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 8: How do leaders judge what is a responsible course of action?

Rita A. Gardiner

Abstract

This chapter asks two interrelated questions. First, how do leaders judge what is a responsible course of action? Second, how do others judge what constitutes responsibility in leadership action? The argument put forward is that thinking with Hannah Arendt deepens our comprehension of what it might mean to lead responsibly. She encourages us to recognize that leading in a responsible manner is, above all, a judgment call. From an Arendtian perspective, to judge responsibly requires a leader to consider each issue from multiple viewpoints. Thus, a measured response requires a willingness to approach an issue from diverse perspectives, and to engage in the kind of reflection that is critical to responsible leadership. Yet although it may appear easy to determine when a leader is acting responsibly, there are times when such determination is not clear-cut. To explore this tension, the chapter examines a political scandal in Canadian politics.

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