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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

The task of leadership: leadership as an attribute of group life

Being department chair has become, as we hear more and more, an impossible job, and sooner or later those who have been plunged into the ordeal of chairing may find themselves looking for help, or at least solace, in the nostrums on display in the management section of their local bookstores. The point I want to start with is that such books dont create dialogue; they are aimed at business leaders who want to or feel they need to figure out all by themselves what to do. Books of this kind are aids to memory, and the approach to leadership they adopt assumes that the important thing is to get the key ideas about leadership into the leaders if leadership were a language, like French or Russian, or a kind of expertise, like the information contained in a manual on engine repair and that once this aim is accomplished, the leader will speak leadership or do leadership properly. The idea, in short, is that leadership is the property of the individual, a set of ideas or talents that an individual can possess.'