second edition of Rethinking Leadership offers an entirely new approach to understanding leadership as a lived experience rather than a checklist of traits or behaviors. Alongside selected expert contributors, Donna Ladkin makes complex ideas accessible by illustrating them with practical examples drawn from a broad experience of both academic leadership and management across a range of commercial, political and not-for-profit organizations.
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Chapter 7: How does power work within leadership relations?

Donna Ladkin


This chapter challenges traditional views of power which assume it to be a commodity which individuals can accrue, a view which underpins much leadership theorizing. Instead, Michel Foucault’s ideas about power are used to re-think the way in which power works within leadership relations. Three aspects of Foucault’s conceptualization are explored: his notion that power emerges through relationships rather than being a thing which can be collected, his insight into the role freedom plays within power relations (and how this differs from relationships of violence) and his understanding of how power moves through networks and alliances. These ideas are explored in more depth by applying them to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s successful implementation of gun control legislation in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks in March 2019.

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