Paradox and Power in Caring Leadership
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Paradox and Power in Caring Leadership

Critical and Philosophical Reflections

Edited by Leah Tomkins

Why does it matter that our leaders care about us? What might we reasonably expect from a caring leader, and what price are we prepared to pay for it? Is caring leadership something ‘soft’, or can it be linked to strategy and delivery? International scholars from the fields of ancient and modern philosophy, psychology, organization studies and leadership development offer a strikingly original debate on what it means for leaders to care.
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Chapter 14: Educating caring leaders: a paradox of collective uniqueness

Ann L. Cunliffe and Matthew Eriksen

Abstract

The chapter explores how we might educate caring leaders and the associated challenges and possibilities. We position leadership and caring as interwoven and a way of being in relation to others, rather than as a set of practices or techniques. Caring is thus created and expressed every day in our relationships, conversations and interactions with others. We highlight three paradoxes of how care and relational leadership are theorised, practised and taught, which emerge from crucial differences in the leadership literature around how relationality is construed. Based on our experience of teaching relational leadership courses and on student feedback, we explore the implications for educating caring leaders. We argue that educating leaders to be caring involves being a caring educator, which means caring for students, facilitating open dialogue, and creating a caring community in the classroom.

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