Friday, April 17, 2009

On Leadership

I am currently interested in the question of what makes a good leader. I cringe at the idea of separating people into categories of "leader" and "follower," as I believe everyone is called at times to lead and to follow and that much damage has been done by insisting that certain groups of people were born to be either leaders or followers. But given that all or most people have leadership abilities, when people are, in fact leading, what attributes do they possess that make them good at what they do?

The Abbess a month or so ago mentioned several books on leadership. One was by MaryKate Morse, but I can't think of its name. Any other books to recommend?


AbiSomeone said...

MaryKate Morse's book is:

Another one, old but so helpful, is "The Different Drum" by M. Scott Peck.

As I mentioned in reply to your comment on my blog, the most important characteristic of a leader is that s/he is following hard after Jesus.

Then there is another oldie-but-goodie: "Leadership is an Art" by Max DePree. His thoughts about "leading where you are" are very important.

Then there's Robert Greenleaf's classic "Servant-Leadership."

Ed Brenegar, a fellow Wikiklesia author, has an awesome set of charts I was reminded about just the other day. Take a look at them here:

...okay, sorry for the hit and run, but there you have it!

Tom Smith said...

I would also like to mention Greenleaf's "Servant Leadership" and some other works at the Servant Leadership Greenleaf Center.

The Center for Courage and Renewal which was founded and somewhat led by Parker Palmer has retreats on "Courage to Lead." I know little about that program but if it is similar to the "Courage to Teach" book and programs it should be excellent.

A short pamphlet from a Pendle Hill workshop 30 years ago also has been helpful. "Friends as Leaders: The Vision, instrument, and methods."
I knew many of the participants and it was a strong group of leaders.

In Peace and Friendship

Tom Smith