Leading with heart: beyond the heroic myth of leadership

Date

2016-03-29

Authors

Page, M. Beth

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Abstract

The challenge with traditional and hierarchical leadership models is that rarely are the complex issues present in our society today, resolved by one individual. Knowledge is distributed across multiple domains. Reviewing the alternative perspectives in leadership literature offers additional considerations for the dominant traditional models of leadership in existence today. With increased globalization, technology advancements, and interconnectedness, greater communication and collaboration are needed. The purpose of the study was to explore the role that personal values play in sustaining leadership during challenging times. Narrative inquiry and narrative interviews were used so leaders could share their stories of navigating challenging situations. One group interview was scheduled to share preliminary research findings with the research participants and continue the process of meaning coconstruction. Both narrative analysis and thematic analysis were used to harvest the key themes and wisdom offered during the interviews. Collective values identified included integrity, caring, courage, and commitment. The model for sustainable leadership included the ongoing pursuit of personal mastery, a values-based personal and professional support network, and expertise in leading self and other through the inevitable transitions that occur. These transitions are often due to changes associated with the predictive challenges that come from such situations as the election cycle and changes in mandate. The above recommendations allow for leaders to sustain themselves and others while working in service of the common good. Leaders who adopt the above recommendations will be well positioned to support their leadership and to use values as guiding principles to release the hero in everyone around them, including themselves.

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Keywords

Leadership, Values, Public Sector Leadership, Change, Challenge, Transition, Learning

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