Teaching Leadership LO6805

John Woods (jwoods@execpc.com)
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 10:48:27 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO6783 --

Sherry Gould quotes Fred Nickols and asks:

>Said a little differently, leadership begins with caring, and that can't
>be taught.
>The question that comes to mind is, how does one learn to care?

The question also comes to mind "what do we care about?" To which I would
respond we care about ourselves. We do things that we think make sense
for ourselves. We act in our best personal best interest. Given that we
care about ourselves, what does that mean? What does the term "ourselves"
or, more personally, "myself," mean? When I begin to examine who I am as
an individual, any word I come up with defines me not as a separate entity
but me in terms of my relationships to others. In other words, I am not
separate, I am a part of the whole. To look out for myself, I must
consciously look out for that of which I am a part. To care about myself,
I must care about others.

So what characterizes leaders? Somehow, either implicitly and explicitly,
they have figured out that to look out for themselves, to really care
about themselves, they have to look out for that of which they are a part.
They know that to have power, they must empower. They know that to
discount others is to discount themselves. So how can people learn to
care? I'm not exactly sure, but by examining our lives, our experiences,
we may come to see that we succeed to the degree that we help others
succeed--the foundation insight of leadership. Once we know that, there
may be some specific skills and tools we can use to understand how to
figure out what's best for the most in any situation--the things normally
taught under the guise of leadership. But what it all boils down to is
attitude and appreciation of the whole.

John Woods


jwoods@execpc.com (John Woods)

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>