Teaching leadership LO6564

Dave Birren, MB-5, 608-267-2442 (BIRRED@dnr.state.wi.us)
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 08:28 CST

Replying to LO6524 --

Continuing the dialogue in the thread "Teaching Leadership":

Rose Wentz asked in LO6524 (as quoted by John Woods in LO6537):
>I want
>to know how does one help to create leaders in an organization. In my
>organization I am responsible to develop a model of supervision/management
>that describes how supervisors can be leaders and encourage everyone to be
>leaders. I am also to develop training that teaches them how to do this.
>So much of what I read (such as these list of leadership traits) is in the
>ideal world. I believe people can be taught skills that will support the
>development of these traits. What is your experience in making this
>concrete and pratical?

I won't comment on John's reply, except to say that most or all of what he
says is true. I would only like to add that perhaps the most important
lesson about leadership I have learned from my experience in the military,
education, business and government is that individuals cannot be taught to
be leaders. They have to learn it themselves. One can provide
information, encouragement, coaching, mentoring, etc., but if whatever it
takes to be a leader isn't apparent, it's either because the situation
doesn't bring it out, or it just isn't there. I'd guess that mostly the
situation doesn't bring it out.

The best leadership text is still the Tao Te Ching. In addition to that
(but not in place of it), I'd add a more recent book titled something like
The Tao of Personal Leadership. Leadership begins with my own attitudes
and flows outward. There's no other Way.



David E. Birren Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources birred@dnr.state.wi.us Phone 608-267-2442 Fax 608-267-3579

* ** *** There is no excuse for being uncivilized. ( D.H.Birren) *** ** *

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