The Leadership Conundrum | Coursera Community
Coursera Header

The Leadership Conundrum

  • 15 November 2018
  • 2 replies
  • 91 views

Userlevel 1
Badge +1
I have been fascinated by the subject of Leadership for a while and I recently completed a 12 week course on the subject. While different societies look for different things in leaders, generally the history of leadership can to be traced back to wartime, when the fiercest warrior became the trusted leader. Of recent around the world, while many countries are not at war with anyone, there seems to be a yearningfor war-time type of leadership. This is especially the case in political leadership. While this is just my observation, what is your own experience of leadership? How do people relate with leadership in your community?

2 replies

Excellent thread, Ollie. I would also like to add that leadership has been dominated by men. I am encouraged to see that more women are being accepted and appreciated in these roles. We just elected 100 women to our legislature.
Userlevel 7
Badge +13
Hi @Ollie. I'm sorry I'm just now reading your post, as I agree with @Judith that it's an excellent topic. Human nature is fascinating indeed. I do think people are inclined to follow someone who they perceive to be powerful – the big question is whether that leader uses their 'over' or 'with' others. Mary Parker Follett is credited with this distinction. I also think that what you are describing – "yearning for war-time type leadership" comes from a scarcity mentality, from a combination of not knowing and of fear, and from clinging to whatever purports to protect "me", no matter if it's at the expense of other people. For all the years that human beings have been around, sometimes I marvel at how little we have learned as a species when it comes to notions of collaboration, kindness, and our interconnectedness – not only with other humans but also with other living beings and the earth itself.

Reply