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What is the Utility of Leadership?

August 4th, 2015 | Posted by David Whitfield in Educational Leadership

Will leadership ever work?

I question the utility of leadership. And that’s because leadership is not working. It’s not working in developing countries; it’s not working in many parts of the world. Look at all the financial challenges, changes in disparate groups’ behavior, changes in weather patterns due to our behavior, and changes in the behavior of authorities such as country heads, corporate leaders, and the police.

Who is leading the police? The killing of U. S. citizens in general and non-whites in particular (with impunity), indicates something is not right. Our national leaders, with few exceptions, have been in leadership positions for so long, they are disconnected from their states, districts, and communities; they haven’t a clue what’s happening. Many of them want war; they want to bomb, attack, and dominate. What keeps them from leading?

Either leaders don’t know what to do, or they don’t care. They don’t care about themselves, their leadership, the citizens, or their country. They don’t lead in economics; they don’t lead in finance; they don’t lead in politics; they don’t lead in education; they just don’t lead. Why are they in leadership positions? Why do they go to work each day? What keeps them from leading?

Millions of refugees across the world, flee their country for safety; many are abused, confined, exploited, and in some cases slaughtered. Most of them are women and children. And what are their leaders doing? And what keeps them from leading?

Finally, how will this all end?

Any thoughts?

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One Response

  • francis ankobea says:

    This is in fact good food for thought. With the world’s problems overflowing one would expect leaders and leadership to snap into action; but not so. It brings to mind some of Bakhtin’s ideals that apply in relationship and the dialogue that is expected to result. Particularly, I am wondering about the concept of chronotope: for leadership to be utilize-able, would there not be the need for both the leader and the led to be in the environment at the same time with each performing what they are defined or expected to be, with the required connectedness? This occurs with the leader recognizing the led and the led recognizing the leader, mutually, with place and time forming a much-needed continuum. It is difficult to see this happen in the current era. Many have rejected concepts as mentorship and so consequently leadership and leading have, and will continue to suffer, with no meaningful discourse. As a result there is no way leadership can unleash its magic in solving problems. Again, thanks Dr. Whitfield for your insights.

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