Leadership Without Easy Answers

Economists tend to roll our eyes when we see the word "leadership". But a subject I did at Harvard, based on the work of academic Ronald Heifetz, convinced me that this needn’t be the case.* A friend of mine, Paul Porteous, is presently teaching "adaptive leadership" for the Benevolent Society. In this article (PDF) he outlines what he’s doing. On a wonkier note, I’ve also written in the past on the theory of adaptive leadership (PDF), and suggested how it could apply to indigenous reconciliation (PDF). But my stuff isn’t anywhere near as entertaining as Paul’s coalface tales.

* This is not to say that I respect most of what is written taught on the topic of leadership, which tends to be merely about how to influence others to do what you want them to do.

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4 Responses to Leadership Without Easy Answers

  1. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Former, famous VC, also a graduate of the Kennedy School, swore by Ronald Heifetz’ book. Manged to almost ‘bankrupt’ a university in under three years. Management and leadership ‘gurus’ should have declare event such as this – in the interests of full disclosure.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    OK, that’s very funny. Can you name names? (Or give us initials, or a weblink, or a hint?) Glyn Davis was a visiting fellow at KSG, but I’m guessing that’s not who you’re talking about.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    She also has a PhD from a prestigious, snobbish, Go8 institution. In person, is very charming and attractive for her age.

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