How Can Anyone Lead Others Until They Are Ready to Lead Themselves?
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 5 No. 2 (2004): Vol-5-Issue-2-February-2004
For the past several years I have taught a graduate level leadership class that has, for the most part,
focused on what are considered to be the traditional qualities that go into making or identifying
someone as a leader. You know, the typical definitions found in texts such as Leadership: Research
Findings, Practice, and Skills by Andrew J. DuBrin from the Rochester Institute of Technology and
published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Each week the class would cover a specific leadership quality or trait. These would include,
charismatic and transformational leadership, attitudes and styles, ethics and social responsibility,
influence tactics of leaders, communication and conflict resolution, etc.. The usual list found in any
leadership text and/or book. As we would go through these traits and qualities usually associated with
leaders one or more students would invariably ask why individuals in their companies didn’t seem to
exhibit the qualities that were being discussed. As is the case with most companies, there was always
an individual that everyone wanted to work for regardless of the department. The person would be
described as being patient, understanding, caring, inclusive and most importantly a communicator.
Someone who knew themselves and through this understanding knew what was important to those they