Brain-writing on Leadership LO6631
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 16:08:46 -0400

Rose Wentz asks in LO6524:

>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?

And John Woods responded in LO 6537
Here's what I think Rose. If you were study the books on leadership, you
will find that they all stress such characteristics as being charismatic,
having a strong sense of direction, being able to influence others because
they have confidence in you and you instill a sense of confidence in them.
As has been pointed out by me and others, these are very admirable
characteristics. Yet, are people born with such abilities and
characteristics or can they be learned? There is no definitive answer to
that question, but I think it's possible to enhance the leadership ability
of the people you're concerned with.
I think Howard Gardner's book on Leading Minds will answer many of your
questions and if you like read Warren Bennis's review of Leading Minds in
recent HBR (I think Jan/Feb. 1996). That will clarify many of the
questions raised by you.

I work with companies on executive and managerial leadership development
and I found we have to begin with the belief that they all have innate
capability to lead and some shaping and igniting that needs to be done. So
I feel we need to work on both self development and leadership development
side by side so that capacity building is done along with skill/knowledge

I hope that helps.

By the way to resolve the dichotomy of systems thinking vs. reductionism,
(or individual vs. organization) issues, I recommend a brilliant
exposition by Ken Wilbur called 'A Brief History of Everything.' This is
an outstanding book I would love to create a study group around and


Prasad Kaipa The Mithya Institute

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