Friday, October 29, 2010

The Challenge for Leaders

Leadership to a great extent can be seen in the teamwork process. The exchange between any persons working together toward a common purpose. More realistically though, it is any persons whose relationship impacts the outcome of that work. Understanding and participating in this kind of leadership properly requires trust, focus, and determination.

In the last few days I have seen many different instances of positive and negative leadership, some performed by me and some by others I have observed. It occurs to me that regardless of the excuse for negative leadership, if those in an authority position are not challenging their followers to raise their level of participation and representation in the work, then we as leaders are failing. The most effective approach to leadership is the improvement and incorporation of followers into the decision making process. The sincere challenge can in effect push followers to see the relationship with a leaders as a far more fluid relationship; a relationship to be worked and used for the benefit for all.

Creating the space for creativity and originality and then challenging followers to use their resources to dynamically work in that environment will create a more sustainable working relationship. As a follower I can say with certainty that there is nothing more stifling as an unapproachable boss. The leader must be present and inspirational.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Map of the Soul

Right now I am working to create an activity where I can incorporate student's understanding of who exactly they are. Now, in order to do this I have to narrow the line of sight so as to give them easily accessible landmarks in their mind to figure out who exactly they are, but I don't actually think this manipulation will cause any serious damage to their own imaginings.

What I want them to be doing is considering what they do that makes them who they are. While they are thinking through what their actions explain about their "selfhood", I will prompt them to be thinking more visually with something I saw during a TED Talk. This circular diagram, which I saw during Tim Jackson's talk on Economies of Health, of personal ambition and/or commitments makes the participant commit to being a certain kind of person. With this commitment comes a dedication to a certain ethic, and if they are thinking about the ethic and their day-to-day behaviors, I think the issue of health is easily incorporated.

Imagine the students are sitting together thinking about who they are according to their actions. They are looking at the Map of their Soul and someone asks are we behaving like healthy people? What would a healthy person's Map look like?

The construction of a visual representation of a person's soul I think would call into question the potential for harmony in life. Looking at the soul on paper will inspire a serious consideration of values.