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Building Leadership Programs Management Guide: Excerpt

A Leadership Framework

A framework for leadership can be likened to one for health that includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Robert Terry, former director of the Center for Reflective Leadership, University of Minnesota, proposes six views, or perspectives, of leadership that comprise authentic leadership:

See the Tools and Examples section at the end of this chapter for a graphic illustration of this framework.

Each view is distinct in definition and focus and suggests different needs for leadership knowledge and skills, depending upon the context and situation. The views call for a comprehensive and profound framework of leadership that goes beyond single schools of thought. Authentic leadership acknowledges and embraces all six perspectives.

It is a framework that leaders can use as they face the complexities of "reading" the world and determining what ought to be done for effective leadership. It is also a framework that leadership educators can use as a basis for effective leadership development.

Views of Leadership

We encounter examples of leadership every day. Through those encounters we recognize that there is not just one type of leadership. Leadership looks and feels very different, depending on the situation. Sometimes leadership is formal; other times informal. Sometimes leadership is directive; sometimes it's open. Sometimes leadership appears very public, bold, and obvious. Other times leadership appears calm, quiet, and filled with humility.

To aid in thinking about and describing leadership, scholars and practitioners have sorted and grouped some of the different theoretical perspectives and views of leadership into six major schools of thought. These views are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, all six views (see above) share common boundaries and have areas of overlap. However, each of these views characterizes a specific perspective that is often used to describe leadership. Comprehensive leadership programs should contain information about all these perspectives.

As noted, these six views comprise authentic leadership. But in a comprehensive approach, authentic leadership also can be seen as the seventh view.


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