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Chapter 8 Group Leadership

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

Introductory Exercises

  1. Please indicate your favorite superhero, movie star, or inspirational leader that you perceive has qualities worthy of learning from to apply in your own life. What traits or behaviors to they possess or exhibit that inspire you and why? Please share your results with your classmates.
  2. Please list five facts, points, or things about you that you would want an audience to know about you as a professional. Post your results and compare with classmates.
  3. Leadership Interview

    Name of Student: _________________________________________________________

    Name of Person Interviewed: _________________________________________________________

    What is leadership? Do you think leadership is the same now as in the past, or will change in the future?

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Peter Drucker, economist, management guru, author (1909–2005)

A good leader inspires others with confidence; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.

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Getting Started

PLEASE NOTE: This book is currently in draft form; material is not final.

Leadership in groups and organization can be an opportunity and a challenge. How we approach it can make all the difference. In this chapter we explore what leadership is, how we become leaders, the role of teamwork and interdependence in leadership, and finally diverse forms and representations of leadership in action.

Leadership is a complicated and mystery thing. Is it a behavior or set of actions? Is it a talent, that some are born with while others are not? Is it an ability to communicate clearly and effectively with contagious enthusiasm? These are some of the questions we’ll address in this chapter but first let’s be clear: There is no universal definition of leadership. Across cultures what we consider leadership varies greatly, and yet we know it when we see it. We are not born with it, but our experiences can influence our ability to act when the context demands action.

Communication is learned, not innate, and how we learn to follow, and to lead, is a reflection of that process. We can learn to lead in more effective ways. We can solve new challenges in collaborative ways. We can respond to a crisis with skill and expertise, learned from drill and practice. We can make a difference in the groups in which we participate, as leaders or followers. In this chapter we explore the many fascinating aspects of leadership.