Leaders, Individuals, and Kings

Leaders, Individuals, and Kings

There is little descriptive adequacy in terms which gloss and evaluate how individual minds work. Leadership, for the most part, is one of them. I worry about those that see leadership as a trait of an individual mind and not (if at all leadership is explicative of something) as a communal accomplishment organized in a specific set of circumstances (social, political, economic, etc.). Even after postmodern and or critical pirouettes are exercised on the concept I doubt it can be rendered useful in an environment in which individualism and abstract ideas reign. For the sensitivity of the powerful giving up on traditional understandings of leadership (as a quality of individual minds) is not worthwhile for it diminishes the worth of individual acts and thus injures their self-perception. A perception which is in need of ideal abstract values to justify their ‘superiority’ rather than acknowledging that their assumed superiority is the product of the size of their bank accounts and not of their minds. When focusing on education, there is no better word than leadership to serve the powerful and their need to present new policies to guide an educational system which has delivered the same successful failures for the last 100 years in spite of endless (declared) efforts to reform it.

Individual traits are not good explanations for this or that step taken by any system. Individual traits (of leadership or other) hide more than what they expose; they are poor conceptualizations which do not capture the complexity which characterizes human lives. Leadership talk is one more turn in the ongoing refusal to recognize complexity and promises no change other than for the powerful.

The following text cited might offer some more insights FOR A FULL TEXT GO TO                                  http://www.ila-net.org/publications/proceedings/2003/mgrace.pdf





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Zvi Bekerman

About Zvi Bekerman

Professor of anthropology of education at the School of Education and the Melton Center, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem. Zvi Bekerman Ph. D., teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, faculty at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem and a former Research Fellow at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the same university.

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