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Thinking Out Loud

A Leadership Notebook: Shifting Gears

by Michael Jinkins | Jan 05, 2015
Editor’s note: Periodically throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, “Thinking Out Loud” readers will receive blog posts that address the idea of leadership. Best practices, challenges, rewards and lessons learned from different models of leadership are the focus of these special blog posts. We’d love to hear what you have written in your “leadership notebook.” E-mail us!

shifting gearsThroughout this past fall, "A Leadership Notebook," an occasional feature of my regular "Thinking Out Loud" blog, has looked at some of the more influential theoretical models that help us understand better organizations and their leadership.

Now it’s time to shift gears. In the next series of “leadership notebooks,” we will look at key insights that have transformed our perspectives on leadership.

For example:
  • We will consider the startling insights into leadership that Karl Weick uncovers when he explores the experiences of firefighters who deal with wildfires.
  • We will examine some fascinating insights into leadership which Doris Kearns Goodwin discloses in her monumental group biography of President Lincoln and his cabinet in her Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Simon & Schuster, 2012).
  • We will think about the concept of “incremental gradualism,” a crucial insight for which we are indebted to sociological research and investigations into religious organizations reported by Ellis Nelson more than thirty years ago - especially in light of new studies on leadership by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, whose work has been heralded as the “No. 1 Breakthrough Idea” from Harvard Business Review.
  • We will reflect on some lessons that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continues to teach us about the power of love and the necessity of finding the right levers of power if you want to make positive change possible.
These are just a few of the crucial insights into leadership we will explore as the spring term unfolds. Until then, lead on!

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