Professionalizing Leadership

Professionalizing Leadership

English | 2018 | ISBN-10: 0190695781 | 216 Pages | PDF | 8.50 MB

Over the last 40 years, the leadership industry has grown exponentially. Yet leadership education, training, and development still fall far short. Moreover, leaders are demeaned, degraded, and derided as they never were before. Why?

The problem is leadership has stayed stuck. It has remained an occupation instead of becoming a profession. Unlike medicine and law, leadership has no core curriculum considered essential. It has no widely agreed on metric, or criteria for qualification. And it has no professional association to oversee the conduct of its members or assure minimum standards. Professionalizing Leadership looks to a past in which learning to lead was the most important of eruditions. It looks to a present in which learning to lead is as effortless as ubiquitous. And it looks to a future in which learning to be a leader might look different altogether - it might resemble the far more rigorous process of learning to be a doctor or a lawyer. As it stands now, the military is the only major American institution that gets it right. It assumes leadership is a profession that requires those who practice it to be taught in accordance with high professional standards. Barbara Kellerman draws on the military experience specifically to develop a template for learning how to lead generally.

Leadership in the first quarter of the present century is different from what it was even in the last quarter of the past century - which is why leadership taught casually and carelessly should no longer suffice. Professionalizing Leadership addresses precisely the problem of how to prepare leaders in accordance with professional norms. It provides the template necessary for transforming leadership from dubious occupation to respectable profession.

"Professionalizing Leadership is an indictment of the leadership industry. But it goes far further: it presents an alternative scenario, one in which leadership is not, merely, an occupation, but a profession, like medicine and law. Kellerman extracts from the military some lessons on how leaders can and should be educated, trained, and developed. In so doing, she provides us with an indispensable guide to rethinking and reconstituting leadership learning at a moment when the crisis of leadership is blindingly clear." - Admiral James Stavridis, USN

"Barbara Kellerman challenges us with an original and readable parable on the modern leadership industry that evokes 'The Emperor's New Clothes.' Her acute historical and theoretical analysis enable her also to provide a practical, inspiring vision of leadership as a profession. If you are disappointed in leaders, or wondering why the wave of money spent on leadership development is producing disappointing outcomes, and want to act rather than fret, then read this provocative book." - Ian Narev, CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

"Barbara Kellerman is the professor's professor. She is not just working in the field of leadership; she is working on it. Anyone interested in the subject of Leadership will be richly rewarded for reading her thoughtful and provocative challenge to an entire profession!" - Robert Kegan, Meehan Research Professor of Adult Learning, Harvard University; co-author of An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

About the Author
Barbara Kellerman is the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. (in political science) degrees from Yale University. She is author and editor of many books and articles on leadership and followership, and speaks to audiences all over the world. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 she was ranked by Global Gurus as # 13 among World's Top 30 Management Professionals, and in 2016 she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Leadership Association.


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