etd-Moore-20080410

etd-Moore-20080410 - IT’S NOT JUST NICE, IT’S...

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Unformatted text preview: IT’S NOT JUST NICE, IT’S NECESSARY: AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP IN THE NEW ECONOMY by Sadie Moore _______________________________________________________________________ A dissertation presented to the FACULTY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (ANTHROPOLOGY) May 2008 Copyright 2008 Sadie Moore EPIGRAPH I have often thought that the best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: "This is the real me!" – William James ii DEDICATION For my family iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation is the product of my years in training as a scholar, an accomplishment that would impossible to contemplate were it not for the support and inspiration I have received from many people throughout my life. I am eternally grateful for my incredible parents, John and Allie Wujcik, and Steve Moore, whose constant support and invaluable encouragement allowed me to develop as an independent thinker. They taught me from a very young age that I am capable of achieving anything and I value their love and friendship immensely. I also thank my sisters, Lisa Harrington, Daisy Retaliatta, Sara Borda-Bossana, and Christine Moore, for their love and belief in me. My friends have provided me with a constant source of amusement, companionship, and arenas in which to develop my ideas. I thank Anita McLendon, Sarah Briuer, and Cody Marks for their unwavering belief in me and their promises of the good hikes and good conversations that are in store for me after I complete this process. I am especially indebted to Laura Erskine and Courtney Mykytyn, who read numerous chapter drafts and pushed me to develop my ideas. Their support, mentorship, and friendship have been key to my development as a person and a scholar. They also kept me going many late nights when I thought I might give in to the arduous process of writing a dissertation. Courtney in particular has been a vital grounding force in my life, since the day we met on the first day of graduate school. I must also thank Roman, Stefan, and Lucy Mykytyn for providing me with comic relief and giving me some perspective about what really matters. iv I am eternally grateful to my wonderful dissertation committee of advisers and mentors. Warren Bennis, Nancy Lutkehaus, and Lanita Jacobs-Huey have all been fantastic sounding boards and have aided me in crafting new ideas. I especially thank my chair, Andrei Simic, for his friendship and inspiring curiousity about the world. Finally, I thank the professors and students of MDA 365. Warren Bennis and Steve Sample gave me the amazing and life-changing opportunity of working with them in this leadership course. I have grown immensely as a person and teacher over the past five years, and have learned what makes me feel most alive during my conversations with them and the students in class. Individuals who in particular have meant a tremendous deal to me throughout my tenure in the class are Athena Perrakis, Jeff Clark, Anne Westfall, Sherri Sammon, Gigi Shapiro, Auriel Sanderson, Maria Huerta-Garcia, Judy Wilson, Wayne Lewis, Marie Dolittle, Ali Rubin, Katie Trefz, Kris Fredrickson, Jess Jones, Kristen Taylor, Andrea Schwartz, Jenny Berru, Sarah Turkisher, Becky Johnson, and Dan Cousineau. I am especially grateful to the many alumni of the class who shared their life stories with me during this fieldwork, and I cherish the friendships I have made with these leaders whom I firmly believe will change the world. v TABLE OF CONTENTS EPIGRAPH DEDICATION ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABSTRACT PREFACE ii iii iv x xii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION I. STUDY AIMS A. Cultural Context: The New Economy B. Core Research Questions II. SITUATING THE COURSE AS A SITE OF STUDY A. Researcher Positionality III. METHODOLOGY A. Questionnaires B. Semi-Structured Interviews C. Class Reunion D. Class Interaction IV. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND A. Political Anthropology and Elites 1. Big Man Leadership B. Leadership at Work in the New Economy C. Authenticity and Good Leadership D. Authenticity as a Key Term V. CHAPTER OUTLINES A. Chapter Two – Characteristics of the New Economy B. Chapter Three – Building a Community of Practice C. Chapter Four – On Becoming an Authentic Leader: Creating the Self D. Chapter Five – Network-Creation: Authenticity, Alliances, and Big Men E. Chapter Six –Authentic Leaders Give Back: Ideals and Practices of Servant Leadership F. Conclusion VI. CONCLUSION VII. CHAPTER ONE ENDNOTE 1 1 3 4 7 9 11 11 12 13 13 14 14 16 18 20 21 22 22 23 23 23 24 CHAPTER TWO: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW ECONOMY I. INTRODUCTION A. Background B. Chapter Organization II. ANTHROPOLOGY, POLITICAL ECONOMY, AND GLOBALIZATION III. THE UNITED STATES AND THE RISE OF NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS A. World Capitalist System IV. CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN CAPITALISM 27 27 27 29 30 34 35 39 24 25 26 vi A. Space and Time B. Work and Labor in Modern America 1. Rise of a Knowledge-based Economy 2. The Individual in Modern Work V. CONCLUSION 40 43 43 45 48 CHAPTER THREE: BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF IDEALS I. INTRODUCTION A. Chapter Organization II. CREATION OF COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE A. Initiation into Community B. Self-Selection by Applicants 1. Elite Experience 2. Engagement with Peers 3. Personal Development C. The Self in the Community 1. Relationships with the Professors 2. Peer Community 3. Narrative of Agency and Self-empowerment D. Collegiality III. DISCOURSE OF IDEALIZED LEADERSHIP A. Seven Most Valued Traits of Good Leaders 1. Authority is not Leadership 2. Leaders are Innovative and Adaptable 3. Leaders Display Civic Responsibility 4. Leaders Practice their Rhetoric 5. Leaders Build Personal Relationships with Followers 6. Leaders are Authentic and Self-Aware 7. Leaders Display Character, Honesty, and Integrity IV. CONCLUSION 50 50 51 52 53 56 56 58 59 60 61 62 65 67 68 69 70 70 71 72 73 74 76 77 CHAPTER FOUR: ON BECOMING AN AUTHENTIC LEADER: CREATING THE SELF I. INTRODUCTION A. Chapter Organization II. BECOMING THE SELF A. The Meritocracy Myth and American Self-Help B. Becoming a Leader in Modern America III. INTROSPECTION A. Finding the Authentic Self B. Benefits of and Purposes for Self-Reflection 1. Discovering Values, Aptitudes, and Desires 2. Understanding Weaknesses to Compensate for Them 3. Understanding Impacts on Others 78 78 78 79 79 83 86 87 92 92 97 101 vii 4. Understanding how to Interact with and Motivate Others IV. ODYSSEY A. The Path Toward Young Adulthood in America B. Engage with the World C. Testing the Self’s Passions and Principles D. Trial and Error V. REINTEGRATION A. Storytelling in Leadership VI. THE AUTHENTIC SELF AS A COMMODITY A. Authenticity as a Strategy B. The Self as a Commodity C. The Prestige of the Self as a Commodity VII. CONCLUSION VIII. CHAPTER FOUR ENDNOTES 102 105 106 107 110 112 116 117 121 122 123 124 125 127 CHAPTER FIVE: NETWORK CREATION: ALLIANCES, AUTHENTICITY, AND BIG MEN I. INTRODUCTION A. Chapter Organization II. NETWORK-CREATION A. Finding Authentic Connections 1. Personal Networks 2. Small-Cell Networks and Larger Networks B. Building Personal Relationships C. Relationships in the New Economy III. THE POLITICS OF POWER AND ELITISM A. The Individual in Political Anthropology: Power, Elites and Leadership 1. Power 2. Elites 3. Leaders and Leadership B. Big Men and Alliance Creation 1. Types of Leadership 2. Big Men C. Authenticity and “Big Men” in American Leadership IV. CONCLUSION 128 CHAPTER SIX: AUTHENTIC LEADERS GIVE BACK: IDEALS AND PRACTICES OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP I. INTRODUCTION A. Chapter Organization II. SERVANT LEADERSHIP A. Context: Doing Good Work in the New Economy B. Seeing Personal Impacts C. Building Communities 128 129 129 130 131 131 132 137 139 140 140 143 146 150 150 151 155 158 159 159 160 160 163 167 170 viii D. Broader Social Change 1. Being in the World 2. Entrepreneurship and Innovation 3. Creating a Legacy E. Finding Happiness and Self-Fulfillment III. GIVE NOW OR GIVE LATER: RHETORIC AND REALITIES A. Financial Tensions and Social Guilt B. Work-Life Balance 1. Work and Personal Life 2. Work and Family IV. CONCLUSION 172 173 176 179 181 184 184 187 188 190 192 CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSION I. DISSERTATION SUMMARY II. CONTRIBUTION TO POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY III. CONTRIBUTION TO LEADERSHIP LITERATURE IV. CONTRIBUTION TO STUDIES OF THE NEW ECONOMY V. PERSONAL JOURNEY VI. CONCLUDING REMARKS 195 195 197 199 200 202 202 REFERENCES APPENDICES 204 223 ix ABSTRACT This dissertation draws on ethnographic fieldwork with members of an upperlevel leadership course at a top-tier university in Southern California to examine their constructions of what it means to be a good American leader. Additionally, I examine the ways members invoke “authentic” leadership, often described as servant leadership, as a strategy to redefine and retain elite status. This servant leadership is often at odds with the highly individualized American Dream, but is increasingly becoming more prominent as a mandate assigned to leaders by management texts, leadership programs, and popular media. Likewise, leaders who are models for servant leadership are epitomized as ideal leaders by this leadership course and its members. This mirrors the idea of “character” that Emerson prized so highly, and rejects the twentieth century idea that a person should become a leader in order to achieve personal fame or wealth. This shift coincides with the globalization of capital and a knowledge- and service-based economy, which undermine workers’ security and create instability, anxieties, and processes of individualization. My research revealed that members go through four stages, introspection, odyssey, reintegration, and network-creation, toward becoming an authentic leader. The story of becoming a “good” American leader is shifting in some ways to a story of reciprocity and the giving of the authentic self, similar to the “big man” style of leadership. In return for the self’s “giving,” followers respond with degrees of loyalty, work productivity, and time commitments that are increasingly rarer in modern work environments. Authentic leadership represents an inflection toward the social capital, or x prestige, gained through giving, and is a strategy used in part to achieve distinction and status in an increasingly flattened, competitive, and risky world. xi PREFACE The nature of anthropological fieldwork requires the anthropologist to immerse him or herself in the culture in which he or she is studying in order to gain an insider’s, or emic, perspective. At the same time, the anthropologist needs to retain an outside observer’s, or etic, stance. Throughout this project, I wrestled with the overlap between my etic and emic perspectives. As an assistant lecturer for the course, I helped develop the curriculum that I analyze here. I have also deeply involved myself in the personal development of the students of this course, and assess their performances via grades. I had been an assistant lecturer for three years before I actively became involved in fieldwork with the course members, and as such had become somewhat steeped in an emic view of the course material. When I began to conduct interviews and write up my data, I had to work hard to pay close attention to my biases and assumptions about the value of the course and the resonance of its ideology. Indeed, my adviser reminded me several times to frame my analysis with a more critical voice. In part, I addressed my concerns about my insider perspective by focusing on the interviews I conducted with graduates of the course. I also carefully paid attention to the voices of the members who graduated prior to my tenure, which helped provide a perspective I did not help to construct. The process of conducting this fieldwork revealed tensions I was unaware I held about the nature of ethnography. I felt comfortable speaking with course members and observing members’ interactions. However, during analysis, I occasionally found myself providing answers to members’ questions (e.g. how do I become authentic) rather than xii focusing on clearly and responsibly representing their voices. Fieldwork in anthropology can be a daunting endeavor (even when performed in a familiar context), replete with guilt and anxiety over the politics of representing others, epistemological difficulties, and concerns about “writing about culture” (Clifford and Marcus 1986). The nature of anthropological fieldwork has undergone a shift since the days of the somewhat detached stances of Malinowski and Boas (Stocking 1992). As Clifford and Marcus (1986) and Marcus and Fischer (1986) have written, the methodology of “writing culture” has broadened to include notions of the fieldworker as complicit, with research participants, in the construction of cultural meanings. The data, or fieldnotes, are thus inseparable from the process of observing. Anthropologists have also wrestled with the idea of what it means to be “in the field,” write fieldnotes, and code and organize these notes into a finished ethnography. As Sanjek (1990), Geertz (1988), Emerson et al (1995), O’Reilly (2005) and others have noted, ethnographers differ on the theory, meaning and practice of writing up observations and providing analyses. Here, I attempted to consistently question my assumptions and biases by consciously stepping into an anthropological voice. I also struggled with writing about the course as a static object that has not evolved dynamically. Abu-Lughod (1991) advocates “writing against culture,” recognizing the tendency of earlier anthropology to essentialize people and “cultures” as static objects, bounded by time and space. She advocates focusing on “discourse and practice;” making connections between the community, the anthropologist, and larger social and cultural forces; and writing ethnographies of the particular. Geertz (1971) xiii offers the notion of “thick description” to characterize ethnography; he advocates describing in detail our interpretations of others’ interpretations of culture and meaning and understanding their particular lived experiences while recognizing their “normalness.” This project seeks to provide a nuanced “thick description” of the alums’ particular experiences of the course and the discourse of authenticity, and make explicit the connections between them. xiv CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION I. STUDY AIMS This dissertation examines the social construction of “authentic” and “good” leadership by members of an upper level leadership course at a tier one university in Southern California. Given current discourses that cast good leadership as servant leadership (Greenleaf 1977; 2002; Riggio et al 2003; Avolio et al 2005), this project looks at the ways that these students define authentic leadership, and how they are apprenticed or socialized into ideologies, behaviors and practices befitting notions of an authentic leader. More specifically, it analyzes the way these students learn to apply the notion of authenticity to their definitions and daily practice of leadership, both in the course and in their current work. Authenticity is generally defined as self-awareness of one’s fundamental purpose: one’s core beliefs, values, and ethical practices, all of which are germane to a unique self and which constitute one’s “Moral Compass” (Cooper et al 2005; Gardner et al 2005; Sparrowe 2005; George and Sims 2007; Woods 2007). According to George and Sims, the Moral Compass, which they call True North, is an orienting point “based on what is most important to you, your most cherished values, your passions and motivations, the sources of satisfaction in your life” (2007: xxiii).1 Leaders are described as authentic if they have undergone rigorous self-reflection to understand their moral compasses, and if they engage in practices appropriate to these inner core beliefs. Essentially, the process of becoming an authentic “self” mirrors the process of becoming an authentic leader, ideally culminating in behaviors that create 1 collaborative, empowering, and sustainable relationships with followers in order to achieve collective “missions.” The leadership course offers a unique opportunity to examine these key concerns, given its elite status, selective application process, high profile professors and guest speakers, and longitudinal nature. The professors of the course are the president of the university (USC), Steven Sample, and well-known leadership scholar Warren Bennis. Guest speakers include leaders in politics, business, religion and the arts. The course is entitled “The Art and Adventure of Leadership,” a moniker that rejects a simplified vision of leadership; rather, it emphasizes the breadth and variety of leadership styles. Entrance into the course is highly competitive; for example, in spring 2007, more than 350 students applied for 42 seats. The class seeks to engage with students across disciplines and leadership arenas. Members include graduates of, among other fields, business, cinema, fine arts, international relations, engineering, education, anthropology, and biology. The course has been taught once per year for thirteen years, and counts nearly five hundred students as graduates. As such, it constitutes a nearly singular opportunity to observe the long-term socialization of emerging leaders within a curriculum that emphasizes dialogue, personal development and civic engagement. In addition, it offers a community of members who are actively interested in questions about leadership as well as its practice. While clearly these members’ perspectives, attitudes and practices of leadership have been shaped by more than just the leadership course, they represent a group that developed a common language and set of ideologies. Studying this community, and in particular analyzing the similarities and differences 2 between graduates of different years, offers an ethnographic sample by which to address the key question of what it means to be an ideal leader in modern American society. A. Cultural Context: The New Economy This study occurs at the juncture of two major forces. The first involves global forces restructuring modes of government and commerce, which, in turn, have resulted in shifting contexts and definitions of work and leadership. This new world of work has resulted in part from the spread of neoliberal market forces and the globalization of capital, which have contributed to the rise of large transnational corporations, partial American deindustrialization, and the formation of a service and knowledge-based economy (Zuboff 1988; Benner 2002; Castells 2002; Cooper and Burke 2002; Ross 2003; Hearn and Michelson 2006). Increases in knowledge-based work, technology, transportation speed, and communication are intrinsically linked to a “New Economy” culture that encourages risk and individual entrepreneurship. The concomitant rhetoric calls for the development of the “self” as a worker and a leader (Applebaum 1984; Sennett 1998, 2006; Beck 2002; Ross 2003; Castells 2006). Settersten el al (2005) note that this fluidity and instability of careers has led to increasingly long amounts of time for young adults to become financially autonomous. This period between teenage years and adulthood is often termed “adultolescence.” I note the impacts of these effects on the members’ ideas about and practices of becoming a leader. The second force is a decline in public trust of charismatic and excessively powerful individuals. The current media-driven social discourse around public distrust of overly charismatic and powerful individuals (over-paid CEOs of large corporations, 3 corporate fraud, corrupt political figures) has resulted in a public negation of excess power and control of wealth collected in a few individuals. This backlash against certain powerful individuals has consequences for the ways individual leaders are created, maintained, and thought of, as well as for the rhetoric concerning notions of what makes a “good” leader. A number of leadership scholars argue that authentic leadership and practices offer an antidote to the current perceived crises in leadership (Avolio et al 2005; Sparrowe 2005; George and Sims 2007). Much of the leadership literature defines authenticity in relation to self-awareness of one’s fundamental purpose: one’s core beliefs, values, and ethical practices, all of which are germane to a unique self and which constitute one’s Moral Compass (Cooper et al 2005; Gardner et al 2005; Sparrowe 2005; Woods 2007). Leaders are described as authentic if they have undergone rigorous selfreflection to understand their moral compasses, and if they engage in practices appropriate to these inner core beliefs. These ideas of becoming “the self” and finding a life purpose are grounded, in part, in American ideals of individualism. The recent selfhelp movements have added a deeper inflection, insisting that Americans can and should discover their innermost selves and translate that discovery into a meaningful life path (McGee 2005; Salerno 2005). B. Core Research Questions This study critically synthesizes the impacts of these two major forces on American ideals of leaders and leadership. Specifically, it will address the following core research questions. 4 • What does it mean to be an authentic leader? Do discussions surrounding authenticity reflect a larger social shift in how we think about, create, and maintain leaders and the rhetoric of leadership? • How has the rise of global capital and the so-called New Economy impacted these constructions? • How are notions of leadership and what it means to be a leader constructed by this leadership course and the broader culture of leadership studies? How are these notions negotiated, coded, and then disseminated? • Finally, how do notions of “authenticity” and “leadership” play out in realworld everyday work practices by graduates of this class? To what extent do they construct themselves as authentic selves, workers and leaders? Also, to what extent do they value authenticity in leadership? Insights to these questions were gleaned from a four-year ethnographic study of the leadership course. I conducted participant observation of the course seminars, a questionnaire disseminated online and answered by 128 members, and in-depth audiotaped interviews with twenty members. My analysis will situate my findings in relation to what I identify as a paradigmatic shift in the ways idealized American leaders are constructed, reproduced, and evaluated. The “old” paradigm, one paramount since the mid-twentieth century, privileged a “Lone Ranger” type of leader. These leaders flourished within the “iron cage” of rigidly hierarchical bureaucracies (Weber 1930), gaining prestige via individual material accomplishments. A prime example is General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who 5 is often credited with “single-handedly” driving the company’s meteoric success. However, the company floundered in some ways after his departure. Lacking his singular personality at the helm, the company has struggled to rework its image as something other than “Jack Welch’s company.” As charismatic and successful as individuals like Welch have been, the increasingly risky and instable nature of modern capitalism demands leadership that can be replicated and securely maintained within long-term social relationships. As such, leadership has become an increasingly important social commodity. Its importance is underscored by the shifts in culturally described qualities of leaders who are effective and, importantly, “good,” i.e. morally and socially responsible. The new paradigm likewise rejects a rigid model of hierarchical leadership that leads to solitary and instable leaders. Instead, and partly in response to the risks individuals face in the New Economy, leaders are no longer rewarded as robustly for their charismatic appeal, or “personality,” alone. Achievement of authoritative positions, what Weber (1947) termed “legitimate” authority, now to some degree requires new forms of social capital embedded within “the self.” This self is reflected in the degree to which leaders establish themselves as authentic and embody idealized characteristics. The members of the leadership class express these characteristics as work and leadership that gains elite status by dint of publicly stated service to others, rather than for individual gain. “Good” leaders, those who are rewarded with elite status, are thus those who speak to service and who lead by acting according to the self’s inner moral compass 6 rather than by glorifying the achievement of or publicly seeking positions of financial or capital gain (Greenleaf 2002; George and Sims 2007). Fame gained solely by position or class is shunned to a degree. Likewise, members express guilt at working to achieve money, though they acknowledge its necessity. Rather, they seek to be known as individuals who “give” rather than receive; the primary mechanism through which they give is to publicly share their private selves. Thus, becoming an authentic self is considered a vital step to becoming a good leader. Leadership in itself is no longer as culturally valid a goal as it was in the late twentieth century. Leadership via expressing service through action is a newer, nuanced marker of success. The popular and scholarly discourse around authenticity mirrors these values by eschewing authoritative power in favor of gaining fame and prestige through service that is “true” to the leader’s self. The leadership class expresses these values and validates the concept of servant leadership as an increasingly important path toward a socially elite status of “leader.” II. SITUATING THE COURSE AS A SITE OF STUDY In this section I situate the course as a learning community and a community of practice. Wenger et al define communities of practice as “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (2002: 4). As what Wenger et al call a “knowledge-based social structure,” the leadership course brings together experts in leadership scholarship, elite practitioners of leadership, and leadership apprentices in an intensive weekly seminar format. 7 The course website outlines its mission as follows: This course is designed to expose you to the areas of knowledge and kinds of competencies that are fundamental to the study and practice of leadership in multiple settings. The content of the course draws from several academic disciplines that inform the study of leadership. We will focus on the conceptual aspects of leadership, and will discover the skills and practices of exemplary leaders. At the conclusion of the course, it is expected that you will be acquainted with the interpersonal and technical skills needed for effective communication, decision-making, motivation, and public policy. This course is structured to emphasize some of the philosophical and historical foundations of leadership. The relationships among leadership theory, leadership practice, and the moral-ethical aspects of leadership will be emphasized. A variety of innovative teaching techniques will involve a high level of classroom participation and will require student participation in intensive group situations. In each class, you will be challenged to think critically and imaginatively about the content covered. Classes will actively involve you through lectures, seminar-style discussions, reading assignments, movies, debates, guest speakers, and case studies. In short, this is not a course for the passive thinker. The course is designed for you, if you are prepared to work hard and commit to the challenges presented. It seeks actively to engage and challenge you to challenge yourself, your peers, and your instructors. (See Appendix for complete website content) While the class in part relies on traditional pedagogical tools such as lectures, essays, group projects, and exams, a majority of the class revolves around debate and discussion. Much of the discussion in class focuses on the philosophical question of what it means to be a good leader. This takes the form of themes such as ethical leadership, Machiavellian leadership, civic engagement, and how to balance work and personal lives. When I asked members how they would describe the class to a total stranger, the majority responded that they would classify the class as an “experience” in personal development rather than a typical college class. 8 The pedagogical aspects of the class mirror this emphasis on personal experience. Written essays include such topics as “What is your greatest strength as a leader,” “To what extent do you value honesty in leadership,” “Describe a time you made a Machiavellian decision as a leader,” and “What is your greatest crucible (or life-changing experience)?” Lecture content includes topics such as generational differences between leaders, the core competencies of effective leaders, and the differences between “good” and “effective” leaders. Guest speakers are invited to discuss any aspect of leadership they desire; the only request is to include an in-depth question and answer period. In the past, guests have focused on the necessity for members to engage in public service, the ethical challenges of leadership, the empowerment of followers, and the advantages of leaders fully knowing themselves. While students learn via reading, talking, and writing about leadership, they are also expected to observe and practice leadership outside of the seminars. The group projects are semester-long, and many students spend upwards of fifteen hours per week developing their projects. These projects are frequently service-based; examples include a group that created a lending toy library for local elementary school children, a group that helped local eighth-graders write their own plays and then recruited college thespians to perform them, and a group that raised the funds to take six local high school students to Sacramento for a three-day leadership workshop. A. Researcher Positionality I have performed as an assistant lecturer for the course for four years, and as such I have been intimately involved in observing and engaging with the course content and 9 students. I began my involvement in the spring semester of 2004, and two years later, in the spring of 2006, I became seriously interested in performing ethnographic work with the graduates of the class. As an assistant lecturer for the course and an ethnographer, I wore two hats during fieldwork. Thus, my relationship to the students and the project differs from most “traditional” fieldwork, as I occupied a position with greater coercive power and agency than most observers. I have also been in this position for four years and have contributed to the curriculum by suggesting essay and exam prompts and also guiding students through their written work, which has created a number of personal tensions about my role as an observer and a teacher. As Agar (1996) has argued, fieldwork is risky and problematic; ethnographers can experience dissolution of the self and the question from informants and audiences of “who are you to do this?” My own “self” is balancing a tightly interwoven emic perspective with an etic analysis. Doing this fieldwork has required a reflexive stance and a detailed and nuanced analysis of my positionality within the course and the politics inherent in representing the members (and, obviously, an acknowledgment of individual histories, contexts and identities within the broader “category” of “members”). I must also acknowledge my own interactions within the learning community of the class (Ortner 2003). I participated as a meaningful member of the class, co-creating the key sites of my immersion into this community (by grading the class and holding indepth office hours) and by adopting an outsider’s stance, observing the students’ discussions with each other, the professors and the guest speakers. In that sense I have often assisted in mediating students’ experiences of the concept of “authenticity.” Value 10 can still be discovered in those conversations, as I encouraged open debate and selfreflection upon those course concepts. The richness of these debates reflects the tensions between students’ concepts of self and those mediated by the class. Thus, I practiced as an “expert” and also observed the relationship between myself-as-expert and the various ways students interacted with and contested my stance. III. METHODOLOGY Data for this project include extensive type-written fieldnotes of participant observations conducted of the leadership class during spring 2007. Data also include participant observations of an 11-year reunion of approximately 200 class members (October 2006), questionnaires distributed by email to 200 course members, audio-taped in-depth interviews with individual class members, and audio-taped small discussion groups. Ortner’s (2003) study of her high school class 35 years after graduation provides a framework for considering this collection of classmates as a community, although my study looks at members who graduated over twelve years. In Ortner’s work, she examined the relationships between gender, social class, education and ethnicity to understand the ways members negotiated the rise of late capitalism. She drew on several methods in her research that I employed in this study, namely questionnaires and semistructured interviews. A. Questionnaires Ortner (2003) employed questionnaires as initial recruiting tools and as a means to gather data relevant to her study of social class, such as marital status and type of work 11 performed. Likewise, I used an initial questionnaire, emailed to all 250 members for whom I have current email addresses, to solicit members’ initial responses to the notion of authenticity and recruit interested participants for further research and interviews. More than 125 responded, either in part or in depth. I then randomly selected 20 for indepth interviews, either face-to-face or via the telephone. To assist in comparing members’ concepts of work and leadership within a larger context of individual experience, I gathered data across a number of dimensions, including: year of graduation, major, gender, ethnicity most identified with, marital status, leadership roles in college, leadership roles post-graduation, and a number of queries regarding the work they have performed (size of firm or organization, type of job, whether management, professional, service-oriented, public service, etc.). B. Semi-Structured Interviews Interviews are opportunities for the ethnographer to engage with participants in informal discussions of key concepts, and allow the ethnographer to gather individuals’ perceptions and experiences in order to write rich, thick descriptions (O’Reilly 2005). In these interviews, I elicited individual responses and behaviors that move beyond classroom scripts and that may suggest “latent dimensions” (Levy and Hollan, 1998:334) of the class, the idea of authenticity and the meaning of work, and how interactions between these arenas and themes are constructed by each member. I have conducted 20 individual interviews with class members, lasting between one and two hours. These were opportunities for me to collect information about their earlier socialization into the rhetoric of leadership and authenticity, as well as ask deeper questions about their own 12 experiences both within the class and in their current work position(s). Because the class is comprised of student leaders across disciplines (arts, theater, business, science, etc.) they are currently working in a wide variety of fields. Thus I gathered comparative data for the scope and reach of this concept of “authenticity.” I transcribed the interviews and thematically coded them for insights into their individual constructions of authenticity and the meaning of work. C. Class Reunion In October 2006, a weekend reunion, or what O’Reilly (2005) would call a “key event”, of class members from all 11 previous years was held. The reunion constitutes a key event insofar as it served as a moment when many aspects of the culture under study became apparent. The reunion was a reminder that these members had once formed a face-to-face community (albeit spread over eleven years) that shared similar language cues (“leadership,” “authenticity,” etc.), and often was an intense experience. Most members who attended the weekend events described the class as the “best, most challenging, most important and long-lasting” event of their college careers. At the reunion I conducted one small-group discussion and several individual interviews with volunteers. Many of them have contacted me post-reunion to express their desire to assist with my research. D. Class Interaction The class seminars offered the most structured aspect of the data sets for this project. The class met once per week for three and a half hours, with occasional additional outside classes. These classes were composed of lecture time by one of the two 13 professors, question-and-answer periods, small group discussion, and guest speakers. Guest speakers were typically high-profile community and national leaders. These moments offered space to observe the processes of socialization of these students by their instructors. IV. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND This study is inspired by socio-cultural forces within the New Economy, namely global forces reshaping commerce and politico-economic borders. While recognizing the importance of formal institutions of power, such as nation-states, this dissertation primarily examines the ideologies and practices of a particular group of people. By locating authenticity as a rhetorical strategy for negotiating competitive work and leadership arenas, this dissertation is informed by anthropological works that analyze the ways individuals and collective entities achieve power, influence, reputation and renown. I locate this study at the juncture of three primary literatures: a. political anthropology and the study of elites b. literature examining the effects of the New Economy on leadership, and in particular upon young leaders, and c. Discourses centered upon authenticity and leadership. A. Political Anthropology and Elites My study examines a group of members who to some degree have been socialized as elites who are emerging into a global economy. Thomas Friedman (2005) argues that globalization, multinational corporations, and increasing knowledge-based workforces in Indian, China and elsewhere are resulting in a “flattened” world, with Americans beginning to lose their elite status as hegemonic controllers of knowledge and trade. This 14 study analyzes part of this competitive trend and its resulting intersections with how people think about leadership. Abner Cohen, in his seminal work The Politics of Elite Cultures (1981), notes how groups of people work to create somewhat closed systems of symbols and practices in order to retain an elite status, which he argues creates political power not always equal to the institutional power these groups may hold. This dissertation examines the socialization of members of a long-running leadership class at a major research university in Southern California, who are emerging into workplaces with a shared language and experience of leadership. This study is an analysis of the ways members invoke “authenticity” as a strategy to redefine and retain elite status and thus negotiate complicated global platforms of work and power. Political anthropologists have long been concerned with questions of what constitutes an elite person and an elite culture. Studies abound that examine the nuances of the legitimization of power and leadership and how elites reproduce themselves (Shore 2002). Abner Cohen was a particularly strong contributor to the field, doing fieldwork in several African groups to understand how elite cultures were created and how they worked. However, less work has been done to study elites in America. In 1972, Laura Nader issued a call to “study up,” to examine the rich and powerful rather than the more traditional subaltern groups studied by anthropologists. Other scholars have called for an “anthropology at home,” revoking the paternalistic and imperialist practices of earlier anthropologists who studied and represented the primitive, exotic “other” (Jackson 1987). This study centers upon a group of mainly American members of an elite leadership class, who were selected out of a large pool of students described by course materials as 15 the “best and the brightest.” The students and members of the course are marked by three factors of elitism: as students at a major research university, as student leaders, and finally as student leaders selected to participate in this prestigious leadership course. However, they come from varied backgrounds with different life stories and trajectories toward leadership. This project examines the connections between an “elite” status and process of socialization within the class and the daily lived experiences of the members. 1. Big Man Leadership In particular, this study draws from studies of informal institutions of individual influence, authority and leadership, specifically the “big man” literatures that have come out of Melanesian fieldwork and social theory (Sahlins 1963; Brown 1990; Lederman 1990). These works on the concept of power through personhood rather than authority or role are useful to my study in several key ways. Sahlins’ discussion of how individuals use personality, alliances, symbols and renown to create avenues for political influence are key to my analysis of authenticity as a rhetorical and behavioral strategy for western leaders to carve out distinguished reputations. Many of these American leaders are often incapable of creating multiple strands of interpersonal relationships in large organizations, and these organizations are certainly not kin-based. However, the backlash against “impersonal and excessively powerful” leaders has resulted in a number of leaders beginning to reject rhetoric that places them in hierarchical “chief” like positions. The rhetoric implies that rank and status should not be the goals of a leader; rather, a leader should seek to fully express him or herself through “good” work in collaboration with others. In some ways they are attempting to structure 16 a “fictive kin” network of alliances, which may be a necessary and useful strategy within the environs of modern capitalism. This expresses a key melding of individual goals and the social ideal of action performed for a collective good, similar to the kinds of public oratory that big-men performed to convince others to follow them. In this sense both big men and authentic leaders are entrepreneurs of the self. This dissertation considers the degree to which authentic leadership represents a real break with organizational norms in America and to what degree the rhetoric is simply rhetoric. Big man leadership is an ephemeral, idiosyncratic form of leadership that is not systematic (Strathern 1984). While the alums of this class often operate within large corporations with systematically coded forms of leadership, I argue that authenticity represents a nuanced political maneuvering to gain these hierarchical positions. Industrial organizations and the corporations of the first decades of the New Economy focused on achievement within positions. Reputations and fame rested upon myths and narratives of individual accomplishment, measurable results, and material gains. I argue that authenticity represents an inflection toward the social capital of prestige through giving. The story of becoming a “good” American leader is shifting in some ways to a story of reciprocity, public prestations, and the giving of the self, similar in some ways to the potlatch, the moka, or the kula ring. In return for the self’s “giving,” followers respond with degrees of loyalty, work productivity, and time commitments that are increasingly becoming rarer in modern work environments. 17 B. Leadership at Work in the New Economy In the closing lines of his final book, anthropologist Eric Wolf wrote: “At this millennial transition, the human capacity to envision imaginary worlds seems to be shifting into high gear. For anthropologists and others, greater concern with how ideas and power converge seems eminently warranted” (1999:291). This study takes up a small portion of this challenge by examining the relationships between “authentic” leadership and the ideas and practices of leadership at work. As such, this study is framed by ideas central to a political economy approach, specifically those that examine the social value of labor and its relationship to power. A political economy approach examines the connections between political institutions and economic forces (Lewellen 2003). Leadership, as a component of both labor and power, is a social commodity that is currently being reworked within a “New Work Order” (Gee et al 1996). Work is a vital arena to study for clues of changing cultural practices and norms; Castells argues that “the decisive structural transformation in economy and society is the one affecting work and employment” (2002: x). The rhetoric surrounding authenticity is a strategy to gain prestige, and some measure of power, by creating a narrative of a leader who achieves reputation and renown via doing “good” work. This authentic leader is symbolically different than leaders who stand alone through charisma. Authentic leaders are collaborative and interested in empowering others rather than solely achieving individual gain. Critics of the New Economy contend that modernization and a knowledge and service-based economy serve to undermine employee security and create greater 18 instability, anxieties and processes of isolation and individualization (Beck 1992; 2000; Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002; Elliott and Lemert 2006). A key component of this New Economy is the amount of risk taken on by individuals (Appelbaum 2001; Beck 1992; 2000; Sennett 2006). Hytrek and Zentgraf note (2008) that the advent of market deregulation has created a decrease in social welfare programs and placed a heavy emphasis upon the individual’s responsibility to create his or her own class status. Richard Sennett writes that “risk is to become a daily necessity shouldered by the masses” (1998: 80). Likewise, members of the class spoke frequently of their need to balance their pursuit of leadership goals with risky financial moves. In Risk Society, Ulrich Beck argues that postfordism has created a number of new social characteristics and life changes for individuals that vary significantly from traditional life and work trajectories. Chief among these are a growing detachment from employers and workplaces, greater flexibility in work and leisure patterns, and rising economic insecurity. Beck compares these changes to similarities in work and life patterns in Brazil; “the spread of temporary and insecure employment, discontinuity and loose informality into Western societies that have hitherto been the bastions of full employment. The social structure in the heartlands of the West is thus coming to resemble the patchwork quilt of the South, characterized by diversity, unclarity and insecurity in people’s work and life” (2000: 1). Authentic leaders attempt to buffer these effects of modern capital with their emphasis on creating lasting relationships, increased loyalty within team-based work units, and increased community involvement. 19 C. Authenticity and Good Leadership This study is concerned with what it means to be a “good” leader in modern American society. I discuss a “good” leader in reference to what members perceive as an ideal leader, as envisioned by the course, in addition to their attitudes toward leaders in the “real world.” Ultimately, to become a good leader, and thus a member of the elite, a leader is encouraged to become authentic, to amass social capital through good works, and to continue recycling prestige and power by giving back to followers or the community. This is different than previous modes of achievement in American leadership, which privileged individuals who amassed great power via financial or material achievements. These leaders may or may not have engaged in meaningful social work, but they were celebrated for their individuality. Today’s “good” leader is encouraged, partly via a new social discourse on elevating the “self,” to think of leadership as the primary conduit to “giving back” rather than the end goal in itself. Key to my frame of analysis is the current cultural emphasis on the “authentic self” as the marker of a good leader, one who is moral, a good citizen, and who recalls the focus on “character” that was prominent in previous centuries. The most visible definition of character comes from Emerson, who defined it as “moral order through the medium of individual nature.” The cultural notion of character was one that spoke to a higher moral duty, social obligations, and “manhood” expressed through the Protestant Work Ethic, with the emphasis on “work as essential in a society that was constantly stressing producer values” (Susman: 214). Work was thus a vehicle for discovering and expressing individual moral merit as well as solidifying community ties (Weber 1930). 20 In 1979, historian Warren Susman argued that modern culture, particularly EuroAmerican culture, has shifted from a focus on “character” to a focus on “personality,” writing that “one of the things that makes the modern world ‘modern’ is the development of consciousness of self” (212). Tyler Cowen, in his work on fame, argues that “modernity produces a social ideology based on individualism, self-fulfillment, and entertainment” 2000: 171). This stress on personality contains connotations far different to those stressed by Emerson, such as “fascinating, stunning, magnetic, masterful, creative, dominant, and forceful” (Susman 217). To quote Henri Laurent, who wrote Personality: How to Build it in 1915, “Personality is the quality of being Somebody” (cited in Susman 1979: 218). Building upon iconic individuals of the early twentieth century, such as Rockefeller and Carnegie, “Lone Ranger” leaders epitomized these “being Somebody” qualities by projecting auras of extreme individual achievement. Authentic leaders, while being “true” to their inner selves, in some part reject the idea of being an idolized personality. Instead, they speak to an ideal of creating stable teams by empowering followers. D. Authenticity as a Key Term Raymond Williams’ Key Words (1976) provides a framework for considering authenticity as a focus for this discussion of the changing notions of leadership. He inquires into vocabulary to tease out certain words’ social meanings and particular histories, noting that many of them are bound up in some sense of “significance and difficulty” (13). For example, he notes that the term “culture” underwent a rapid increase in usage in both scholarly and popular lexicon during the middle of the twentieth century. 21 Intrigued by this, he noted that culture was originally a specialized term that referred to “high” culture (the arts) and also was used by academics to refer to the set of beliefs of a group of people. Current usage, he argued, was increasingly implying a critical perspective of a whole way of life via complex connections to class, democracy, and industry. His book examines a number of key words, from aesthetic to work, contextualizing them to analyze their social and cultural sets of meanings and the ways they shape and reflect processes of change. Likewise, this study examines the ways authenticity maps American ideals and practices of leadership. V. CHAPTER OUTLINES A. Chapter Two – Characteristics of the New Economy This chapter considers the larger economic and leadership context influencing these young leaders’ career, and thus leadership, choices. Many scholars of the economy argue that the recent liberalization of global capital ushered in what they term a New Economy, one that privileges profit-seeking behavior, entrepreneurship, individualism, and competitive risk (Giddens 1990; Sennett 2006; Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). A primary thread throughout the data I collected is a tension between the members’ desires to find meaningful careers and the amount of risk they feel they can take on in work and leadership positions. Additionally, the New Economy has led to greater instability in social and leadership relationships, which impacts the members’ desires to create authentic alliances. 22 B. Chapter Three – Building a Community of Practice This chapter describes the ideology of the course and the practices it (and the larger American leadership academy) deems appropriate for moral, socially responsible leaders. The chapter begins by detailing the history of the course, the mythology associated with it, and the initiation process that begins the socialization of these young, would-be leaders. The second section outlines the discourse around idealized leadership. C. Chapter Four –On Becoming an Authentic Leader: Creating the Self This chapter focuses on the course and members’ descriptions of how young apprentices should go about “becoming” an authentic, good leader. In this chapter I outline the four main stages I argue comprise “becoming” an authentic “self”: introspection, odyssey, reintegration, and network-creation. I situate this idealized process within members’ discussions of their “real-life” development as leaders. This process in many ways mirrors anthropological work on rites of passage. I also synthesize it within American popular culture’s depictions of the appropriate path to young adulthood, the American self-help movement, and the context of the New Economy. D. Chapter Five – Network-Creation: Authenticity, Alliances, and Big Men This chapter considers the application of the rhetoric of authenticity within larger arenas of leadership, power, and elitism. Here, I discuss the relationship between the notion of authenticity and its use as a strategy to gain social capital and some measure of prestige within larger alliances. Authenticity, while ostensibly focused on selfdevelopment, ultimately insists on a service-based collaboration with others within a network. These networks operate or are set up to mimic alliances of individuals engaged 23 in a common mission. Likewise, authentic leaders often engage in public prestations of the self by giving of themselves in order to achieve their goals, similar to the actions of Big Men (Sahlins 1963). Features of the New Economy, specifically the anxieties created by individualization and risk (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002; Sennett 2006), are deeply intertwined with my analysis of the members’ desires to create networks in order to develop some sense of stability. E. Chapter Six – Authentic Leaders Give Back: Ideals and Practices of Servant Leadership This chapter examines one of the key tenets of becoming an authentic leader – finding “meaning” or a life’s purpose that reflects the “self” and is also socially responsible. This social responsibility is often at odds with the highly individualized American Dream, but is increasingly becoming more prominent as a mandate assigned to leaders by management texts, leadership journals and programs, and popular media. While leaders, including the young leaders of the course, often publicly eschew personal fame or financial gain as the rewards they seek, they also portray personal struggles of finding financial security within an ideology of civic duty. This chapter examines the daily tensions members associate between being a member of an elite group (“leaders”), with a professed desire to give back to others, and their individual needs and desires. F. Conclusion The conclusion reiterates the major themes of the dissertation. I summarize the contributions my study makes to larger bodies of scholarship and pose questions for 24 future research. Finally, I consider the degree to which leadership, as a commodity, is considered an increasingly important form of cultural capital. VI. CONCLUSION By examining the ways in which these members are socialized into notions and practices befitting “authentic” leaders and workers, this study will contribute to scholarship on authentic leadership and leadership studies (Avolio et al 2005; George and Sims 2007; Riggio et al 2003). By analyzing the ways authenticity shapes rhetoric around doing “good work” in the New Economy, this dissertation will contribute to scholarship analyzing the impacts of modern capitalism on work and leadership (Giddens 1990; Sennett 2006; Settersten et al 2005; Shershow 2005; Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). Finally, by examining the ways these members consider themselves members of an elite group, and also by analyzing their descriptions of how “elites” should create and then spend power and social capital, this work will contribute to political anthropology (Cohen 1981; Shore 2002; Watson 2002). 25 VII. CHAPTER ONE ENDNOTE 1 This idea of finding those inner qualities and defining values that are most germane to the self, which leadership scholars often refer to as the “Moral Compass,” has a long history of thought in social studies, philosophy and religious writings. For more, please see Lasch 1979, Lind 2000, and McGee 2005. 26 CHAPTER TWO CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW ECONOMY I. INTRODUCTION This chapter summarizes the literature that examines the New Economy. This work provides the cultural context for my analysis of members’ ideas about authenticity and becoming an authentic leader in four key ways. First, it highlights the ways individuals feel disconnected from others in a global landscape of fluid career changes and transient, knowledge-based work environments. Second, it provides a background for the levels of insecurity members feel about their work prospects, given the rapidity with which the work landscape changes. Third, it provides insights into the lengthening period young adults take to find stability within such risk and anxiety about finding financial stability. Finally, it situates my analysis in later chapters that members badly desire to create themselves as “authentic” in order to build meaningful alliances and relationships with others. These relationships, as I will explain in subsequent chapters, are often defined as collective “missions.” These relationships, I argue, are important to build in order to create follower loyalties and create stable platforms to engage in leadership. A. Background This chapter aims to contextualize the modern work and leadership environment into which the member of this class are emerging. To accomplish this aim, this chapter examines key changes in American business practices in the past three decades, namely 1. The rise of neoliberal economics, American deindustrialization, and the emergence of concomitant large transnational corporations (TNCs), 2. The characteristics and impacts 27 of modern capital, and, 3. American ideas about work as a “mission” and rhetoric about collaborative and “humane” workplaces that foster socially meaningful work. The rise of neoliberal economics has shifted work patterns in three major ways that are important to this study. First, it has drastically increased the ability of producers to seek large amounts of capital outside of the state’s borders and with a decrease in state oversight. This has driven the dramatic rise of large TNCs, which has in turn created a number of jobs that are both within and outside the purview of Americans. Second, it has led to what many scholars call a deindustrialization of America; most manufacturing jobs have relocated to other nations (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). Today, eight out of every ten jobs in America are service-related (i.e. not in manufacturing). Third, and in conjunction with technology, it has created multiple market niches. In many ways this corresponds to David Harvey’s notion of “flexible accumulation,” which in part argues that individual tastes can be accommodated easily (1989). Importantly, this has also led to an explosion in job opportunities, titles, positions, niches, etc., which means that changing jobs and/or careers is feasible and often done. This last shift is reflected in the sheer number of opportunities available for leadership in modern American work landscapes. A recent study argues that current college graduates today will have 14 different careers (careers – not just jobs) throughout their lifetimes, 10 of which haven’t been invented yet. Technology and web-based entrepreneurship has exploded over the past decade or so (Castells 2006; English-Lueck 2001). These processes have created numerous opportunities for new network-based jobs. Because these jobs can often be done online, many of them are competed for by 28 non-Americans. The vastness in opportunity as well as the pressure to find a successful niche has influenced the perception of job satisfaction as well as loyalties toward employers. As a member, Carrie, put it, “I know I’ll be moving on in two to three years, so I’m less likely to be interested in achieving an employer’s vision. I’m more interested in fulfilling my own vision.” These vast choices have contributed to shifts in American attitudes toward work. New jobs are being invented daily, and communication technology as well as new corporate attitudes toward flexibility and “teamwork” have meant that many workers are dependent upon others for completion of their work. Particularly in the knowledge-based job sectors, scholars have noted a surge in descriptions of work as almost a “mission,” with social benefits as one of the stated goals of the work and corporate mission statement (Gee et al 1996; English-Lueck 2001). Job satisfaction is a highly sought-after commodity, and many companies explicitly create programs to retain workers. B. Chapter Organization This chapter is organized into three sections. The first section outlines the central concerns and debates of anthropologists studying globalization and political economy in order to situate this study within current anthropological approaches to studying the local and the global. The second section sketches the environment of modern work by examining the rise of capital and the large TNCs that dominate the work landscape and have contributed to American deindustrialization and, thus, a knowledge-based economy. The third section considers the theoretical work done by scholars to characterize modern capitalism and its effects upon work environments, the social value of labor, and impacts 29 upon the range of choices faced by members of the class when they emerge into work and leadership practices. II. ANTHROPOLOGY, POLITICAL ECONOMY, AND GLOBALIZATION Anthropologists studying political economy today often do so by analyzing local responses to global forces (Lewellen 2002; Eriksen 2003; Kearney 2004; Inda and Rosaldo 2008). Kearney argues that anthropology, in order to remain a robust discipline, must confront globalization to better understand the processes impacting local communities. He argues for “vertical and horizontal integration” within ethnographic pursuits, calling for anthropologists to carefully situate their study within larger processes. This study examines a specific local community, this group of member of an elite leadership class, to understand their attitudes toward leadership in connection to larger capitalistic forces that have recently reshaped the work arenas in which they practice leadership. These arenas, particularly those of American business enterprises, are continuing to be reshaped, as the speed of capital and the intensification of high-speed and long-distance communication continue to increase (Harvey 1989; Hearn and Michelson 2006). Defining globalization is a large and probably impossible task; it is an increasingly contested term. Many popular references define it in economic terms, pointing out the increasingly connected networks of national economies and large transnational companies. Lewellen defines globalization as “the increasing flow of trade, finance, culture, ideas and people brought about by the sophisticated technology of communications and travel and by the worldwide spread of neoliberal capitalism, and it is 30 the local and regional adaptations to and resistances against these flows” (2003: 8). Eriksen (2003) argues that the term globalization is used too casually and as a blanket term. He calls it a “promiscuous and unfaithful word engaging in a bewildering variety of relationships, most of which would be better off using more accurate concepts” (4). He argues that “transnational flows” is a term that more accurately captures the material, bodily and ideational flows across borders and through mass communication. He also argues that the focus should be less on macro, impersonal processes and more upon daily lives, “The global only exists to the extent that it is being created through ongoing social life” (Eriksen 2003:5). Globalization may also be viewed as an ideology; neoliberalism assumes that if countries engage in global capitalism standards of living will be raised and cooperation between nations will ensure peace (Lewellen 2003). In contrast, many scholars studying global effects on local communities (including many anthropologists) view globalization as a threat to the relatively powerless and marginalized peoples of the world, indigenous autonomy, the environment, women’s rights, labor markets, etc. A number of anthropologists have recently published works examining globalization. These works include several edited volumes, such as Globalisation: Studies in Anthropology (edited by Thomas Eriksen), The Anthropology of Politics (Joan Vincent), The Anthropology of Globalization (Ted Lewellen), Practicing Ethnography in a Globalizing World (June Nash), and The Cultural Dimensions of Global Change (Lourdes Arizpe), to name only a selection. Many of the works in these volumes argue that studying the local is still vital to anthropology; “the global” is far too broad to fully examine. Themes that dominate 31 these works include transnationalism, diaporas, human rights violations, environmentalism, indigenous movements, and globalization from below. A large number of anthropologists are studying local social movements of marginalized peoples attempting to reclaim their indigenous identities and protect their resources or autonomy (Kearney 2004; Nash 2007). These movements are based in local communities but are responding to larger global economic, social and political pressures. Scholars also note processes of resistance to hegemonic forces and inequities in the world-wide distribution of wealth. Many argue that ethnographic studies are often portraits of resistance and transformation rather than assimilation (Lewellen 2002). In Practicing Ethnography in a Globalizing World, June Nash points out that anthropologists have not uncovered evidence to suggest that “global integration would lead toward a faceless, borderless, and homogenized world that exists only to consume the products that are endlessly reproduced in a global assembly line” (2007:8). Many scholars have examined transnationalism in an effort to understand how cross-border “flows” have impacted beliefs and practices of culture. Transnationalism implies that corporations, ideas and bodies are moving across national borders, but retains some sense of entities being centered in, or originating from, one or more nation-states (Kearney 1995). Globalization implies no such anchoring principle; instead Kearney argues that is should refer to processes that occur in a global space that transcends borders without a concrete center. Kearney suggests the term “trans-statal” to describe global processes that destabilize traditional purviews and jurisdictions of the nation-state, such as border-maintenance, citizenship, and foreign policy. As Kearney puts it: 32 Not only does deterritorialization obviate any notion of bounded cultures, but so does the constantly increasing volume and velocity of global transmission of information, images, simulacra, and stuff that is a diffusion of cultural traits gone wild, far beyond that imagined by the Boasians and creating a nightmare for contemporary cross-cultural correlational studies (2004: 227). Arjun Appadurai (1996) argues that anthropologists must consider deterritorialization, “the loosening of the bonds between people, wealth, and territories,” as a major factor influencing human culture today. He argues that the movements of media, people, and capital across borders, both real and imagined, result in fragmentations, fractures, and a nearly unlimited imagined social life. He suggests looking at the effects of globalization through five major dimensions, or scapes: ethnoscapes, technoscapes, finascapes, mediascapes, and ideoscapes. Graeber (2004) argues that Appadurai’s approach relies too heavily upon a theoretical model that is impractical in ethnographic studies. He suggests focusing more carefully on empirical data instead. He draws upon Anna Tsing’s work, in which she argues that globalization can best be understood as a series of processes. Lewellen (2003) identifies three major perspectives scholars of globalization may invoke: the skeptical, the evolutionary, and the hyperglobalist. Skeptics argue that globalization is vastly overrated, pointing out that the large-scale immigrations of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were far greater than contemporary diasporic movements. Additionally, they might argue that political, economic and military alliances, such as the EU, are evidence of regionalization rather than globalization. An evolutionary perspective argues that the processes we call globalization do exist, but they are extensions of processes that have been occurring for centuries and are not 33 “transforming world structures in any revolutionary manner” (10). TNCs, then, are a modern arm of colonial-era mercantile companies, and the colonial period was a far greater factor in cultural imperialism and cultural change than modern media. This study incorporates aspects of evolutionary and hyperglobalist perspectives to frame current work landscapes as markedly different than those prior to the explosion of capitalistic economies in the 1970s. Hyperglobalists assert that processes occurring today are far different and more radical than anything that happened previously. They might argue that today’s capitalism, what some call the postindustrial era, represents a rupture with previous modes of capitalism, preindustrial and industrial. Central to the hyperglobalism argument is the deterritorialization of production and finance. TNCs operate in numerous nations, and neoliberal market economies mean that currency is no longer measured against the gold standard and is no longer able to be controlled by states. Technology means that monies and information flow instantaneously across the globe. The state has limited abilities to influence the market and large international bodies (such as the World Bank) now determine finance policies. III. THE UNITED STATES AND THE RISE OF NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS In America Transformed (2008), sociologists Hytrek and Zentgraf argue that very little scholarly work has been done to examine local responses to globalization within the United States. While many of the popular discussions and debates surrounding globalization speak of it as a very recent phenomenon, the roots of international and intergroup contact, power struggles, trade and communication are long and complex. Globalization is not an “it” that has occurred outside of individual actors and groups; it is 34 a set of processes that have unfolded over a number of phases (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). In the following section I briefly trace these phases to understand how they have both created and impact current practices. I pay particular attention to those processes that have shaped American entrances into global economic activities. A. World Capitalist System The current Western international policies of deregulated free markets are embedded in particular histories. Wallerstein and Wolf argue that by 1400, nations and groups were already engaged with the “world” through trade and conquest. Some, such as Rome and China, were what Wallerstein termed world-empires, interested in conquest and forced taxes or tributes. Others, particularly European nations, created a “worldeconomy” through mercantilism, trade, dependence and systems of labor (Lewellen 2003). These relationships were different than empires as economic power was in the hands of the owners of the means of production rather than state rulers. The core countries were those who controlled trade and benefited the most in terms of wealth; those in the periphery supplied raw materials and, later, cheap labor. Wolf (1982) has critiqued this idea of a single integrated world system as far too simplistic, ignoring cultural, social and political differences. He argued that local communities could only be studied in terms of their particular experiences with and engagements with larger global processes. The industrial revolution, after about 1770 (Lewellen 2003) marked fundamental shifts in locally experienced social, political and economic structures. The shift from generally kin-based agricultural concerns to wage-labor marked a shift from collective 35 ways of making a living to individualism (Lewellen 2003). Workdays were now measured by long working shifts, which dramatically changed the ways that families interacted. Additionally, many families and individuals began migrating to urban centers to take advantage of industrial opportunities, which further reduced small, kin-based cultural life to a larger, disrupted social fabric. States continued to exert powerful control and regulations over markets until the nineteenth century. Three major economists, Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, and Karl Marx, influenced the shape of Western economic, and by extension, political, practices during the twentieth century. In The Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith argued that states should not intervene in the market place. He argued that competition within free markets, or capitalism, would dramatically improve the lives of all individuals. Educated during the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England, Smith saw economic growth and productivity in mechanization and the division of labor. Increased productivity created by labor specialization needed new markets for goods, and Smith called for international trade markets, albeit with tariff and tax controls levied by the state to protect against other nations gaining disproportionate wealth and military might. Ultimately, Smith believed that individual self-interest and the national interest were best served by competition and controlled trade. American economic interests were greatly shaped in the post-Industrial era. In the early 1900s, Henry Ford created a model of assembly-line efficiency, which drastically changed the way Western businesses operated. By minimizing production times, industries could now produce far greater quantities of goods for mass 36 consumption. These new goods needed consumers, but the majority of workers could not afford them. Producers also feared that if a depression hit, a vicious cycle of inflation and poverty might destroy industries. President Roosevelt responded with a series of social welfare and job protection programs, influenced by the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. In The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) and other works, Keynes advocated for strict government control of wages and companies, arguing that this would protect against recessions and would provide for a constant consumer base to purchase products. Thus, “Fordism” was born, which combined efficient industrial output with state regulation of wages (a social welfare program) and investments. After WWII, in order to speed up post-war recovery and effectively monitor and control international trade and tariffs, delegates from all 45 allied nations of the United Nations convened at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in July 1944. At this meeting, delegates agreed to value all currencies against a gold standard under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Two international bodies were formed to monitor currencies and loan money to developing and recovering nations: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now part of the World Bank). In 1995, GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Bretton Woods conference effectively ended national economies and created a larger world trade system, with an explicit goal of bringing developing nations into the market. Ikenberry (2007) argues that the United States imprinted itself into the geopolitical realm at this time by creating or co-creating a number of these institutions, which it then directly influenced. 37 Supported by these funding institutions, the Fordist model dominated most of the West after World War II. From about 1945-1970, this modernist approach to economics did, in fact, appear to improve many people’s economic well-being, or at least increased their ability to consume (Lewellen 2003). Lewellen notes that many developing nations attempted to follow this model, relying on David Ricardo’s notion of “comparative advantage,” which argued that each nation should exploit its particular resources and skill sets to gain an advantage in the international market place. Proponents argued that as nations developed, a rising central administration would spread the idea of economic progress through capitalism, generating capital and technology improvements. Theoretically, then, the developing economy would “take-off,” and the poorer “masses” would benefit through increased job opportunities. During the mid-1970s, a number of events slowed economic growth and led to the formation of neoliberal economics. The Iranian hostage crisis and increased oil costs drove up production costs world-wide, and in the United States stagflation rose (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). Stagflation was the simultaneous occurrence of high unemployment and inflation with stagnant economic growth. In 1980, voters elected Ronald Reagan, partly in response to conservative critics who argued that government was overregulating markets and was, in fact, the cause of economic problems, effectively negating Keynes’ argument. Hytrek and Zentgraf (2008) argue that Reagan’s success was partly due to social shifts away from labor-based markets to middle and upper-class markets. Along with Margaret Thatcher in England, Reagan proposed deregulated markets as a way for companies to increase growth. In addition, and partly due to the perceived rise in 38 middle-class political clout, Reagan proposed cutting corporate taxes and decreasing social welfare programs. Political supporters assisted these efforts by weakening labor unions. Proponents argued that a flexible market strategy would increase global stability, competition and growth through privatization and deregulation. Ultimately, these economic policies of deregulation allowed for the growth of large multinational corporations, placing power in the hands of capital rather than the state (Harvey 2006; Held and McGrew 2007; Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). Along with this shift, increases in technology and transportation have made international commerce nearly instantaneous. For local communities and workers, American state support of the business sector over social welfare programs has had a number of consequences. Namely, state-society relations were restructured when the rule of the market determined that the private sector was the primary engine of economic growth. Additionally, and perhaps most important to this study, the concept of the public good was replaced with the tenet of individual responsibility (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). The emphasis on competition was argued to encourage individuals to take primary responsibility for their class and social status. Thus, the rise of capital reframed social lives as well as work lives. Discussions within the leadership class frequently focused on the tensions of finding meaningful work within a capitalist framework. I will return to a deeper discussion of these narratives in Chapter Six. IV. CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN CAPITALISM Of particular importance to this study are the characteristics of modern capital that shape the work arenas within which these emerging leaders practice or will practice. This 39 space is primarily one that privileges knowledge-based work, work that mainly developed within large corporations as well as internet and other media companies. These corporations have created large networks of workers, information, and financial webs that instantaneously span time-zones, language barriers and state borders, with significant consequences for daily work lives. In Rethinking Work, Hearn and Michelson argue that the themes of time, space and discourse are “increasingly powerful tools for unlocking the complexities of the world of work” (2006:4). The next section outlines the major dimensions of social changes wrought by capitalism that are particularly relevant to studying leadership. A. Space and Time The “space” of late capitalism, or what some might call postindustrialization, has been widely theorized and debated in the literatures of sociology, political science, media studies, geography, and others. Inda and Rosaldo argue that “globalization suggests something much more profound about the modern world than the simple fact of growing global interconnectedness. It implies a fundamental reordering of time and space” (2008: 5). David Harvey’s delineations of the contradictory characteristics of capital and capitalism contextualize these shifts. Harvey argues that one feature of postmodernity is what he calls the “time-space compression” of capital, which he argues was a response to the rigidity of state-regulated Fordist regimes. Modern capital, in order to ensure its own speedy reproduction and increase its “turnover time,” erases the traditionally confining boundaries of geography. Harvey argues that "the general effect is for capitalist modernization to be very much about speed-up and acceleration in the pace of economic 40 processes and, hence, social life" (1989: 230). The immense speed at which capital moves today, epitomized in the nearly instantaneous financial exchange activities of large transnational corporations, annihilates the barriers of space. The historical progression of capital and time-space compression is not a smooth, linear one, Harvey goes on to argue, but has been marked by discrete “eruptions” of capital that result in periods of intense overaccumulation. Harvey characterizes the postfordist period as one of “flexible accumulation,” one that “rests on flexibility with respect to labor processes, labor markets, products, and patterns of consumption. It is characterized by the emergence of entirely new sectors of production, new ways of providing financial services, new markets, and, above all, greatly intensified rates of commercial, technological, and organizational innovation'' (1989: 147). These intensified rates of innovation have had significant impacts on the labor market, resulting in a multitude of new jobs created to cater to the constant demand for new consumer products and a spate of temporary, contract, and non-standard jobs that serve calls for constant innovations and niche markets. These markets service contemporary consumer demands for plurality in choice and heterogeneity in fetish objects; in other words, the current labor market is characterized by constant motion and constant creativity to satisfy the most extreme individual tastes. These activities and features of capital have an enduring effect on class inequities, according to Harvey. Building on Marx’s idea of primitive accumulation, Harvey argues that post-1970s capitalism is characterized by what he calls accumulation by dispossession. This argument rests on four major features or activities of neoliberal 41 economics: privatization, financialization, the management and manipulation of crises (such as third world debt issues), and state redistributions. Through privatization, public assets are often commodified and then redistributed by the state in what appear to be beneficial acts for lower classes, but ultimately serve to give more power to the capital class at the expense of the labor class. The labor class is dispossessed of productive assets (such as natural resources) that belonged to the public sphere originally, but now are controlled by private corporations that can tax or sell their use. Anthony Giddens (1990) focuses on the changes that modernization and globalization has had on social life and the localities of social events. He argues that social interaction has shifted dramatically from previous models of face-to-face interaction (such as those that characterized small, “traditional” communities) to those that privilege remote encounters, made possible by technology, that occur across time and space (Inda and Rosaldo 2008). Modern communication and social encounters “disembed” actors from geographic places, constituting them as much by what is not present as what is. Ultimately, these “distanciated relations” decrease the importance of local places over people’s daily lives. Sassen-Koob (1982) argues that current neoliberal markets are often seen as moving ideas, people and products from the West, the “core” to less developed “peripheral” nations. Sassen-Koob argues that the distinctions between core and periphery nations and groups are decaying, due to migrations, transportation, and communication. Migrants from numerous periphery nations are moving to, and shaping communities in, other periphery nations as well as core nations, signifying that the West 42 is not the only important foreign influence in the so-called Third World (Inda and Rosaldo 2008, Kearney 2004). Distanciated, delocalized relations are occurring throughout the world, then, and are greatly impacting local lived experiences as well as global forces. As Inda and Rosaldo argue, the world truly is in motion. B. Work and Labor in Modern America 1. Rise of a Knowledge-based Economy This study is primarily concerned with the contemporary phase of modern technology and capitalism that has resulted in large-scale TNCs and a sharp increase in the number of service and knowledge-related jobs now practiced by Americans and the members of this class. Hytrek and Zentgraf (2008) argue that the fundamental shift caused by globalization lies in the transfer of economic power from states to nationally based financial actors, which allowed the creation of large transnational corporations (TNCs) and led to weakened national social movements. TNCs are headquartered in one home country but have design, marketing, production and other services in other countries. These shifts have created changes in the ways people work. The sheer number of TNCs alone represents the number of jobs that take place within their aegis. Around 1970, there were only about 7000 TNCs; in 2007 there are approximately 65,000 with 850,000 foreign affiliates. Services are increasingly outsourced to other nations (e.g. India; see Jones 2005; Friedman 2006), and other offshore movements have decreased the amount of tax revenue states can collect. Friedman and others (Daniels 2006; Held and McGrew 2007; Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008) argue that America, along with much of the West, is currently in a 43 deindustrialization pattern. Factory jobs and the manufacturing sector are increasingly moving out of the United States and into developing nations where costs of production are lower. Thus, many of the jobs, skilled and unskilled, left in the U.S. are serviceoriented; Hytrek and Zentgraf estimate that in 2007 eight out of every ten jobs are in the service sector. Because manufacturing jobs were the major way for less educated individuals to earn decent salaries in fordist economies, wealth inequality and class division is increasing. Workers who once earned $20 per hour in a factory job now might make $8 per hour as street cleaners. Karen Hughes (2005) notes the use of the phrase “good jobs, bad jobs” to distinguish between well-paying, secure jobs and those that offer few benefits, opportunities for advancement, training or security. The gap between these types of jobs is increasing, she argues. In particular, women are filling the lower-paying jobs at rates much higher than men (2005). This stage of a service and information economy is termed by some as postfordism. The modern, fordist era from WWII to the 1980s was marked by similarities; cultural homogenization and attempts to create the same economic models in Third World nations as in First. Lewellen points out that, today, individuals may procure many different products to satisfy individual tastes. Harvey argues that the current era is one of “flexible accumulation;” characterized by “the emergence of entirely new sectors of production, new ways of providing financial services, new markets, and above all, greatly intensified rates of commercial, technological, and organizational innovation” (1990: 147). The rapidity of these innovations is increasing, which means that the niches of production and service are growing larger and often more disparate. Workers to fill 44 these niches increasingly work in fields being recreated and redefined nearly on a daily basis as technology and entrepreneurship chase each other in an endless loop. The jobs created to fill these positions are often temporary or non-standard jobs, such as contract or freelance work, which do not offer benefits or future opportunities (Ross 2003). 2. The Individual in Modern Work Old Economy workplaces were characterized by several key features. They were generally linear in terms of leadership; the hierarchical pyramid was firmly in place and each level of the pyramid dictated the amount of input an employee might have into his or her work or the corporation’s mission. In addition, employees worked generally predictable work hours with fixed wages attached to their positions. Workers frequently remained in the same career they began as young people, and more often than not they remained at the same place of employment throughout their working lives. Workers lived in the same communities in which they worked. Labor was a necessity, an ethical duty, and an activity that bestowed dignity. These were ideals consistent with those espoused by Horatio Algier and Emerson; hard work was a virtue. Andrew Ross writes: A distinct kind of heroic praise issued from intellectuals like Emerson, who eulogized that ‘a man coins himself into his labor; turns his day, his strength, his thoughts, his affection into some product which remains a visible sign of his power’ (2003: 4). The New Economy privileges discourse surrounding the neo-liberal ideals of innovation, creativity, production and competition (Hearn and Michelson 2006). Part of the ideology that accompanied the rise of the New Economy was rhetoric in corporate mission statements that spoke to developing “humane” workplaces that would allow employees to perform work that was meaningful to them (English-Lueck 2001; Ross 45 2003). Scholars of work (Applebaum 1998; Gee et al 1996; Hull 2004) examine what Gee et al (1996) term “the new work order” for evidence of this rhetoric. The rapid spread of knowledge and technology-based companies (Silicon Valley, web-based companies, interactive technologies) have created what Hull (2001) has called a “ubiquitous discourse of high performance work.” These knowledge based jobs, which are frequently highlighted in national media as the “wave of the future” carry with them rhetoric of a new kind of collaborative, moral workplace and a self-directed worker (Hearn and Michelson 2006). In some ways, Hull (2001) argues, they might be termed “enchanted workplaces,” replete with ideas of creating a “small world rich with social potential.” English-Lueck (2001) argues that these new ideals echo themes in the discourses of the American frontier west, such as the notion of pioneering a new social order, creating “work as mission” and defining self through work. The rhetoric of these kinds of jobs, rhetoric that is filtering out to other workplaces (Gee et al 1996), argues that these new workers will forge a “connectivity that will reap benefits for social change and intercultural harmony” (English-Lueck 2001). Shershow (2005) frames these ideas as differences between utilitarian “work,” which is framed as mundane, and “The Work,” which implies work symbolically valuable to the individual and to society. Other organizations in the New Economy have made claims about newly flexible, democratic and informal workplaces. Managers, especially in internet companies, often court workers with promises of openness, cooperation and self-management (Ross 2003). Ross argues that the cultures espoused by technological media companies in 46 SiliconValley and Silicon Alley (in New York) are ideologically designed to resist corporate culture and nurture employees’ self-development but fall short of realizing these goals. Some scholars of work have argued that many firms have shifted from bureaucratic to flexible models of work (Atkinson 1984). Benner (2002) argues that there is a significant difference between flexible work and flexible employment. “Work refers to the actual activities workers perform, the skills, information, and knowledge required to perform those activities, and the social interaction involved in the process of performing that work” (4). He argues that employment, on the other hand, “refers to the contractual relationship between employer and employee, including compensation systems and management practices” (4). These contractual relationships have become more tenuous as firms push for greater innovation amidst employment practices of temporary and nonstandard workers, which are unstable and unpredictable. As Manuel Castells argues, “the very same flexibility that supports innovation and adaptation to a changing global market, translates into risk, insecurity, low wages, and deteriorating labor conditions for a significant proportion of the labor force” (2002: xi). The emphasis on individual responsibility, along with the rapid opening of capital, have contributed to what some scholars term “an Enterprise Culture” (Hughes 2005). This is an attitude, encouraged by governments and consistently highlighted in the media, that individuals should compete in a free market to reach their individual economic potential through creating self-run businesses or through finding self-fulfilling niches in larger companies. Cossman and Fudge (2002) and Hytrek and Zentgraf (2008) note that this is in large part due to the dismantling of welfare programs with the rise of 47 market deregulation. Du Gay and Salaman write that this culture is one in which “personal responsibility, boldness, and a willingness to take risks in the pursuit of goals are regarded as human virtues and promoted as such (1992: 628). These ideals echo themes inherent in the Enlightenment, namely, that humans are rational and can achieve self-made success through the logical application of hard work. They also call to mind Emerson’s notion of an exemplary man and the 19th century intellectual focus upon one’s “character.” However, the focus in modern work is less upon “duty” and social obligations than upon individuals to express their selves through solitary and highly heterogeneous pursuits. Thus, while work may be celebrated by some as a “mission” (English-Lueck 2001, Gee et al 1986), it cannot escape the very real tensions of a flexible, insecure, and quick to transform landscape of modern work. V. CONCLUSION This chapter has summarized the literature that examines the New Economy in order to provide the cultural context for my analysis of authenticity as a strategy to accomplish key leadership goals. I will return to these theoretical underpinnings throughout the dissertation. In Chapter Four, I highlight the New Economy’s effect on the length of time young adults enter full membership in economic activities in my discussion of the members’ process of becoming an authentic leader. I also return to Anthony Giddens’ ideas about “distanciated social relations” in my examination of authenticity’s goal of creating meaningful relationships. Likewise, In Chapter Five, I consider how the New Economy has eroded stable, long-term leader-follower relationships within my examination of authentic leaders’ focus on alliance-creation. In 48 Chapter Six, I analyze the members’ desires to be servant leaders within a New Economy that has impacted authenticity’s attempts to mediate job instability, risk and individualization. First, I turn in Chapter Three to a deeper discussion of the course and its ideology. 49 CHAPTER THREE BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF IDEALS I. INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the cultural traits, symbols and practices that distinguish this class and its members as a sociocultural entity with a unique social structure and value system. I do this by identifying ways the course creates itself as a community of practice (Wenger et al 2002). Specifically, I focus here on the ideology that the course has created surrounding the question of what makes a good leader. This ideology, along with the mythology of the course and the initiation process, constructs the sense of community that participants and members report sharing. In 1973, anthropologist Sally Falk Moore argued that a viable social arena of anthropological study is what she termed a semi-autonomous social field. This is a group that can “generate rules and customs and symbols internally,” but is “also vulnerable to rules and decisions and other forces emanating from the larger world by which it is surrounded” (720). Moore argued that in a large, complex society, such as America, studying smaller social fields is imperative in order to perform reasonable analysis. This chapter examines the beliefs, practices and attitudes embraced by the leadership course that mark its members as a self-defined and somewhat bounded group. While the course does not exercise overt coercive power outside of assigned grades, many members report that their assimilation and apprenticeship within the course had significant ideological and substantive impacts upon their subsequent participation in the broader leadership 50 community. These impacts and behaviors will be discussed more specifically in subsequent chapters. The course socializes its apprentices by presenting an ideal model of leadership, creating an array of appropriate leadership and life choices, and defining those characteristics and behaviors that are less appropriate to good leadership. This does not mean that the course doesn’t present variety in leadership styles and case histories; indeed, the curriculum spans leaders as diverse as Machiavelli, Gandhi, and George Washington. However, the central thread of the course, and the thread most often referred to by members, is the understanding and development of the self. According to the pedagogy of the course, this understanding theoretically then should be applied toward finding the self’s “passion,” and then transposing that passion into a career of ethical servant leadership. The particular face of this servant leadership can vary, particularly between for-profit and not-for-profit ventures, but the underlying model of ideal leadership presented in the course cuts across disciplines and leadership arenas. A. Chapter Organization I have organized this chapter into two sections. The first section examines how this group creates itself as a bounded social field with particular characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes. These borders are delineated and maintained via accepted codes of behavior and prohibitions, as well as by the importance participants place upon the social relationships within the course. To a large degree, participants and members report that the basic ideology of “good” leadership trumps the particularities of a specific arena of leadership (e.g. for-profit corporations, non-profit community service ventures). 51 The second section outlines how the course and members construct notions of what a good, authentic leader is and does. Generally, this is captured under the umbrella discussion of the importance of developing “character” via authentic and moral leadership, rather than “personality” via individual financial achievement. The ideology of the course associates “character” with those qualities prized by Emerson: a strong work ethic coupled with good citizenship. II. CREATION OF COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE Wenger et al define a community of practice as a “group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (2002: 4). Wenger et al, and others (cf. Putnam 2000; McLean et al 2002; Friedman 2006), argue that these knowledge-based social structures, which can range from informal to highly institutionalized, are becoming more recognized as valuable to organizations and larger communities. This value comes in the form of offering a space to solve organizational or institutional problems, develop community bonds, and increase individual and organizational effectiveness. To a large degree, the leadership course is designed and executed as a community of practice within the larger and loosely organized collection of leadership studies and practice. Indeed, one of Bennis’s key concepts is how to create a Great Group, wherein all participants are invested in the overall mission of the group and work together to create a sense of something “larger than oneself.” Wenger et al argue that communities of practice share three common structural elements. The domain of knowledge identifies a set of issues, the community is a group 52 of people who share a concern about the domain, and the practice is the set of behaviors and solutions that they devise to be more effective in the domain (2002: 27). In this chapter I identify how the course apprentices and assimilates students into a particular domain, which the course identifies primarily as a discussion of “what makes a good leader.” Further, I describe the ways students become caring members of the course community, and finally the practices they and the course delineate as appropriate to practicing leadership most effectively and morally. These discussions are contained within descriptions of the course’s domain and its talk about community and practice. Apprentices learn the narrative, or set of concerns, of the course through an initiation into an exclusive community via an intensive application process and closeddoor, intimate class sessions. This sense of uniqueness is heightened by the long-lasting relationships students build with the professors and each other. Apprentices are then socialized into an appropriate professional discourse of leaders and leadership. This discourse is shaped by rhetoric that identifies the course participants as “leaders,” thereby differentiating them from others who are non-leaders (us versus them). Subsumed within this discourse is the creation of a sense of shared values and language, which are codified by identifying and reifying the traits of idealized leaders. In addition, this discourse also creates a set of prohibitions of inappropriate behavior. These reinforce the group’s stated values and provide scripts for conflict management and leveling mechanisms. A. Initiation into Community The highly selective initiation process of the class reflects the elitist nature of the course and the community into which students are “invited” as members. Course 53 participants orient to the goals of the course through this process and begin defining the boundaries of this leadership community. Members’ construction of this class as a selfdefined and bounded social field is based on a number of factors. Key to these is the construction of a story of a common language and shared experiences – what anthropologists would call an origin myth. The narrative of community within the course is expressed through the highly selective application process, a sense of shared values amid an intimate, closed-door, collegial atmosphere, the high importance members place upon relationships and networks created within the course, and the elitist nature of the course. The mythology of the leadership class has a perceived history of a competitive sorting process, elite guest speakers, a deeply involved faculty, and stellar participants who actively work to create cultural continuity by helping recruit future course members. The very title of the course, “The Art and Adventure of Leadership,” reveals the course’s goal of rejecting the perceived mundane pursuits of traditional pedagogy. The recruitment, application, and selection process reinforces this idea by highlighting the intense personal development embedded within the course curriculum. The spring semester of the course is preceded by numerous application and orientation events in the fall. In September, the application is posted on-line to the course’s website, and the assistant lecturers and various members visit student organizations to recruit them for the course. I personally spend many hours seeking out qualified applicants (through conversations with members and university personnel) and emailing them to invite them 54 to apply. We also send out letters to juniors and seniors who are registered as officers of student organizations or who maintain a strong GPA, inviting them to apply to the course. After the applications are received, a faculty committee convenes to narrow the applicant field down to around 90 applicants. These 90 applicants are then invited to one of three informal group interviews, conducted by the assistant lecturers and the course assistants (three seniors who took the class as juniors and assist with course administration). At the group interview, we meet all of the applicants and I spend some time detailing the expectations of the course as well as highlighting its benefits. A major reason I do this is to encourage students who are not serious about the class to drop out of consideration. Here I am actively participating in the cultivation of a group of participants who are committed to leadership by my own definition. At the conclusion of the last group interview, we make final choices for the 42 class participants and then telephone each of the 90 finalists to let them know their status. After students are selected, they participate in two orientation events, one a formal meet and greet with the professors, and the second an informal pizza party to allow them to ask more questions of the assistant lecturers and course assistants. Additionally, the week before spring classes begin, all the students participate in an overnight retreat led by the assistant lecturers. This is a program begun by me three years ago to encourage students to get to know each other informally before the pressure of classes begin. The retreat has consistently been cited as a vital component of the members networking process. 55 B. Self-Selection by Applicants Aside from a broadly defined desire to “study leadership,” members reported applying to the class for one or more of three core reasons: one, to be a part of an elite, unique learning experience with highly esteemed professors; two, to interact with a group of ambitious and talented peers; and three, to undergo deep personal reflection and understand the self as a leader. 1. Elite Experience Members identified being chosen for the “president’s class” as a marker of achievement and, thus, an incentive to apply. The competitive application process was frequently seen as an opportunity to solidify and validate their status as college leaders who out-competed a large applicant pool of the “best and brightest” students at USC. For example, Will, when responding to my question about how he would describe the class to a stranger, said: Will: It depends on who I'm talking to really. If I'm talking to somebody who is at USC and is going to be a junior I'd probably start with all of the hooks which are the things that will persuade somebody to take it, like the fact that Pete Carroll comes and talks, the fact that you get all these dinners with important people, the things that end up perhaps being less important to the overall experience but are the things that interested me when I first heard about them. The fact that it's elite, I'm always drawn to things that are elite, that are hard to get into. SM: Why? Will: Just because I want to have something to shoot for. That's embarrassing to admit but it's true. I like selective groups and organizations and stuff like that. On a fickle level that was one of the things that drew me to the class, just that it's hard to get into and that you're surrounded by people who passed those high standards that were in place. I think if I were talking to somebody like my mom or somebody who isn’t necessarily thinking of taking the class, someone I'm not 56 interested in selling on the class, I'd probably start with a more objective description of it. Stacy reiterated the status of the class as a motivating factor for her own application. I remember hearing about the class as something that kids were involved in who were important on campus took and did…It just felt sort of natural for me because I was already into the stuff I considered important on campus at the time, and that’s what important or self-important students did, was apply for that class. She goes on to remark that the status of the professors was another key factor. I was excited to get to know Dr. Sample in particular on more of a personal level. I think that was also a draw for me. Something I just know about myself is that I thrive on approval from authority, and the chance to have this authority of the school know my name and hopefully think I was a hard worker and a good student was a pretty strong draw for me. Rob put it more succinctly, saying “How often does a dude actually get a chance to take a course that’s taught by the university president?” The professors and guest speakers reinforced this elite status, frequently remarking that students each out-competed six or seven other students for their spots. Members regularly include their selection for and participation in the class on their resumes. Will, who is currently enrolled in an elite MBA program at Harvard, told me that he feels he was accepted to Harvard solely due to his membership in the class as a junior and his role as a course assistant his senior year. As he put it, during his interview the admission staff “leaned forward in their chairs and got very excited” when he discussed the class. Interestingly, despite the fact that numerous graduates of the course list it on their resumes, most students felt it was important to at least rhetorically reject any notion of “using” the class. Several members spoke scathingly of peers who were in the class for 57 “the wrong reason.” They identified this as “resume-building” or using the elite status of the class for inappropriate gain. A common complaint by numerous students I’ve spoken with throughout the four years of the course is feeling that one or more members are in the class only to have a line on their resumes or to garner a prestigious letter of recommendation from one of the professors. I will return to these discussions of elitism in Chapter Five. 2. Engagement with Peers The perceived quality of their peers was the second major reason students reported applying for the class. Except for those members who participated in the first year of the course, 1996, everyone else with whom I spoke heard about the class from someone who had taken it. The undergraduate student leader community on campus is relatively small, comprising only a fraction of the undergraduate student body. Older student leaders often act as mentors to younger students on campus, and their opinions of the course were important references for applicants. For example, Niki applied because others recommended it personally to her, saying: They were mostly people that I really respected and they were people who had gotten me involved on campus, so it wasn’t random people that were like ‘oh, you should take this class’. It was basically people who I’d been working with and who had mentored me who said you’re going to really like this, you should do it. Likewise, the perceived caliber of other applicants was interesting and exciting to students. Many pointed out that they have never taken a class with only other leaders, who were talented, ambitious and dedicated. This is highlighted in Courtney’s statement that she was interested in “being in a group with a lot of people that were extremely 58 accomplished and people that I could learn from.” She and other members appreciated the work ethic that other class members exhibited, and also reported being invigorated by the opportunity to have others challenge them. “I like putting myself in positions where I feel a little bit out of place and a little bit like everybody is more accomplished than I am.” Judy noted that it was also a chance to interact with individuals outside of typical student organizations, such as fraternities and student government. Not only was it a great intellectual adventure for you, not only was it great personally in the sense that you're challenged to be a better person ultimately, but it also was a great way to meet a group of leaders on campus that you probably or maybe didn’t have any interaction with before and form bonds with them would impact the rest of your college experience at the least and then definitely who you stayed in contact with and how open you were to the process affected you as an adult. So, that's what I had going in. I think people will say that across the board. 3. Personal Development The perceived personal development aspect of the course was the third major draw for applicants. The vast majority of course participants were leaders of student organizations during high school and were often high academic achievers. In interviews they spoke frequently of actively looking for challenges in high school and college. They viewed college as a time to “remake” themselves and leave behind undesirable personality traits and develop new behaviors. They perceived the course as offering this opportunity and cited it as a significant factor in application decisions. Many members reported that they were privy to the self-development experiences of earlier students, and were both “excited and nervous” about their own opportunities. Judy was close friends with a student who took the course the year before her, and knew a good deal about it prior to her own application. 59 From what I knew of it, it was challenging and I saw the late nights and the emotional struggles that students go through while during the class and the questions it makes you ask of yourself and the attempt to answer. So, I knew it would be difficult. I was totally fine with that. I was ready for the challenge. I think more than anything the only thing that was holding me back from applying was that I didn’t think I'd get in. I didn’t see in my experience what was on my resume, what would gain me admittance into the class. So, I think at the end of the day I was going to apply but it was really Mary and whoever else that I knew who had taken the class who gave me that final push. You know what? If you don’t get in that's fine but just you'll never know. You might as well apply. I just needed that little push I think. C. The Self in the Community It is no exaggeration to say that this course had significant personal impacts upon a number of members. Obviously not everyone who took the course had the same experience, but the vast majority of graduates with whom I’ve communicated cite it as the most important and personally defining course they took in college. This is evidenced in several ways. First, members whom I interviewed repeatedly framed it as such. Second, of the 260 graduates to whom I sent the online questionnaire, fully 50% responded, spending hours writing lengthy and laudatory responses to my open-ended questions. Third, nearly 200 graduates attended the reunion held in the fall of 2007. These included members from all years of the course; in fact, 30 graduates from the first two years of the course attended, though it had been a decade since they had been in the class. Members frequently refer to the class as “an experience” rather than a purely educational endeavor. Members define the layers of this experience as embedded within deeply personal relationships. They described the most important social relationships, 60 both during and after the course, as those they nurtured with the professors, their peers, and themselves. 1. Relationships with the Professors Members spoke frequently of the importance of the intimate and deeply personal relationships they often formed with the professors. They characterized these relationships in terms of teacher, mentor, and friend. Rick, who took the course in 2002, became a course assistant in 2003 in large part due to the opportunity for increased access to Dr. Bennis, who, as he puts it, “changed my life.” He goes on, I felt like and I continue to feel like just about the luckiest person on earth to be able to have lunch with Warren Bennis every week. I mean, when I knew that I was going to be doing this, I gave myself nothing but weight training in the morning on Thursdays so that I would have absolutely nothing that could ever possibly interfere with that. I always really felt incredibly fortunate to have had that kind of exposure and opportunity. Maya, who currently works in corporate credit leading a team of seven, described a moment with Dr. Bennis that she remembers clearly from her experience in the course in 2001. I remember Dr. Bennis saying that I was a really good writer, and that was like a special part. He doesn’t even remember it. It’s just something, it stays with you, and you remember that. It’s just cause I have so much respect for him. Members frequently reported that the professors’ perceived willingness to share personal stories of failures and redemptions, leadership and self-doubt was of vital importance to their own ideas and practice of leadership. Maya mentioned that she remembers Dr. Bennis “talking a lot about his psychotheraphy and his thoughts and his marriage. And Dr. Sample talked a lot about his marriage, too.” The two professors each hold a dinner with the students and invite the students to “ask any question they like.” 61 Many of these questions are personal inquiries, including “Are you afraid of death?,” “What’s your greatest failure?,” and “Did your family suffer as a result of your leadership positions?.” Numerous members told me that they felt these intimate sessions gave them the “freedom” to admit their own failures and see that all leaders, even esteemed ones, are fallible human beings. Several members, however, noted privately that they found the dialogue within the class to be somewhat of a performance. Consider the following exchange I had with Niki. Niki: I think that the professors are esteemed professionals and I think that they expect to be treated that way. I think that they’re open to discussion, but they’re not really looking to change their ideas and views. Maybe Dr. Bennis more than Dr. Sample but I think at the same time Dr. Bennis is kind of like, ‘this is what I think’, you know? Not necessarily going to change unless you really put forth a really strong point. He may concede the argument but I think he’s going to give in to your way of seeing it. SM: Why do you think that he would concede the argument then? Niki: Because I think he likes to think that he’s not as, you know, firm in his beliefs as he really is. When I pressed Niki further, she clarified that the idea of open conversation with the professors was often more important to her than whether they agreed with her or not. That ideal of a community of honest dialogue was a common theme in interviews and in the feedback I heard from students during classes. 2. Peer Community One of the most interesting aspects of my position within the course has been my ability to witness each semester’s changing class dynamic, from the application process through the final class dinner held at Dr. Sample’s home. The faculty frequently remark on the qualitative differences of each semester’s class as a whole and compared to other 62 years. Likewise, this course has been a fascinating laboratory within which to witness the competition and interactions between class members. Students know upon entering the class how competitive the selection process was, and have a healthy dose of anxiety about competing amongst such highly lauded peers. A consistent theme members reported was their initial nervousness and apprehension that other students “deserved” to be there more than they did. Part of the perceived exclusivity of the course is rooted in the narrative of a “safe” place for personal growth. Members’ descriptions of the class as an open atmosphere for peers to share with and challenge each other was often credited in their enjoyment of the semester. Judy put it this way. I remember in the beginning there is always an intimidation factor. Me coming in, I didn’t know one other person. I remember showing up and feeling like a lot of these people knew each other. I knew what the class had meant to other people but I didn’t know how that happened. So, I probably was a little bit more reserved than I would have liked to be. But it progressed really nicely. Everyone sees the potential of what can happen in that classroom, the good that can come out of everyone completely investing themselves. Her statement reflects the mythology of the course as a space for “potential good things” to happen, which is a key tenet of a community of practice (Wenger et al 2002). It also reveals the concern of the course, and its members, that all participants should become invested in this mythology in order for others to fully realize the perceived benefits of the course. Her comments, and the comments of others below, highlight a preoccupation with building a community within the course, partly to achieve a distinction from all other courses and from “non-leader” peers. Judy further developed this idea when she told me: 63 So, I think once everyone is on the same page and understands how much the professors and assistant lecturers are willing to put in with them and are willing to not give cookie cutter answers in their papers and just look at everything in a positive light. It's one of the most honest and open atmospheres that I had in college. Where if I said anything or did anything it wouldn’t be judged at all, that everyone understood that what we were doing was part of a learning process. I think that was more than anything one of the most valuable things for me because I didn’t have that in a lot of the other clubs in the organizations I was part of. It was just a very safe space for all of us to grow together. I think that it didn’t become that safe space unless the majority of the people in that room were invested in that. This perceived sense of community was cited by a number of members as integral to their development as young leaders. I’ve shared several conversations about the course with Stacy, who took the course in 2002 and served as a course assistant in 2003. She is now married and a homeowner, with a time-intensive job as a software trainer. When I met with her to record an interview, she reiterated the importance the sense of community was for her in the class. I almost sensed a hint of nostalgia in the following excerpt. It was hands down the best class I ever took at USC. And for lots of intangible reasons I think. Especially being at the reunion last year made me realize I took very little from the class academically. I remembered few of the points that were made, few of the theories that were discussed. There were certain ones that sort of stick out in my mind. But being in class with the other people that were in the class was a great experience, and I joined different student organizations for the people that were there, interested in the same thing as me. The class had sort of a similar effect but I encountered so many different people who were so good at what they did in different areas. I think that was the first time I really had a picture of that cross-section of USC, and I liked that a whole lot. I mean, I hesitate to say that I learned more from the students than from the professors, but it sort of feels that way. Other members found that they spent a great deal of time just observing the course community. Rick, who is now an admissions officer at a private university, reported being excited by the energy and ambition he saw in the classroom. 64 This was just ambition and organization and skill and goal-orientation on a level that I had not previously really been exposed to at least in terms of the entire class being that way. It kind of raised the bar a little bit. When I asked Rick how he would characterize the kinds of goals and ambitions that were expressed by his peers, he responded: I mean there were kids who flat out said they wanted to be the President of the United States and believed it with all their heart and soul that that's what they were going to do. I knew kids that were going to be politicians or kids that were going to be business leaders or were going to become high-powered attorneys, kids who wanted to become rich, that was their goal and really were going to do that. I mean, it was really interesting. It was intimidating and fascinating and wonderful to listen to students you know who'll tell you flat out what their goals for the future was with an absolutely straight face, knowing that they were going to do it, knowing that it was really going to happen. So, stuff like that. Rick’s narrative indicates that he’s aware of the possibility for hyperbole in the class’s mythology of “the best and the brightest,” a sentiment shared by several other members. 3. Narrative of Agency and Self-empowerment The open atmosphere of the class and the “safe” space provided by their peers and professors gave many members what they reported as a boost in their self-confidence and a sense of agency. Judy put it this way. I’ve always been a doer but not necessarily a go-getter. I think that for a multitude of reasons in my past but that class inspired me with a new sense of self-confidence. If there is something that I’m interested in there’s nothing holding me back except myself in reaching that. That was one of my biggest takeaways just from being in the class. I think that came from not only what I was talking about earlier, that safe space, people encouraging each other but also just being able to view my fellow classmates and their professors and the guest speakers and everyone who was of that nature and who was able to accomplish something. So, it was not only my own reflection but also through witnessing other people who were able to do the same thing. 65 Several members reported changing their majors or other goals after they participated in the class. Amir, who had been an engineering major, told me that he had never taken the initiative to fully explore his interests before the class. “That leadership class was really a transforming moment for me to try to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and just explore things. Because of that class I switched to a business major.” Amir says he did this because of the interactive nature of the course and Dr. Bennis’s mentorship of him. The course was so different than engineering. In those courses, you have an answer. You don’t need to collaborate as a team…When I took that leadership course, it was so subjective. And it was just totally engaging for me because here I am interacting with people. And I enjoyed that so much. Amir currently works in biotech development and regularly engages with his company’s sales force, something he said he was wary of doing in his prior career choice. Other students described their concrete accomplishments in the class as a measure of discovering their talents. Niki told me “I think I realized my capabilities in that class.” When I asked her how so, she said: I’ve never been as fulfilled by any work or project as I was by my group project, and I think the fact that I did so well in the class made me think that I could really do anything I wanted to do. Will agreed, though in a different vein. He told me that he had never thought of himself as a writer, and this class made him rethink his potential career choices. I think I'd just describe it as an intense experience. It was certainly out of law school and everything, out of every class I've ever taken it was definitely the hardest. I've been through some of the harder classes at UCLA by now and I can still say that without a doubt. It's nice because you get to see what you're made of. I think the class, also something I 66 haven’t really mentioned yet, it probably gave me more confidence than almost any other thing I've ever done just because when you're at that level and I had expected to be a below-average student. I thought I'd snuck in to the class and then you do well in the class. I also got good grades on the papers which made me think maybe if I really tried I'm an okay writer. It caused me to do things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise done if I hadn’t learned that I was all right at writing. D. Collegiality One of the most obvious, to me, differences between this course and the other twenty or so courses I have taught as a teaching assistant is the manner in which students are viewed as members of an elite group, in fact, treated in some ways as colleagues by the professors and guest speakers. In most other undergraduate classroom settings, clear demarcations exist between age groups. Older teachers are considered to have achieved a status on an unequal par with their students. As a teaching assistant in anthropology courses, I have been treated as a teacher, a person in an entirely different category of social ranking than the undergraduates I work with. In the leadership class, age groupings and statuses, while somewhat present, are obliterated to some degree by the status of “leader.” In other words, being recognized as a “leader,” a status conferred by gaining entrance into the course, reduces the typical inferiority of undergraduate status. Course readings, in particular Bennis’s book Geeks and Geezers (2003), as well as the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of America’s best leaders (2006), reinforce the notion that leadership is, or should be, to a large degree age-blind. These texts present numerous case studies of leaders who are younger than 30, and who exemplify the characteristics of ideal leaders taught by the course. 67 The professors and guest speakers often relate to the students as colleagues who are all practicing in the same field. While students are graded in the course, their status as apprentices includes constant recognition of their abilities and skills. This is evidenced by guest speakers’ consistent references to the achievements of students in their leadership positions. They also speak in a common language of “leaders” and “followers,” invoking a code of “us” and “them.” Guest speakers also encourage an atmosphere of casual, yet powerful, intimacy. Michael and Kitty Dukakis, in particular, invite casual interaction. Guest speakers frequently tell the class that “no question is off limits,” and, indeed, the culture of the class encourages deeply personal questioning of both guests and professors. The in-group of “leaders,” then, to some degree trumps traditional college age-group status markers. III. DISCOURSE OF IDEALIZED LEADERSHIP Numerous scholars in linguistics, education and other fields note the essential role that discourse plays in the creation of professional practices (Bhatia 1993; Gunnarsson et al 1997; Wenger et al 2002). My goal here is not to present a detailed linguistic analysis of the course rhetoric, but to lay out the key beliefs that contribute to the formation of a community of practice. One way people create social groups is by the creation of a set of overarching values that define a perceptual moral field encompassing and bounding the group in opposition to others outside its boundaries. In-group members, or those generally considered “leaders” by the course and the members, shared seven key ideal traits. These traits echo the rhetoric in both popular and scholarly approaches to practicing authentic leadership. These traits were often mentioned in conjunction with 68 the opposite behaviors, which were criticized and dismissed as inappropriate or deleterious to the individual or to society in general. The model traits were idealized by members in both profit and not-for-profit career paths. I list them below, and briefly expand them in the subsequent section. Obviously it is difficult to understand the degree to which the course influenced the members’ notions of idealized leadership versus the degree to which external influences were responsible for shaping these beliefs. However, I did find nearly complete overlap between the ideas of the course and the expressed attitudes of the members I interviewed. A. Seven Most Valued Traits of Good Leaders Members reported seven traits they argued make a leader. First, true leaders eschew authority and authoritative behavior in favor of expressing the self’s passion. Second, leaders exhibit a passion for change and an ability to create innovative solutions to organizational or social problems. Third, leaders care about their communities and strive to give back. Fourth, leaders are always willing to engage in the same tasks as their followers and exhibit a strong work ethic, never placing themselves as “too important” to get dirty. Fifth, leaders strive to build personal relationships with their followers, partly in order to create sustainable visions. Sixth, leaders are actively aware and analytical of the choices they’ve made to become leaders, including mistakes. Seventh, above all, leaders consistently display an allegiance to character, honesty, and integrity. 69 1. Authority is not Leadership The course readings, guest speakers and members consistently put forth the notion that good leadership is not synonymous with positions of authority. A person at the top of a hierarchical pyramid might be “in charge,” but “real” leaders, according to the discourse, become leaders by expressing their innermost passions rather than through a desire to achieve a title. Warren Bennis puts this succinctly in a passage often quoted by students and members, “The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself” (1989:5). In conjunction with this ideal, the discourse poses the notion that authority figures are often not leaders. If they have only financial or self-interested motives, the rhetoric claims, they will not be nearly as successful at inspiring followers. They may operate as “managers,” successfully completing tasks but failing to ignite real passion to execute a vision. One of Bennis’s quotes, oft-repeated in the literature, is that “managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.” Students and members interpret this as leaders having a “calling” to accomplish a goal, rather than a desire to achieve recognition for accomplishing this goal. An individual actor’s proactive agency is key to the achievement of a vision. 2. Leaders are Innovative and Adaptable A majority of members argued that leaders must be able to create a vision to make serious changes, and have the courage in the face of adversity to defy social norms or practices to make their visions reality. This courage, many said, is displayed through perseverance. Additionally, leaders recognize when old patterns or the status quo are 70 harmful, and are willing to risk persecution to usher in change. One of Bennis’s core concepts is “adaptive capacity,” which was frequently cited by members as a concept that resonated within the course and within their current working lives. Bennis argues that leaders will be most successful when they are flexible and able to adapt quickly to both internal and external pressures or changes. Some members, such as Will, cited “creativity and vision” specifically as traits they valued highly in leaders. Often they spoke about the importance of leaders creating a vision that could give followers “hope.” Members noted entrepreneurship as an alternative site of practicing valuable innovation. Dan cited Sample’s ideas about “contrarian” leadership in his description of his own business. I am definitely a lead by example kind of guy…we’re a contrarian company. We’re trying to break the mold of the way it’s always been done by consulting companies...We see our opportunity and we’ve found a different way to tackle it. 3. Leaders Display Civic Responsibility This passion for change, the professors, guest speakers, and members argue, should generally be in the realm of making society “better,” such as creating avenues for other people to be empowered, attain education, gain access to resources, etc. Will called people who practiced these ideals “Robin Hood leaders.” There are lots of leaders who just care about making money because they want a ridiculous house in fifteen different countries and stuff like that. Then there are these guys who care about more than that and care about changing the world. Those guys are the same ones who happen to be better than everybody else in the entire world at that game of making money. It's touching to me when I think about it. They happen to be more skilled than everyone else. They're beating everybody at their own game and then they're giving it away to do things that they think are more important. There are very few things in my mind that are nobler than that. 71 I will return to a deeper discussion of the ideal of a good leader as a good citizen in Chapter Six. 4. Leaders Practice their Rhetoric A key principle in Dr. Sample’s text, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, argues that a leader should “work for those who work for you.” Dr. Sample and other guest speakers often talk about the need to “walk the talk” by consistently remaining visible and useful to followers. Similarly, members frequently told me that they admired leaders who were willing to perform the same tasks, no matter how menial, as their followers. Several described this as “leading by example, not words.” Raul, who took the course in 2000 and is now the mayor of his hometown, cited the example of Queen Isabella as a leader who literally got on a horse and traveled all over Spain to complete paperwork and usher backlogged items through government channels. As he put it, “she was charismatic, intelligent, intuitive and an enormously hard worker…she worked hours and hours and hours everyday until all the cases were heard.” He went on to remark “I love watching people who do things and get things done.” Dan, who owns a software consulting firm with twenty-five employees, values a leader who works as hard as his or her followers. His response to my question illustrates a common response pattern I heard from a number of members. Dan: I also value, I like leaders who are clearly doing a lot of hard work. I don’t like that figurehead leader that you kind of wonder what does he really do for the business or for the group or whatever the case may be? Leaders who aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and do the nitty-gritty work, even if that's not part of their job but knowing that they can and if needed they will, means a lot to me. 72 SM: Why? Dan: I guess it's part of being, as a leader you're not always part of a team but knowing that you could be if needed is important to me. That if needed you could come down and be one of the guys or one of the girls or one of just the regular workers, that's important to me. That tells me that they understand me a little bit better, right? If someone is a leader of my organization and they can do what I do as a member of the organization that tells me that they probably understand me a little bit better. SM: Why is that important to you? Dan: Good question. I don’t know. I think in general we all like to feel that way. Most of the people I know. You like to feel that people understand who you are, where you come from. You like to feel like you're all part of the same community, if you will. You're all in it together. There's that, I think, human bond that is there that appeals to most of us. At least appeals to me. This theme of “bonding” with one’s leader or with one’s followers is reflected in the next trait of “good” leaders. 5. Leaders Build Personal Relationships with Followers The course and members argue that leaders should get to know followers on a personal level and be as interested in empowering them as in their own careers. Leaders, they argue, should be accessible and willing to listen carefully and deeply to followers, and then support them in their work. Will said that one of his major takeaways from the class was “how important it is that you find ultra good people and let them do their job. Sometimes leading is staying out of people’s way.” According to many members, good leaders should orient themselves physically and behaviorally to engender close personal relationships with their followers and to help their followers do good work. Rick, who works in higher education administration, critiqued his boss who chose to distance himself. 73 Recently the human resources director, we all interviewed with her about an organizational assessment of the way things were going here and stuff. She said if you were king for a day what would you change? Actually I said that I would borrow a trick from Bloomberg and I would force my boss to have his office right in the center of this hallway where we all have our offices. As it stands now he's sort of distant and off in his own little corner where it's very easy for him to hole himself up all day and does on occasion. Dan prefers what he calls a “more emotional” kind of leader, saying that he values one who demonstrates an interest in the person, not the job-doer. I have always preferred to work for someone that took the time to get to know me as a person, took the time to get to know what motivates me and why was I working in that job. Where did I want to go from there? Those are things that are a lot more personal than just focusing on the business side and can you do those skills. Have you achieved these goals? I always prefer that. 6. Leaders are Authentic and Self-Aware According to members, they prefer leaders who are actively aware and analytical of the choices they’ve made and who make leadership choices that express their innermost passions. Maya called it “leadership from the heart…Really doing things that you agree with or really being things that you believe.” To Will, a leader who isn’t performing according to his or her inner compass is not a leader, “an inauthentic leader is not a leader, in my eyes.” My exchange with him summarizes the views of most members: SM: Why would an inauthentic leader not be a leader in your opinion? Will: Maybe it's just because I take inauthentic as being synonymous with bad. I guess that kind of gives you an idea of my definition of leadership or what it's come to be. It's just that somebody takes or embraces their personality and uses that, their personality and their skills and talents and uses that to drive other people to do something they otherwise wouldn’t. When you say inauthentic it's like they aren't 74 embracing who they are and their personality to get things done. I guess you can distinguish that from somebody who just doesn’t get things done in which case it wouldn’t be synonymous with bad. I think of an inauthentic leader as just I don’t know. SM: So a leader in your opinion is authentic? Will: Yeah. A leader in my opinion is necessarily authentic because that's kind of how I define the word leader. SM: Can you define the word authentic a little bit more? Will: Yeah, it's just somebody who's true to themselves, somebody who embraces their identity, skills, talents, everything and doesn’t try to be someone they're not. It would be me not trying to get up and be a creative visionary who just changes the world and kind of lets other people handle the details. I mostly handle the details of who I am, hopefully higher level details. I just make sure things are running okay and make sure everything's going to happen and make sure we're not going to run out of money before it happens. So, if I were to lead it would be, my image would be of someone who is stable, who can be counted on, who's not taking obscene risks all the time. That's what my followers could count on. They shouldn’t however count on an ultra-creative guy who may or may not bankrupt the company next year, who may or may not be on the cover of Fortune next year. I have enormous respect for those guys. Those are often the guys who really end up changing the world. But that just isn’t me. That would be me being inauthentic, I think, trying to be that flashy leader who is charismatic and great in front of groups of people and stuff like that. Further, members and the course privilege leaders who have experienced mistakes or failures, and who openly acknowledge them. Maya described it as “I think understanding that you can be wrong, understanding that you can make mistakes. Understanding your fallibility.” She goes on to praise Madeleine Albright as a leader who knows herself well. I don’t know why, but I think she seems to have found a way to let her values project out in what she does and what she says. And even with that, what I like about it is she acknowledges when she makes mistakes. That’s something very important, because if you’re human, you’re going to make 75 mistakes. Leaders are willing to make those mistakes. They’ve got the courage to make those mistakes and want to keep doing, keep moving. They’re going to try again, and that’s really hard. 7. Leaders Display Character, Honesty, and Integrity A leader’s ability to uphold personal ethical standards, no matter the costs, was by far the most cited trait members valued in leaders. Leaders, according to members, should always consider ethics and community above personal gain or corporate health. These ethics, members argued, should be applied to both a consideration of the broader community and also to smaller, interpersonal interactions. Dan, the software consultant, defined integrity as honesty. I definitely value someone that when they tell me that they're going to do something that is what they're going to do. If I feel like I've been lied to by a manager or a leader, I look at them in a different way sort of forever more. So, I really value honesty and integrity in leaders. I try to be that way. I have no problem giving someone bad news if my alternative is he might think that I'm lying to him by just sugar-coating something. So, that's one of the things that I value a lot in a leader. A number of members echoed this theme of requiring a leader to consistently display trustworthiness. Will’s response revealed how difficult it was for him to trust a leader who placed personal or corporate gain above honesty. For him and other members, the first responsibility of leaders was to maintain integrity, regardless of the material costs to the leader. The moment you detect that somebody is unethical you no longer can believe that they have your best interests in mind. It's always the reason they do what's right for you is because it's what's in their best interest. The moment you figure out and when I say unethical I use that as a cop-out term because it's hard to define specifically, when you see somebody who's willing to screw a team of developers overseas by reneging on whatever agreement he made with them. Maybe he ended up giving that bonus to you and you're an employee of his in the United States. You're 76 loyal to him and you thank him, you think it's nice he did this thing. He didn’t keep it for himself. He gave it to his people in America but it makes it impossible to trust him from then on out. It makes him impossible to really follow and just put your faith and trust in. You don’t know if he's doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do or if he's doing the right thing because it's what's good for him and they just happen to be the same thing for a period of time. I think it's huge that you go out of your way to be more than ethical. You go out of your way to stick by your guns and do the right thing even when it really screws you. IV. CONCLUSION This chapter has presented how initiation by apprentices into the course community builds a community of practice, or an ideal of a community. Additionally, this chapter has noted the domain of knowledge that concerns the leadership course, namely the question of what makes a good leader. In sum, a “good” leader displays traits that echo Emerson’s ideals of a person of “character,” namely those that emphasize personal integrity and an awareness of and service to others. Members’ responses reveal the consequences they bestow upon leaders who do not display these traits, namely a lack of trust and an unwillingness to complete that leader’s vision. In Chapter Four I turn to a discussion of how the course and members construct the ideal path toward “becoming” a good leader. 77 CHAPTER FOUR ON BECOMING AN AUTHENTIC LEADER: CREATING THE SELF Becoming a leader is much the same as becoming an integrated human being…Warren Bennis (On Becoming a Leader) I. INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on the course and members’ descriptions of how young apprentices should go about “becoming” an authentic, good leader. I situate this idealized process within members’ discussions of their experiences within the class as well as their experiences as novice leaders post-graduation. This process in many ways mirrors anthropological work on rites of passage (van Gennep 1966), and also reflects a particularly American focus on the ways individuals are expected to evolve into fully functioning members of society (Settersten Jr. et al 2005). Embedded in these notions are current American depictions and expectations of the appropriate path to young adulthood. The experiences of young adults, and especially young would-be leaders, are deeply intertwined with the lengthening periods of time young people take to enter full adulthood due to the instability of the New Economy (Settersten Jr. et al 2005; Sennett 2006). Additionally, these experiences are informed by the ideologies, practices, and scripts of the self-help and self-actualization movements that have burgeoned in the past two decades (McGee 2005; Salerno 2005). A. Chapter Organization The chapter is organized into two sections. In the first, I outline the first three of the four main stages I argue comprise “becoming” the authentic self, which is the key to becoming an authentic leader: introspection, odyssey, reintegration, and network78 creation. According to the course and members, the initial stages of the process to becoming a successful leader are identical to becoming “the self” and determining the life “purpose.” The course places high emphasis upon self-development and selfexamination, although in conjunction with building a network of others. The process is frequently referred to as a journey or odyssey, similar to Joseph Campbell’s narrative of a solitary hero’s journey (1949). The odyssey ends with creating the self’s “story” as a leader and inviting followers into the narrative as members of a fully “actualized” social network. I develop the fourth section, Network-creation, in the next chapter. In the second section of this chapter, I provide an analysis of prestige gained from becoming the “self.” Here, I analyze the “self” as a commodity and fetish object, and how this operates as a tool to gain some measure of prestige and elite status. II. BECOMING THE SELF A. The Meritocracy Myth and American Self-Help The American self-help movement has exploded in the past two decades. Today, Americans spend more than eight billion dollars a year on self-improvement texts, advice-bestowing seminars and programs, and personal life coaches (Salerno 2005). Any day of the workweek, one can turn on Dr. Phil or the Oprah Winfrey Show and listen to “lifestyle experts” provide advice on everything from finding your life’s purpose, to the energy frequencies of certain foods, to how to use “The Secret” to attract wealth and happiness into your life.1 Corresponding ideologies of finding the self’s purpose, through understanding one’s values, passions for community service, and the power of purpose, are reflected in a burgeoning subfield of the leadership and management popular and 79 scholarly literatures. A quick stop in these areas of any local bookstore will reveal titles such as True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership (George and Sims 2007), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Covey 2004), Leading without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community (De Pree 1997), Who Moved my Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (Johnson 1998), Building Character: Strengthening the Heart of Good Leadership (Klann 2006), and Authentic Leadership: Courage in Action (Terry 1993). 2 “Self-help” has its roots in the particularly American story of individualism and the myth of meritocracy, a story that has dramatically changed within the context of the New Economy. A number of social scientists have examined the nineteenth and twentieth century American ideal of the self-made “man,” which glorified generally masculine characteristics such as independence, perseverance, stoicism, and invulnerability (Cawelti 1988; Hilkey 1997; Weiss 1988). With the close of the twentieth century, and the rise in career instability and changes in gender roles, this vision of a strong male pioneer blazing his own path to glory through sheer hard work and some kind of inherent character traits began to shift as well. The restructuring of the work force to one that’s based upon low-paying service jobs and “knowledge-based” jobs has enormously impacted the myth that anyone can achieve the heights of Carnegie, Ford, or Bill Gates if they work hard enough. A number of scholars have begun to dismiss outright the notion of American meritocracy, or that people get out of the system what they put into it, as a myth (Wyllie 1966; Weiss 1988; Ehrenreich 2001; McNamee and Miller 2004). 80 Several scholars have drawn connections between the burgeoning self-help literature field and the breakdown of this meritocracy myth in the face of the “new insecurity” of the New Economy (McGee 2005; Wallulis 1998). These works argue that Americans turn to self-help literature in greater numbers when they feel a lack of control over their lives and futures. In Self-Help, Inc., sociologist Micki McGee argues that “the less predictable and controllable the life course has become, the more individuals have been urged to chart their own courses, to “master” their destinies, and to make themselves over” (2005: 12). She critiques self-help, however, arguing that “this literature may foster, rather than quell, anxieties” by promoting constant self-reinvention that doesn’t result in measurable gains in worker confidence or security. Journalism professor Steve Salerno agrees, arguing in Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless (2005) that the “empowering” message of self-help is based on very little evidence of efficacy. Instead, he contends that it contributes to Americans’ feelings of unworthiness if they cannot help themselves (at a significant financial cost) out of their low paying jobs or their low self-esteem. The self-help industry, he writes, is one that is “promising relief from all that ails you while at the same time promoting nostrums that almost guarantee that nothing will change (unless it gets worse)” (2005:2). McGee’s text points out that the Protestant work ethic has been amplified by a “romantic imperative” that one create a purpose, or a script, for one’s life (2005). What’s most interesting about this movement in relation to the leadership class is that these students are beginning this idealized process before they even have careers. They are being encouraged to make themselves over before they’ve had a chance to fully 81 experience the insecurities and risks inherent in the New Economy, and during a time when they are not receiving financial compensation for attending “self-actualization” workshops. While I acknowledge that the self-help literature and the management literature are not, in fact, the same fields of study, I do notice interesting parallels with the focuses on the self and finding purpose. A major area of difference I note between the larger self-help movement and the mission of the leadership class are in the models of intervention they present. The self-help movement argues that one can “fix” what’s wrong, be it a mid-life crisis or a sudden lack of faith in oneself, by turning to experts for advice. The leadership literature and course rhetoric argues that one is capable of, and perhaps even morally responsible for, preventing these ruptures from occurring in the first place. The model that the class and the literature present is one that points to fully understanding and developing one’s moral compass, understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, and approaching a life path fully armed before a battle has even been fought. While both speak to understanding a life “purpose” and “becoming the leader of one’s own life,” the “purpose” that the self-help movement often engages with is one that requires intervention in order to heal a breach or a disjuncture. The leadership literature argues that becoming a good leader means doing this work beforehand, indeed perhaps before one should be considered a leader (Bennis 1989; Avolio et al 2005; George and Sims 2007). This chapter, then, is concerned more with the members’ ideas about the development of the leader than of leadership per se. A large growth movement within the leadership literature focuses on the idea that the spiritual and/or self-reflective nature of understanding oneself as a leader is a vital component to 82 holistic, integrative, and ultimately healthy leadership (Burns 1978; Greenleaf 2002; Covey 2004 ; De Pree 1997; George and Sims 2007). Leader development is concerned with knowing yourself in order to know what to do. Leadership itself is more concerned with doing, or the dynamic and interpersonal processes of engagement, dialogue and actions between a leader, followers and an organization. Leadership may occur as a dyad, between an individual leader and follower, or more widely within groups. Chapter Five will consider the members’ ideas about how to translate the work done in leader self-development into behaviors consistent with leadership. B. Becoming a leader in modern America The ideal process of becoming a leader, according to the culture of the class, follows a broad pattern that encompasses four major stages, all connected by a continual involvement with and expression of an authentic self. I’ve identified four overarching stages: 1. Introspection: A period of solitary introspection during which one engages in determining one’s own strengths, weaknesses and moral compass 2. Odyssey: A journey in which one encounters others, explores and engages with the world, and tests the self’s passions 3. Reintegration: A semi-formal reintegration into the social order via developing a “self-story” of the self’s purpose, and finding a career or work path that reflects and reifies this story, and 4. Network-Creation: Cultivating colleagues and followers by developing and, importantly, empowering a network of potentially similarly self-engaged others (further discussed in Chapter Five). I have determined three potential outcomes of this process. First, it may serve to invoke and reinforce the unique or elite status of those who describe themselves as 83 “leaders” and who have undergone this process. Second, it may provide justification for spending years in somewhat self-centered pursuits. Third, it may provide a script of culturally sanctioned behaviors that “put off” growing up and finding a job in an increasingly risky economy. The latter is an increasingly significant issue for young American adults. A growing number of scholars have argued that the traditional markers of growing up, such as graduating school, getting married, finding an industrial job, and purchasing a home, have become more ambiguous and protracted in the postindustrial era (Settersten Jr. et al 2005). The instability of the New Economy has meant that the social timetable for establishing full membership in society as adults no longer completely applies. Young American adults spend a greater amount of time dependent on their parents, or in a state of flux, as high-paying jobs demand increasing amounts of education and careers have become more fluid. Thus, they tend to spend more time in continuing education, job exploration, experimentation in romantic relationships, and personal development (Settersten Jr. et al 2005). This lengthening period between teenage years and full adulthood has been termed "adultolescence" (Tyre 2002). Indeed, Settersten Jr. et al argue that this stage of young adulthood is as distinct a period as adolescence. Just as adolescence was a life period distinct from childhood and adulthood, adultolescence is becoming a period marked by a social and financial lack of autonomy. This may help to explain the complex and varied ways that map the members’ experiences of this process. These stages in some ways mimic what anthropologists describe as rites of passage. In 1909, French ethnographer Arnold van Gennep published a text in which he identified and analyzed many societies’ ritualized processes for marking a change in a 84 person’s social status. He argued that these rites of passage are comprised of three main stages: separation, liminality, and incorporation. During the separation phase, people, either singly or in groups, are removed from the broader social group. During liminality, a limbo phase, they typically undergo a series of ritualized tests and/or are educated by older mentors about the rights and responsibilities of their new social status. Incorporation marks their reentry into society, generally marked by a ritual during which the larger social group formally recognizes their new status (cf. Douglas 1966; Turner 1967 for further discussion of rites of passage). In the model I’ve identified here, introspection, in its solitary, solemn undertaking, is similar to a phase of self-induced separation. The odyssey phase, again self-determined, is similar to liminality. To a broader degree, the entire phase of “adultolescence” could be argued to be a liminal phase due to its status as a time between childhood and adulthood. The third stage, reintegration, mimics the third phase Van Gennep identified. I add a fourth piece, network-creation, which I think is a reflection of the extraordinarily complex social and leadership landscape these young leaders must negotiate. To some degree the process described by the course members and the course does not follow some of the functional or structural elements outlined by van Gennep, namely a formal ritual recognizing their reentry into society. However, I might argue that the process of seeking, interviewing for, and being trained into a career operates as a ritualized recognition of American adulthood, though it may not happen in a public community space and is currently experienced as a lengthy, somewhat fluid process. 85 My emphasis on these stages as self-induced and self-directed is noteworthy. These stages mimic the myths of American individuality and a solitary adventure as well as cultural expectations of self-help, which, in its reliance on experts and coaches, is not necessarily self-help at all (McGee 2005). The tensions these young leaders feel about becoming a fully autonomous adult in America, in light of the instability wrought by the New Economy, are expressed in their desires to achieve some sense of agency through self-knowledge. Their stories indicate an obsession with learning how to be proactive about the choices they can and should make, rather than merely being reactive to the contexts by which they might be limited. I turn now to a detailed examination of these four stages that members identify as the ideal process toward a full actualization of the authentic leader’s self. Because the majority of members with whom I’ve spoken are, for the most part, still young and searching for the best career matches, the bulk of this chapter focuses on the first three stages of the process. Chapter Five will return to the ideology of serving and empowering others, a vital component of the fourth stage, network building. III. INTROSPECTION The notion of the self is implicated in many dimensions within the authenticity and leadership literature: within society and the individual, the ideal and the real, the imagined and the experienced. Finding this “self” in these many dimensions is a primary focus of members’ work within the course, and one they argue continues long beyond the scope of the class. Members describe this process as one that is mainly solitary, academic in scope, and analytical. During this phase, leadership apprentices are expected to spend 86 a significant amount of time assessing their perceived strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they perceive it as a time to begin determining their values, desires, and goals, both as a person and as a leader. Often students within the class and members ask other people to act as a “mirror” and give them feedback on these dimensions. Ultimately, however, the main relationship is with the self, as only the self can filter through feedback and thought processes to determine the self’s central components. This process of introspection does not necessarily end – in fact, members argue that constant self-analysis should continue throughout a leader’s lifetime.3 A. Finding the Authentic Self Achievement of authenticity is generally framed in the literature as an individual process (Shamir and Elam 2005; Sparrowe 2005; George and Sims 2007), calling for one to engage in constant self-reflection as well as a dialectical reflection upon the authentic (and inauthentic) beliefs and practices of others. Being authentic means knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and being fully self-aware of them, although how transparent an individual is about these skills and shortcomings is a matter of debate (Goffee and Jones 2004). Authentic leadership begins with an authentic self, who does not desire leadership per se, but sets out to express itself fully (Bennis 1989), without explicitly stated goals of material or power gain. Personal authenticity is, according to leadership scholar Woods, “achieved through awareness of and being true to the self – its character, values, potential for development, etc. – and ensuring that behavior is faithful to this self” (2007: 299). 87 The majority of the members with whom I have spoken summed up their class experience as one of learning about themselves. This wasn’t always expected, or even welcomed. Matt said: The amount of introspection was one thing I wasn’t quite expecting. I had never really thought of leadership as looking into yourself as much as it was. And most of the classes that you take, I mean, your fun classes, you’re really not doing much soul searching. You’re coming up with creative, mostly fictional ideas. And Poli Sci classes, you’re learning about political science. You’re writing about political science. You’re not thinking about dramatic experiences that you’ve gone through, the hardest decisions you’ve had to make in your life. So that’s how that, that’s what I found to be probably the most challenging part of the class. It wasn’t necessarily the workload, which was tough. But I think everyone that class, everyone who’s selected for that class is highly capable of doing the work. But it’s being true to yourself. And not writing an essay just to write it, turn it in and get the grade – but being true to yourself. Otherwise I don’t think you’d get as much from the class. Maya, who took the course in 2001 and is now a credit analyst for a major corporation, described the class to me as a seminar in learning about leadership styles. She paused, and continued on: But I also think there’s a big element of understanding yourself better. I think that’s a really big part of it. Self-interaction as well as understanding people. I think understanding, if I had to sum the class up in one word, it’s really understanding. Amir agreed, arguing: The professors wanted to see that the students developed their selfawareness. I mean, looking back, I mean that’s what I would assume that their intent was. They wanted us to learn to identify leaders. Like, you know, their goal was to kind of broaden people’s minds in the context of leadership and true teamwork. Often this self-work occurred in the context of essay writing within the course. The students are expected to write six graded essays, with general themes such as “Have I 88 ever made a Machiavellian decision, and what does this say about me” and “What is my greatest leadership strength and [in a separate essay] weakness.” Members identified the essays as a key focus of the class, though at least one person thought they were redundant and the least interesting aspect of the class for him. Amir framed the essays as opportunities to: Go back and look at some leadership we’ve had through high school, through the early part of college…and kind of realize, okay, now I’m looking back on it. What really motivated the success I experience? What really caused the failure I experienced? And I think that was really just all about self-awareness. Matt, along with a number of members, likened this process to therapy, “I mean, you know, it really was almost like sitting down on a couch and talking to a therapist, except you’re sitting in front of your computer screen.” This “therapy” was criticized by several members who felt the approach was a little too “New Agey.” Stacy, when I asked her about the process of becoming authentic, argued: I think, particularly the words authentic and genuine lend themselves first to a process of self-discovery. And I sort of think that term is sort of New Agey and maybe a little overused. But we are all egocentric human beings first, and to understand other people, if you understand yourself first, and then can see parts of yourself in that other person, that’s sort of the path to empathy and emotional intelligence and those sorts of things. So understand yourself and your motivations about what you do and why you do what you do, not just for egocentric purposes, but with the aim of understanding yourself from somebody else’s perspective, I think is the place you should start. I guess then it’s a process of understanding other people, understanding where they are in their motivations for doing things, again leading by example and sometimes saying, but mostly showing the value of doing good work and of being an upstanding person of integrity. 89 Amy agreed that at first she felt entirely too “egocentric” when writing essays focused on herself. Amy, who is Asian-American, framed self-centered leadership as a particularly American pursuit that can, as she puts it, backfire. I think that could be some of it, is that carefree, be who you want to be, and sometimes it can backfire because it can seem self-centric and not in the greater good of other people and that a lot of people have antiAmericanism sentiment because they think and I think because there have been leaders, American leaders who have also portrayed that we’re better than you, that we only care about ourselves. I know not everybody’s like that but that can be a stereotype of American leadership. While she was initially reluctant to participate, Amy found herself learning how to find a way to frame it that worked for her. She, and Stacy above, thought of the work they did in the course as a means to develop their abilities in order to help other people, their main goals as leaders. This was a cultural value that they felt more comfortable embracing, rather than one that seemed too “self-centric.” In contrast, several members told me that self-reflection was something they practiced prior to entering the course. Maya remembers her parents encouraging her to engage in exploration. “I think I took my first Myers-Briggs when I was like eight years old. So a lot of that exploration I’d been doing for a while. So it was great. It’s just a really amazing experience and makes me think.” Amir, whose parents emigrated from India, also experienced a family push by his older sister to “get out there and explore what I wanted.” Raul also told me that he considers himself “a very introspective person by nature.” He most enjoyed doing the readings, then carefully and thoroughly processing the points and counterpoints until he felt he understood his own personal connection to the material. “Most of the introspection happens when I’m reading about leadership or I 90 guess even when I’m just reflecting on it.” However, Judy and other members felt that they struggled with self-reflection before being “forced to confront it” in the course. The above comments reveal that this introspection is not considered a “normal” part of class work done at the university level, and has not been a “natural” part of growing up for these members. I have not directly interviewed students at USC who have not participated in the class to ascertain their levels of self-reflection, but members’ comments show that they did not participate in this kind of work in other classes. I do know that these kinds of classes are becoming more prominent nationally, perhaps partly due to an increased national discourse centered on self-help and self-knowledge. In particular, a psychology class at Harvard that teaches students to find ''a fulfilling and flourishing life" has a long wait list to gain entrance (Goldberg 2006). The members often pointed to the professors as models for how one should engage in self-understanding, especially when it became a daunting challenge. When I asked Maya how a leader gets to know him or herself, she responded, I think it’s the constant discovery. I think Bennis actually illustrates that really well. He’s constantly, I mean, he’s constantly going through like question and self-discovery, and I think some people, for them, it’s really tough, pushing themselves to kind of a limit in some ways in order to try to really get out, what is it that you want? I mean like cancer survivors, people have had near brushes with death, and you know, afterwards, live life, you know, for all it’s worth, they just don’t care. They just care about what they want. And I think we need sometimes pushing ourselves almost to that level and focusing in on what it is that you really, really want. As I discussed in Chapter Three, the two professors are important role models for members, not simply in what they do, but how they do it – their principles, their personal beliefs, and their philosophical approaches. A number of members note their belief that 91 the two professors are personally invested in their development, and thus become emotional touchstones, in a sense. Many of the questions students ask the professors revolve around how they resolved tough emotional leadership issues or how they solidified their own leadership purposes and visions. This reveals not only their desire for guidance but also their understanding that this particular way of becoming a leader is new to them and one they feel they need guidance to navigate. B. Benefits of and Purposes for Self-Reflection Members cited several key perceived benefits to themselves, or leaders in general, for engaging in this process. First, members hoped that discovering their values, aptitudes, and desires would allow them to develop a life’s purpose. Second, members valued knowing their weaknesses in order to compensate for them. Third, members spoke to understanding the self in relation to followers, and to understand their potential impacts upon others. Finally, they hoped to understand how to motivate followers. 1. Discovering Values, Aptitudes, and Desires Bill George, who spoke to the class in 2007, is a management professor and former CEO who has written several books on how to become authentic. He argues that one should first develop his or her moral compass (2007) before beginning actions as a leader. This entails understanding what values and principles form the core of the self, or knowing what “represents who you are as a human being at your deepest level…your most cherished values, your passions and motivations, the sources of satisfaction in your life” (2007: xxiii). Similarly, course members spoke about their desire to understand their own moral compasses in order to find their life passions, though some expressed 92 frustration that they weren’t always sure when they would actually arrive at knowing themselves. Again, this reveals the perception that the “authentic self,” in fact, exists somewhere, and the job or duty of the member is to find it. The following passage from my talk with Judy, while long, in general summarizes the bulk of the views I’ve heard from other members. I think a lot of it has to do with being honest with yourself because for a lot of us it's so easy to justify what you should and rationalize why you said what you said or how you said it, whatever it is. It's so easy to make excuses for yourself. So, I think the first step in really knowing yourself and using that to become an authentic leader is being honest with yourself and being honest with what drives you, what you're passionate about and how you want to spend your days. In essence what motivates you and then once you're honest about that I think it's much easier to translate that into your day to day actions. It took me a while to get to a point where I was completely honest with myself and was able to figure out what I was all about, what drove me and motivated me but then also what I couldn’t take. What was my hill, my stopping point? Once something breached that moral or ethical line for me, I wasn’t willing to continue on with and that's another thing too. I think it's important to know your boundaries. In what kind of environment you're going to most likely succeed and not trying to become something that you're not. There are few of us who can succeed in any time in any place in any environment given any sort of circumstances. Few of us can thrive in that environment for too long and so finding that optimal environment for you I think is really important. For me, at least right now, I think teaching is that for me. It's the environment that I think I can thrive in and learn the most in right now. Here Judy points out that she is still learning her boundaries, but perceived that she was able to identify the key environment she wanted to be in due to self-reflection. During her two-year involvement in the course, in 2006 as a student and in 2007 as a course assistant, she modified her future plans from law school to Teach for America. In Chapter Six I return to this idea that finding the self’s purpose is often aligned with a belief in or practice of serving others. 93 Niki framed the class as a holistic experience that altered her basic perception of herself and developed her confidence. Niki: I think it’s a process. I think you come in the class, you think you know who you are, or you think you know what you’re good at, you think you know what you want to become. And then I think more people than not, if you engage in the class, and you engage in the concepts and you engage in the idea behind, you leave completely, completely confused. You have no idea who you are. You have discovered completely new things about yourself. You’ve discovered new skills, you’ve discovered just, you’re a whole different person. I mean, I think after the first class where I had posed a question where, you know the ones who write and submit, basically describing myself as a manager as opposed to a leader because I thought that that was my strongest suit. I thought that I was much better at managing people, managing ideas than I ever would be at being a leader. And I left and I just could laugh at that idea because that’s just so not who I see myself as anymore. SM: What do you see yourself as? Niki: I think I’m definitely a leader. I speak frequently to Niki, and in our conversations she often mentions that she is feeling stifled in her current position, as an assistant to a political campaign communications director, generally because she feels confident she could be doing more and leading others. Amy, who took the class in 1996 and started a charter school four years ago with her husband, noted that the class played a pivotal role in discovering her aptitudes. “I learned a lot. You know, it took some time, and I didn’t develop my selfconfidence in that class alone, but it definitely helped start my course in life of slowly becoming more confident in my abilities as a leader.” Again, these comments speak to members’ beliefs that they can translate their aptitudes, gained through self-reflection and the self-validation the course provides, into actions. The course may be more than simply 94 self-validating; membership in and completion of the course were also valuable to students as “calling cards” representing their progress as leaders. This desire to find autonomy through the expression of their own desires and voices was echoed by a number of members, perhaps due to their anxieties about their future prospects. Judy framed it as a chance to seize her own expectations of herself. I think, I mean ultimately it comes back to yourself. I think that's probably one of the biggest things I learned through that class during my junior year of college. I can't let others expectations of me dictate my own actions and wants and needs. I think up to that point I had been very driven by external motivations whether it was the expectations of my parents or my peers or whoever. I hadn’t taken the time to sit back and reflect on what was going to be the most important for me in my life and career and like happiness in the future I suppose. I think at the end of the day it comes back to you and whether or not you take that time to critically analyze. For some people I think that, you know whatever the job is as long as they can be financial stable in the beginning that is what is best for them. But for me, I knew that wasn’t true. Judy’s comment reflects a larger point made by scholars who study adultolescence. A growing number of young adults feel anxious about their futures and their potential financial dependence on their parents (Corcoran 2005; Osgood et al 2005). Judy, in other discussions she and I have shared, has remarked on the closeness she feels with her family but her complete reluctance to continue depending on them. This dependence is not simply financial for her. As her point illustrates above, she desires intellectual independence and, importantly, emotional independence. She feels she needs to take responsibility for her own happiness and worries that she hasn’t yet been able to do so. Again, this could be a reflection of a current American emphasis on the idea that one can and should make him or herself happy (McGee 2005). 95 Other members also focused on the perceived positive outcomes of finding a voice. Raul argued “Bennis was always encouraging us to get in touch with our inner voice. You know, to have authenticity reflected in our papers and in our writings.” Courtney talked about the sense of fulfillment she sensed that leaders who had undergone this process received. “Those are the leaders, from everything that Bennis writes, it seems like those are the leaders that seem to end up the most successful or the happiest.” A number of members, like Judy, remarked that this process of finding a voice needed to be continually reinforced. I need to constantly reinforce to myself and remind myself of why I am in that position and make sure that resonates with me. I think for me, once I lose sight of the importance of my position and forget why I’m there or if I don’t feel like it lines up with who I am, I need to move on. Ultimately, members’ thoughts reveal a keen desire to find an aptitude, develop it, validate it by aligning it with their values, and then translate that into a life path. The goal seems to be self-fulfillment, or happiness, or a sense that they’ve embarked upon the “right” path by making the “correct” life choices. I would directly relate that to the enormous number of such life choices currently faced by these members, and the anxieties that can produce. In Chapter Five, I reiterate these themes and also examine how this self-help process is designed to ultimately result in better relationships with others, perhaps as a means to alleviate the risks, individualization, and distanciated social relations of work and life in modern capitalism (Beck 2002; Giddens 1990; Sennett 2006). These better relationships also translate to some measure of prestige as leaders. 96 2. Understanding Weaknesses to Compensate for Them According to much of the literature, one of the forces that may be encountered in this process is the inauthentic self. The inauthentic self is often presented in the literature as impure, cluttered with external expectations and formed through inter-action rather than intra-action (Woods 2007). Only through careful self-reflection, or intra-action, may one begin to navigate the complexities of the inner “core.” Self-reflection is often presented as a highly ritualized, albeit informally so, process. The components of the process include removing the self from toxic environments, ridding the self of inauthentic beliefs and values, fully integrating values that are unique and apparently inherent to the self, and reemerging into the realm of practice. Finding the self becomes a mystical, nearly sacred journey, replete with villains, obstacles, and a hero’s narrative (Shamir and Eilam 2005; Sparrowe 2005). The self is thus made unique and in many ways separate from the individual’s everyday existence. The readings and discussions in the course often mirror this journey. One of Bennis’s core pieces is called “An Invented Life: Shoe Polish, Milli Vanilli and Sapiential Circles” (2000). In it, he candidly traces the moments in his own life that impacted his growth as a person and a leader, including his time as president of the University of Cincinnati. Through this essay, which the students consistently cite in their essays, he reveals that he was not particularly suited for the role of “positional power” within an organization. This realization, he writes, left him free to pursue, as he puts it, his “personal power, influence based on voice” (2000: 34). 97 This theme was echoed by members with whom I’ve spoken, who argue that this process of introspection should point out areas that are not favorable as well as strengths. Maya summed it up as: I think trying to really understand what your own motivation is and being okay with it, I mean, if you’re a person that’s like inherently selfish, and that’s who you really are, and that’s who you really want to be, then you need to either stop feeling guilty about it or do something to change it. Essentially, then, self-reflection is a time to determine one’s character traits and then act on either accepting them or changing them. The idea of being proactive about one’s agency in the choice to be honest was especially highlighted in members’ stories. Courtney noted the difficulty in the part of the process for many students, “admitting mistakes was probably the place where people had the toughest time being honest with themselves.” This might reflect members’ ideas, upon entering the course, that leaders are or should be successful from the start. They are often resistant to thinking through weaknesses, perhaps because they feel it is a derailment from the momentum of the successes they’ve enjoyed as leaders in their campus organizations. It also reifies the course’s mission of teaching leadership as an art, not a prescription for success within a single model. Courtney pointed out that by knowing one’s values, strengths and weaknesses, you can compensate for them by finding complementary followers, similar to Sample’s argument that a good (and smart) leader finds even better lieutenants (Sample 2001). It’s a lot of recognizing what you know, if there are certain things that you value. And if you have certain goals that you want to accomplish, or something like that. Sort of recognizing where your weaknesses are and where your strengths are and where you can draw from other people, from the weaknesses and strengths of, you know, maybe your, your, as Sample 98 would put it, your lieutenants or whatever, but you know, the people that you’re working with. And how you can like match those to your followers. So I guess the process is a lot of, at least through the class, is sort of, I think you sort of like have to force yourself to do that like critical examination and, you know, recognize where, where your mistakes are and where your strengths, and learn how to harness the latter. Again, her comment reifies the ultimate goal of introspection and reincorporation, which is to enjoy healthy, successful, empowered relationships with colleagues and followers within a larger network, and thereby gain some measure of social prestige. I provide deeper analysis of this prestige in Chapter Five. Matt, who took the class in 2002, noted that some in the class are not invested in this process. I know I had friends in the class who would write the papers, who’d go through the motions and some of it would be exaggerated. Some of it would be fictional. But I made sure that for every paper, to make them as factually accurate as possible. So by true to myself I mean actually talking about things that are difficult to talk about. Looking at character traits you have that you may know are not the best traits for a leader. And being honest about those things. As opposed to taking the easy way out. And just writing a three to five page fluff essay. Matt, who finished law school and currently works in law school admissions, framed this process in light of his current job: I had to look at myself and see that sometimes I like to talk over people, and not listen to them. When their ideas are in disagreement with my ideas, I like to speak over them. And as a lawyer now, that trait was further strengthened in law school. You know, but I think I do have the capability now to step back and listen. People like hearing their own voices. He noted that a significant step this process of self-reflection gave him was the understanding of which of his strengths could compensate for his perceived weakness. “You have to figure out what skills of yours are going to help you overcome it. And 99 unless you know who you are as a person, that’s going to be something difficult.” So, again, even within introspection, finding oneself is also about finding oneself within the larger world. Members are very cognizant of why they believe this matters. Beyond finding the best life pathway for themselves that they can, they believe it will ultimately result in better relationships. Niki talked to me about witnessing this through another student’s experience. The other student was a young woman who was initially critical about the value of the selfengagement process. Niki described it this way: I observed other people who opened their eyes. I mean, I’m thinking of Mandy, in particular that before we went in I think she was just very bullheaded and headstrong and just very close-minded and hard and aggressive and I think she left a little bit more willing to open her eyes and accept new ideas, accept new styles of leadership, accept new concepts and things like that. I think that made her a leader, as opposed to someone who just pushed her way to the top. I think it is important for me to point out, again, that many of the students who may have felt the class’s value was overstated did not respond to my requests for questionnaires or interviews. I do remember specific instances with students in office hours, or when reading evaluations, when students argued that this process was too much of a focus for them. This may also reveal the disjuncture between an older American paradigm that privileges stoicism and success over a newer one, with the kinds of messy, emotional details that transparent self-reflection might entail. Or it might simply indicate students who didn’t particularly like self-reflection. 100 3. Understanding Impacts on Others Members often spoke of self-reflection as a conduit to an increased understanding of the leader’s physical and emotional impacts upon other people, as well as ascertaining the general emotional mood of a group. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, in a piece assigned during the course, calls this “emotional intelligence.” He and his co-authors argue that “the leader’s mood and behaviors drive the moods and behaviors of everyone else” (2002: 44). Drawing on a body of work called “mood contagion,” he places a high priority on understanding the self in order to understand one’s inner self, and thus create an atmosphere conducive to success for followers and the organization. “If a leaders mood and accompanying behaviors are indeed such potent drivers of business success, then a leader’s premier task – we would even say his primal task – is emotional leadership” (44). Members’ discussions of the perceived benefits they derived from introspection mimic his ideas. When I asked Amir why he thought the professors emphasized self-awareness for leaders, he told me: I think if I remember right, the case studies, the citations of the existing leaders who are identified as strong or leaders who have the emporiums of leadership, the successful characteristics are really of the leaders who actually knew the impact of their interactions with subordinates or of peers. And I think because of the awareness, their own self-awareness of how they were perceived, the language, you know, body language, their verbal language, their actions. That real self-awareness of everything that they would do and the results that would come from that enable them to actually choose better I guess methods and choose their words more carefully, and present themselves in the manner that’s is befitting of the results they want. So they can know how to better motivate, see that it motivates a sales force because they knew how the sales force was viewing him. And another aspect that an up and coming riser, she would understand how senior management is looking at her while her peers are 101 looking at her and trying to, you know, you have to balance both of those perceptions while still trying to I guess grow her professional endeavors and her success. But not alienating her success from the company’s success. So I lump that in because, you know, it’s big enough. I’ve created a big enough category by calling it self-awareness. Similarly, members argued that self-reflection gave leaders the ability to understand and empathize with other people, be it superiors, colleagues, or followers. Matt, who currently supervises a staff of five people, argued If you know what upsets you and if you know what you like, as far as how other people treat you, you should treat your subordinates the way you like to be treated. And you should not treat them the way you don’t like to be treated. You know, I think every decision a leader makes should in some way be governed by their values. And if you don’t know what your values are, I don’t think it’s possible to be an effective leader if you’re just listening to what people around you say. I will continue a discussion of the members’ stories of networking and creating alliances with other people in Chapter Five. 4. Understanding How to Interact with and Motivate Others During interviews, I frequently noticed members talking about how they hoped this process would aid them in what several termed “maturity.” Upon greater probing, many said they hoped to learn to temper their responses to other people by figuring out which battles to fight. This idea is one advanced by Dr. Sample, who argues that a leader should “know the hill he or she is willing to die on” (2001). More than half of the members who answered my initial questionnaire cited this concept as one of the major ones they remember and one that they continually consider within their interactions with other people. Consider Niki’s responses in our exchange here: 102 Niki: Well, oddly enough, I think the thought that crosses my mind most often coming from the class is ‘choose which hill you’re willing to die on’. I tell myself that probably on a daily basis. SM: Why? Niki: Because I think that’s such an important thing to think about. Because you can argue everything. You can disagree you can be so frustrated you want to just go and run and scream at someone: ‘just what are you talking about?’ But you just you just need to be mature I think it speaks to your level of maturity if you’re able to chose which hill you’re willing to die on. And it speaks to your level of professionalism, it sort of says, you know, I’m above this. I’m not going to argue with this, with you about this, it’s just not necessary. SM: Do you think that most people in general know which hill they’re willing to die on? Niki: Um, no. I think some people are able to bite their tongues but I think that’s different than knowing which hill you’re willing to die on. SM: How do you figure that out? Niki: I think you’ve got to look at the bigger picture, in, depending on where you are. You know, if it’s a friendship and you’re saying, ‘okay, this person is clearly going to be my friend for life. Yes, she’s arguing with me about everything. Is this really worth it?’ I mean, if it’s worth it, if you’re saying ‘you know what, I can’t take this friendship anymore. That’s something, you know, like then you’re saying, ‘okay, this is the hill I’m willing to die on’. Like it may be a small argument but I’m, I’m just done’ But if it’s you know, something that you see is like a long-term friendship or something like that, and you’re like okay, you know, it’s just not as important. I think you make that determination I think in the bigger picture. Matt also argued that self-reflection would allow him to remain strong in the face of other people’s opinions. Because if you don’t know who you are as a person, I think your opinion’s going to be formed by those around you. I think you’re much more likely to give into peer pressure or what we learned as group think, if you don’t know who you are. You’re so much more likely to give into external forces. 103 He continued “compromise is a very important value for a leader to have. And if you know your values and your know your goals, you know where you’re willing to compromise and you know where you’re willing not to compromise.” This idea of knowing one’s hill resonates deeply with members, even those who took the course more than a decade ago. It speaks to the ideal of understanding the self deeply enough to know when to compromise, and thus be seen as a leader who will listen and not simply act defensively. This will, members believe, assist them in motivating other people. However, at the root is the idea that members want to know their deepest values, so they will know when to “die” for their principles. This death could take the form of losing face, losing a job, being considered unethical, or facing even more confrontation. Ultimately I think this speaks to the ideal of courage, which, as I discussed in Chapter Three, is one of the seven traits students listed as an intrinsic part of a good leader. Aside from learning how to effectively and cleanly respond to other people, members hoped that learning more about their values and principles would help them motivate others. Maya noted that: I think, at least for me, like a key element of leadership is understanding yourself, because if you are going to help guide other people or help direct other people, you need to know what you’re doing, what’s motivating you and how that’s playing into your actions, because if you dont understand why you’re out there and what drives you to keep going every day, there is no way you’re going to be able to keep driving other people on a long term sustainable basis. Do that a lot. Maya’s comment was echoed by numerous other members who sought a clear way to interact with and motivate their colleagues and followers. Some of the specific behaviors in which they engaged to empower others will be discussed in Chapter Five. 104 The four perceived benefits to self-reflection are intertwined with members’ experiences with the next three stages of the self-actualization process. IV. ODYSSEY The journey aspect of the process of becoming a fully realized self is one that members often cite as a physical exploration of the global world, although they also describe it as a metaphorical engagement with ideas about humanity, the multiplicity of career options, and global social problems. Many of their stories describe images of encountering other people, testing the self and perhaps failing, and actively interacting with the world in a tactile, sensory-based pattern. Ultimately, their stories reveal that the desired result of this journey is not a product but a reinforcement of the continual “process” becoming a leader entails. While one may be solitary in physical travels, the key element here is finding other people or bigger issues with whom to engage in meaningful, though transient, ways. After the period of introspection, which may continue throughout the journey, it is a time to find the self “reflected” back through this broader engagement with other people, other ways of life, and other kinds of passions. Through this engagement, members report that they hone their ultimate life passions, translate them into a story, and then are ready to “return” to engage in meaningful work. Interestingly, although many of the members with whom I spoke currently had full time jobs, many spoke about still searching for their purpose, or referenced a plan for a future odyssey. This journey thus reflects a cultural construction of a particular kind of “adulthood,” one that privileges self-awareness and self-improvement over career, family, community or social awareness. The journey is 105 meant to culminate in an ability to undertake these more serious, “adult” endeavors at a later date. A. The Path Toward Young Adulthood in America This group of members reflects shifts in American cultural constructions of the proper pathway to adulthood, albeit a particular and privileged adulthood. A New York Times article by columnist David Brooks (January 2008) argues that the current path to adulthood contains a significant chunk of time devoted to an “odyssey.” Whereas their parents entered careers immediately after high school or college, graduates today generally spend a number of years (perhaps their entire twenties) moving from job to job, or traveling extensively, or somehow lacking “stability” in place or career. In class, Bennis cites a recent study that argues that young people today will have 14 different careers, not just jobs, in their lifetimes. This journey, Brooks notes, is one that is undertaken by a particular class of people, those who have the financial means to travel or who are not consumed by college-related debts. This may be due, as mentioned above, to the context and effects of “adultolescence.” It might be useful to say again here that the “life path” or “purpose” that members are searching for is not the same as searching for a career, although they hope that this search will result in finding work that engages and reflects the life purpose. Members characterized this journey in three major ways, all intertwined. The first is as a time to engage with the wider world and absorb broader social issues, the second is as a time to test the self’s ideas and passions, resulting in a commitment to values or life’s purpose, and the third is as a time to experiment with what might work and what won’t 106 through trial and error, or multiple short jobs. Many of these moments occurred within the confines of the class, and many were spread throughout the course and postgraduation ventures or experiences. B. Engage with the World A number of guest speakers who visit the class encourage these young apprentices to spend their twenties exploring themselves and the many options that the world offers. CNN political analyst and leadership professor David Gergen, who has visited the class three times, speaks about the “decade phases” in a leader’s life and argues that the twenties should be a time to develop the self. His son Chris Gergen, who recently wrote a book called Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives, has in the six years of his class visits encouraged students to become the “captains” of their lives by “rubbing up against the world.” He details his own personal narrative, one that encompassed his quitting a job at CNN in his twenties to travel to South America. He ended up opening a coffee shop/art venue in Chile, running it for about a year before deciding to return to the United States to pursue an MBA. A vast majority of members, both past and present, cite his adventure as one that they wish to mimic. Students are visibly energized by his talk about finding a life’s purpose, and nearly 100% of them cite his ideas in their final papers and final exams. In fact, I still receive emails from members who graduated four years ago asking me if I know the name of the coffee shop he opened so they can retrace Chris’s steps, and perhaps discover their own self’s entrepreneurial spirit in Chile. 107 Judy’s memory of the two Gergens’ visits in general encapsulates the essence of the members’ engagement with their ideas, and the idea of odyssey in general. I was most impacted by the Gergens right off the bat just because they provided two different perspectives but both in which we could all relate to. Chris was a little bit closer to our age and kind of appealed to all of our adventurous side and our drive to get out there and do whatever we wanted to do for our first couple of years in our twenties and early thirties. And then his father was able to give us reasons why that was okay because I think without the two of them there you would just look at his son and say okay that's great. Not everyone has the resources or not everyone can do that given their career options. I would have just have seen through his enthusiasm and adventurism a little bit more if I didn’t have his father supporting him and saying you know what, I think it's great at the end of the day that he spent his twenties in this way. Look what a good person he's become. I can give you a timeline and show you why that's okay and why in the end it's all going to work out. So, they played on a lot of our desires yet insecurities related to our immediate future. So, that was great. Judy’s comment reflects not only her own romance with the idea of adventure, but also argues that this journey resulted in Chris becoming a “good person” and it all “worked out.” She also notes her desire to do this, while she is insecure about doing what seems so self-centered. Other members echoed this need for validation in their pursuits, and referenced the “good” or moral ways it would impact them. It also reflects that these members often have the resources, whether financial (and perhaps parental in origin) or just time, to spend time traveling. While privileged American youth often spend time traveling during or after college, Judy’s comment points out that she needs a greater validation than to just go hang out in Chile. This greater validation is the life purpose she perceives she could find there, that she could then translate into a purpose that might serve others besides herself. 108 With these moral overtones, in many ways this process mimics the monomyth of the archetypal hero’s journey described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949). Campbell wrote about the journey: A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man” (1949: --). This sense of setting out on a quest wrought with potential danger is illustrated in the narrative thrust of the American adventure myth. McGee (2005) notes that the typical American response to social or individual problems is to “embark on adventures and explore new frontiers” (5). Here the social problem might be the risk inherent in the New Economy, and the new frontier could be described as the heroic “self” who can combat this risk and then provide a script of stability and gain increased social status for future endeavors. I know of at least six cohorts of course members who have traveled abroad together, journeys that were planned within the course after spending extensive time in introspection. For example, within the past week, I have spoken to two members who have worked intensely in politics for the past year. They planned to take a year off, beginning this summer, to travel to Europe. This journey, they said, goes beyond the normal kinds of travel young people might engage in during their twenties. Both said they were “losing their senses of self” in their present jobs, and felt compelled to spend months in reflection with someone who could speak to the particular flavor of journey they desired. They consciously chose each other to travel with, they said, partly so they knew they would be with a companion who shared their same language of the class. In 109 particular, they told me they would be rethinking many of Bennis’s ideas about knowing the self. Judy told me that traveling together or planning it was an integral part of the students’ experience the year she was a course assistant. I think a lot of them for their first time it was that place for them to look for something bigger beyond. They were really able to find the bigger picture in this class which is really vague. I would say from what I know and the people I talked to, a lot of them took the Gergens’ idea of traveling and really finding themselves to heart. I know a lot of them have spent this summer traveling not only Europe which I think is a main destination for a lot of my peers but South America and going to Africa and these countries that aren't big tourist spots by any means. They're able to do something either good for the people there, find a little bit more of themselves in traveling around a foreign country for a while by themselves. So, I think they took that idea of traveling as a means to get to know yourself better and find yourself in your early twenties to heart. Many members are quick to point out that they are going outward to find themselves, true, but that they also plan to engage in community service along the way. For example, I’ve received emails from former students who, during their travels, built houses, taught in small villages, worked to get clean water to rural areas and raised funds for numerous small global works projects. I do believe that many of these members were probably also enjoying the good beers of Germany, the beaches of the South Pacific, and generally just hanging out. C. Testing the Self’s Passions and Principles Members’ perceived benefits of the odyssey were often reported as a focused commitment to a chosen career pathway and a well-honed “passion” for service. Judy talked about experiencing part of her odyssey through her connections with others in the class. 110 For example, Jenny Green [a classmate within the leadership course] was the number one reason I applied to Teach For America in the first place, one of the reasons I was interested in Teach For America in the first place. Just talking to her and other people in the class who understood where I was coming from on a lot of the reasons why I joined, who understood when I said I want to do something with my twenties that I feel like I can apply for the rest of my life. I want to gain a deeper understanding of myself. I think this is a great way to do it. All those little things they understood. So think my conversations with people about why I shouldn’t do it were so much more valuable and relevant and in the end affected in my decision compared to those in which I had with my friends who wanted MDA just because those values that I picked up in MDA weren’t relevant to them as much. They weren’t looking to do what I was looking to do. Judy’s comment relates back to the ideology of the in-group that I discussed in Chapter Three. Here she directly says that the shared codes and language of the inner circle of the leadership course were of greater value to her in validating her life choices than were those of outside friends and contacts. This synthesis of discourse agreement and practice was echoed by numerous members. I also noted members trying to teach this discourse to others during their journeys. Rob, who took the class in 2002 and currently works for the United States Border Patrol, talked to me about trying to be a mentor to others by consistently rethinking his principles. Those principles I can talk about like integrity, striving for excellence, striving for continued improvements. That’s something I think about everyday. It’s like, okay, am I giving it my best effort? Am I living up to the ideals that were taught in the course? I try to be a mentor, you know, to both my business partners as well as my coworkers in the government. And some people accept it and some don’t. But I think the fact I took this course does make me more conscientious about at least making an effort. Rob’s point reflects a larger point that a number of members have already made, namely that they feel this class prepared them for larger challenges of working with 111 people because they’ve already worked to understand why they want to work with others. To him and others, making this effort was as, or more, important than actual success. Finding a set of principles and sticking to it, then, is to them a mark of honor and prestige in itself. D. Trial and Error This notion that the self-reflection effort is nearly as critical as the results is a key distinction that members draw between their experience in introspection and the experiences that other people might have to draw upon. A theme that I frequently noted in talk with members, talk within the class, and ideas presented by the readings, professors and guest speakers was that trial and error is a valuable, even integral, part of discovering the self. This is not a new concept, obviously, or we wouldn’t have cultural stories of “try try again” and “the Little Engine that Could.” However, several members pointed out that although they could intellectually understand this concept, they previously felt that “leaders shouldn’t make mistakes,” or that others (Americans, perhaps) wouldn’t value leaders who did so. Similar to discovering one’s weaknesses in order to discover how to compensate for them, members talked about trial and error from a self-analytical perspective. Courtney recalled that: We focused on, you know, the trial and error part a lot. Which I think was, sort of like recognizing mistakes and trial and error. I liked that part a lot. And I think that that actually was probably the best, the most useful thing. Because you know a lot of us at that point knew you know, ’Oh! You know, we do well, probably because we’re anal’. You know, that and you can kind of recognize what helps you do well, but maybe not what you can learn from. Um, so that, makes, that focus made sense. I felt like a really good addition was probably trying to find a way to help people really put 112 their finger in an analytical way on what about them works. Um, because it’s not as simple as like, you know, oh I do well because I’m a perfectionist. Like that’s not, that’s not an interesting or, um hopefully truthful, you know thing. Matt noted that this talk frequently came within discussions with guest speakers. Matt: They all stressed hard work. I think they all, for as powerful as they were, I think they all still had a very strong work ethic. And so they all stressed hard work. And they stressed believing in yourself. SM: How so? Matt: You know, like if, if there are bumps in the road, if their obstacles don’t give up, overcome them – look inside yourself to overcome obstacles. Don’t let obstacles prevent you from reaching your goals. And I think that’s the thing they all had. And that’s actually another speaker I remember is Eli Broad. Particularly, because he actually, I remember him saying, he grew up in a poor family in suburban Detroit, and through hard work he built his company, you know, which is now one of the largest homebuilders in the world. Matt’s comment is one of many that reiterated the ideal of a leader achieving through hard work, and working through the many obstacles that may occur during the effort to lead. He complicated this by referring to authentic leaders as those, who through trial and error, learn to “stick to their guns” and uphold their principles. While many members spoke eagerly of setting out on an odyssey, others noted that they felt anxiety and trepidation about the pressures of finding a future, and felt compelled to figure things out quickly. Similarly, Amy said that she learned in the course that her own ambition and drive could get in her way as she was setting out after college. She told me a story about a guest speaker who was, as she put it “completely eccentric, and completely comfortable with himself.” She told me that he encouraged the class to 113 know themselves, but to take their time. When I asked her why that was important to her, she responded: I think for me because at the time I was still finding myself. So for me it was like what I needed to hear. You know, I think I was at a place where I’m like I need to please my parents, I need to please myself, I need to please my colleagues. I need to figure out, I’m graduating, what am I going to do? I need to make money or I don’t need to make money. You know, I’m still trying to figure out, what do I want to do, you know. And so I think for where I was at, that’s what I needed to hear was somebody to just say, chill, chill, calm down and just be yourself. And his famous saying that President Sample and Dr. Bennis ended up putting on t-shirts for everybody and gave it to us on our banquet was like Rule number something, I forget like you know, Ben Zander had like this rule, I can’t remember if he had more than one rule but for some reason the class had joked about like rule number something like what’s his rule number 17 or something and it said – don’t take yourself so god damn seriously. And so that’s what they put on the t-shirts. Several members synthesized finding the self with trial and error. Courtney talked about her respect for a speaker who made active choices to know herself, and contrasted it with another speaker who did not impress Courtney as much. Courtney’s statement below reflects some of Amy’s point above that the process doesn’t have to be overnight or even taken “too seriously.” Yeah, I think that it was the ones that felt like they had found the right fit. You know who actually didn’t impress me that much, and I felt that he was very nice, but I felt like Robert Zemeckis didn’t impress me that much. And I think that mostly because I felt like he hadn’t thought enough about his self, uh, about like what, what worked for him. It just seems like he was kind of like, ‘Ehhh, it all works’ and comes naturally. I felt like the ones that were better were the ones that, I mean he clearly struggled awhile before he was successful, but I felt like the ones that were more receptive speakers were able to put, you know, the finger on a potential reason why they had been successful. Because I think it, for us especially at that age, and you know, at the age that I am right now, then it’s like, you know, you’re trying to, in some ways find models for who you want to be. And like, how you can get to whatever your little goals are. So it’s nice to, um, it's nice to see people that seem accomplished and seem to 114 know what they want even if it took them awhile to get there. Because it’s a reminder of, like ’ok, ok, they tried some stuff first, they figured it out.’ Or, um, or ‘Look at her.’ Suzanne Nora Johnson was very, I felt like you could tell that she made choices about, you know, how she wanted to live, and she just didn’t let certain, whatever, I mean she actually didn’t talk that much about gender barriers, I guess, but she did talk about, you know, the fact that she didn’t have kids and stuff like that. And that was interesting for, for us to hear. It’s like, okay, well that’s one choice that you might make. You know, maybe I won’t make that choice. But this is how, like she got to where she is. And she, it seems to be what she wants. When I asked Courtney more pointedly why she liked this story, she revealed: I always thought it was really interesting to talk about failures more than success, because I thought that you could look at these successful people and see how they struggled. And I felt that that was more real than success story, success story, success story. And maybe that’s why I like figuring out how people got to where they were, because I feel like it’s not just “oh! Here’s the end result.’ Courtney’s final point summarizes the ultimate goal of the odyssey, which is to continue the process of introspection throughout the many trials and tribulations of becoming a leader. She and other members wanted to hear, in the course, that they would in fact stumble many times. This reiterates the ideology that becoming a leader means, as Bennis puts it, becoming “a fully integrated human being,” acknowledging and connecting all of the missteps, strengths, and side journeys that may entail. While the process of becoming a fully integrated human being, according to the course and members, continues long past the course, many also noted moments that seemed to “cap” this process in some small way. A key “process within the process” that I noted in members’ conversations was finding a life purpose, then finding a way to frame that purpose, or “story,” back to the self and, ultimately, to others. I sketch this 115 process below. Again, as many of these “stories” are not yet fully formulated, this section is brief. This section also marks a transition to topics that I more completely develop in the next chapter; namely, that these stories and life career paths are often framed in the context of servant leadership. The final phase of the process that I’ve identified in this chapter, Network-Creation, is fleshed out in the next chapter within discussions of alliance-creation and prestige. V. REINTEGRATION Reintegration marks a moment, or series of moments, when the “discovered self” begins to actively engage with a life, career or work path that the member believes expresses his or her “purpose.” A major component of this active engagement is the creation of a “story” that reflects this purpose. Introspection, and often the odyssey, whether physical or metaphorical, were referenced as times when the self’s metanarrative might be created and solidified. This meta-narrative is then transformed into the “story” of becoming a leader. Storytelling has a deep impact within the leadership course. Members valued the narratives they heard in class; in fact, many of the older graduates remember specific stories told by guest speakers but did not remember many major theoretical concepts. They also frequently referenced the professors’ and guest speakers’ skills as storytellers. They translated this into a desire to construct their own stories and narratives as a “self.” These stories should, in theory, describe an ideal path for the leader to follow, often including finding meaningful work or a career trajectory that matched the story. I will return to these career life paths in the next chapter. 116 A. Storytelling in Leadership Numerous readings and concepts within the course focus on idealizations of a leader’s storytelling abilities. Bennis speaks often about how followers frequently remember the story of a leader’s life or vision, rather than the logistical details. A text used heavily in the class, Howard Gardner’s Leading Minds (1995), is a compilation of the stories that leaders have created about themselves, or their particular social contexts, battles, or endeavors, and then presented to others. For example, Gardner examines Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Eleanor Roosevelt to distill the way they assessed their goals and then packaged them to the greatest effect. Gardner, according to Bennis, knows that “the most effective lessons are often couched in good stories” rather than in dense theory, simplified litanies of injustices done, or bland plans for a corporation (1996: 2). Bennis argues that good stories are needed now more than ever, given the crises of leadership and humanity that are occurring globally. Bennis frames this argument in a tone often mimicked by course members, “Effective leaders put words to the formless longings and deeply felt needs of others. They create communities out of words” (1996: 6). The key, Bennis and Gardner argue, is to be both a pragmatist and an idealist. A recent guest speaker, Henry Cisneros, echoed this theme, encouraging students to find “their own metaphor” that encapsulated their life stories. In my conversations with members and in my observations of students throughout my four-year tenure with the course, I have noted that members badly want to find their own unique story. For them, finding this story begins with crafting a narrative of the self that they then might translate into one with great personal affect and meaning 117 for followers and others. For some, this process was a fairly obvious one, while others were still struggling to elucidate the myth of their lives. While many are in the beginning stages of finding a way to balance their pragmatic goals with an idealistic framework, they speak to the perceived impacts of such a feat. When I asked members to tell me their overarching memories of the course (one of the first questions I asked them), their response was often to tell me a story about when they first felt personally connected to the course material. Raul said Oh, I was captivated from day one. I love, you know, I love listening to public speakers. And it’s just something that I’ve always done. I always listened to. You know, I love going to talks or lectures. CSPAN is the channel I’m always watching. But I’m always comparing and seeing. You know, and some people can tell stories. Some people can tell them. They’re very captivating. I don’t know. They just have that ability. And I love watching public speakers. And one thing I noticed on the first day is President Sample is just a great, great storyteller. I mean it just draws you in when you hear the story. And I was drawn in even from the first day. Raul’s comment acknowledges that this class depends on personal stories told by the professors and the guest speakers. In my four years (almost five completed now) of listening to the speakers, I’ve noticed many students crying or obviously emotionally invested in the intimate details many speakers divulge. I think that intimacy, along with the public divulgence of stories, reflects the ideal of becoming a publicly transparent self, which I highlighted in Chapter Three as an idealized trait of leaders. It also conveyed to the students the idea that, to be a good leader, one should emotionally resonate with an audience. Courtney spoke to this point when she told me that finding a story, or a message, originates with finding the authentic self. 118 It just was sort of what on becoming a leader is about. I think that this is, for me, what ties the class together. I guess that process is about; you know figuring out who you are and you know what, what values are important to you. And then maybe having that stuff tested and, and then I guess, you know, starting to, like thinking of some kind of, and it might not be so planned, you know. I guess for some people it’s very planned and for others it’s all like it was more natural, like, ‘oh, I want to be involved in this cause. This is what, this is what my goal is going to be’. The people that had the easiest time, I think getting people to listen to them, or people who were able to have their messages resonate most with others were the ones that sort of, had I guess lived what their message was. Or, you know, believed, reflected what their values were. Um, but their message you know, matched their values in some way or something like that. Amy also most resonated with speakers who told personal narratives that seemed to be accurate representations of themselves. She highlighted one in particular, telling me: Like he’s like I’m just going to tell you like it is. I’m not going to tell you like this textbook theory or what you want to hear or what you should hear or what I think you should hear. But it was pretty much like, this is who I am. Be yourself, be passionate, love what you want to, you know, do what you want to do, don’t do things because you feel like you have to or because of what people want you to do or that’s what you think you have to do but I think he was just like just do it, you know. When I asked Amy why this resonated so much, she responded: You know I think, I think in the end a lot of people would say, like do what you love, do what you’re passionate about, be yourself. I think with him it was just his personality and how it comes across. It’s just so funny and I think it was in a story format so you just remember it, you know, and you feel so comfortable and lighthearted. Instead of just being lectured at and saying, no, just be yourself. And you know, do what you want to love. In contrast, guest speakers whose stories seemed rehearsed or inauthentic were criticized. In particular, members cited Antonio Villaraigosa as a speaker who told a tale of being the caretaker of his mother that didn’t resonate with students. Comments in 119 class or to me privately indicated that they felt he didn’t believe in the power of his words any longer and merely spoke them for political reasons. The comments above reflect members’ concern with finding a story that is entertaining and not terribly difficult to craft or deliver. Amy’s comment in particular is one that I heard several times from members – they wanted to find humor and perspective while also creating something “real” and persuasive. Something, they told me, that was unique and memorable. Raul’s views provide a solid summation of this phase of the process, as identified by the course. It was more than just a class. It really was an experience. I would say, you know, I don’t want to sound too grandiose, but I think it was a life-changing experience. And I think everybody that was in that class; and I definitely thought that a lot of students felt that way. A lot of students felt that it was a transformative experience because you went there and you’re being told there’s a new sense of hope, a mission of purpose, of maybe tying in your story that we would bring from pages of history. And I think that it was a powerful, powerful experience. Ultimately, I believe these members were concerned with finding a narrative that matched their inner desires and then gave them the space to develop an overarching life purpose. This story is one that followers, in turn, can purposefully choose to engage with and freely follow if it is compelling and passionately delivered. The story might not be universally applicable, or even global in scope, but it became a kind of anchor that could provide stability. I see that this stability is one they are looking for in an uncertain work and leadership landscape, one that privileges frequent and fluid career changes, transient relationships with colleagues and followers, and the risks associated with being an individual in a modern capitalistic context (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002; Sennett 120 2006). In the next two chapters, I examine how these stories are often framed in terms of servant leadership, perhaps as a strategy to gain some measure of social status and prestige in such a complex landscape. I also argue that this story-creation allows for greater and deeper relationships with others, perhaps as a reaction to the high-speed and increasingly fluid world in which they live, work, and hope to lead. The intangible story, ironically, may be the component of a leader that ultimately gains the most concrete, long-lasting results. VI. THE AUTHENTIC SELF AS A COMMODITY In this section I analyze the results and perceived benefits leaders and apprentices may derive from the process of becoming a fully actualized self. After finding the “authentic self,” leaders are expected to share it with others. The prestige gained by giving of the private self to others functions in three main ways. First, it reifies the rhetoric of self-help and individual potential that is particularly embraced by American culture, with a new emphasis on publicly displaying one’s inner passions and flaws (McGee 2005). Second, it sets itself up as a moral object that rejects the corruption of popularly derided, overpaid CEOs. It may be a strategy that sets up authentic leaders as potentially immune to personal attacks. Third, it gains prestige by the very act of “giving” the private self to the public. By merging the private inner self with the public domain associated with leadership, it allows followers and others to consume the “flawed” private self. The leader’s self becomes a commodity, an object that can be traded for gains in leadership status or for social capital. 121 Ultimately, this may be a strategy that encompasses the American narrative of a past that glorified the Protestant work ethic and desire for character (Susman 1979), present concerns with the perceived “distanciated social relations” of capitalism (Giddens 1990), and also looks to an optimistic, “moral” future. The future that authenticity describes is one that has access to a virtually unlimited supply of “goodness.” Thus this leadership becomes a kind of social gift bestowed upon society by the leader (Shershaw 2005). A. Authenticity as a Strategy While the members of this class often operate within large corporations with systematically coded forms of leadership, I argue that authenticity represents a nuanced political maneuvering to both reject and gain these hierarchical positions. Industrial organizations and the corporations of the first decades of the New Economy focused on achievement within positions. Reputations and fame rested upon myths and narratives of individual accomplishment, measurable results, and material gains. I argue that authenticity represents an inflection toward the social capital of prestige through giving. The story of becoming a “good” American leader is shifting in some ways to a story of reciprocity, public prestations, and the giving of the self, similar in some ways to the potlatch, the moka, or the kula ring. In return for the self’s “giving,” followers respond with degrees of loyalty, work productivity, and time commitments that are increasingly becoming rarer in modern work environments. 122 B. The Self as a Commodity The “authentic” self in many ways becomes a fetish object, fashioned into an object rather than perceived as a subjective entity. According to the discourse, the authentic self is “pure,” untainted by selfish desires and fundamentally something to be sought and achieved. The impure self can only continue to search for the pure self through self-reflection and “genuine” acts. The everyday practice of “understanding the authentic self” appears grounded in constant moments of introspective meditation. In a similar vein, the idea of an “authentic leader” has also become positioned as a nearly sacred being, a figure practically impossible to conceive of in total. This idea that the goal is nearly unattainable creates the “authentic leader” as a distanced entity, in many respects removed from the hum-drum existence of daily resentments, small manipulations and meaningless social interaction. This goal is set up as life-long process; members feel they must always strive to become “more authentic.” This distancing of the authentic leader creates “it” as an object in many ways, an object to be desired. Communication scholar Phil Graham argues that hypercapitalism is characterized as a “political system in which products of the intimate aspects of human activity can be technologized, alienated, and sold as commodities (2006: ix). Here, the intimate activity of becoming an authentic self is translated into an object for trade. In some ways the authentic leader is a nostalgic object that reflects both contemporary concerns with “self-actualization” and the processes of individualization (Beck and BeckGernsheim 2002), and also harkens back to Emerson’s notion of the “Exemplary Man,” when character was a social value. Becoming authentic can thus be described as a 123 somewhat ritualized antidote to the isolation of individualization and the anxieties of a risk society. The leadership class and its members frame the authentic self as an entity that exists somewhere, and is findable. The goals of a good leader, then, are to actively create a pathway that is purposefully designed to intersect this authentic self and inhabit it. One might almost call this the “nirvana” of leadership. C. The Prestige of the Self as a Commodity The very act of “giving” the private self to the public, or at least to a public of followers, gains some measure of prestige. By merging the private inner self with the public domain associated with leadership, it allows followers and others to consume the “flawed” private self. This merger purportedly dissolves the fundamental problems of charismatic leadership by removing the “divine” association of a perfect leader (Weber 1947). Weber argued that charismatics are often perceived as “divinely” blessed with an ability to attract, charm, and compel followers. The issue, he writes, is that the influence of charismatics is difficult to maintain for long periods of time, and is nearly impossible to transfer to successors. The rhetoric of authenticity at least speaks to the removal of the “gild” of charisma, the sense that a follower cannot trust a charismatic to remain in power. Here I point out that a slight paradox exists here, in that authentic leaders, much like charismatics, are difficult to criticize. Authentic leaders who are open about their “human frailties,” as Bill George posited in a U.S. News and World Report article, frame themselves as already aware of their weaknesses (2006: 52). Thus the “character attacks” come from the leader him or herself, rendering any attacks from outsiders as less 124 powerful. The authentic self uses his or her “story,” or metaphor of the self, to acknowledge faults that otherwise could be deadly if lobbied from external observers. The story, or myth, of previous leaders was one of “I did this” or “I will do that in the future.” The newer story is one of “Let me help you become yourself, just as I have,” personalized to the individual leader’s journey or odyssey. The authentic self thus becomes a kind of strategic, mythical construction, a character in a play. Those who follow authentic leaders engage in this construction, which reflects the “consumption” of idealized leaders and leadership as objects. VII. CONCLUSION This chapter has presented a model for how members describe the ideal process of becoming an authentic self, and, eventually, a leader. This model encompasses four stages: introspection, odyssey, reintegration, and network-creation. Network-creation is embedded in a larger discussion of coalition-building and prestige, and I will discuss it in the next chapter. Ultimately the goals members outlined here generally reinforce the notion that a leader should know him or herself intimately, through reflection upon his or her values, guiding principles, and desired goals for leadership. The key transformational moments are those that develop the self’s defining character, which can then be translated into a larger purpose. This purpose is often framed by a story or metaphor that speaks to the leader’s sense of embarking upon a greater “mission.” Members strongly believe that this purpose should flow naturally into a career or pathway of “meaningful” work that ultimately transforms not just the self but also the people with whom the self creates 125 relationships. Members consistently reference this process as one that recognizes and takes responsibility for proactive choices rather than reactionary stances. In Chapter Five, I turn to an analysis of this process as a strategy for gaining some measure of prestige or elite status within networks and alliances. In Chapter Six, I present members’ stories of finding work and leadership that enables them to empower others through broader service, and will analyze the ways they translate the prestige gained through becoming an authentic self into various forms of social capital. Key to my analysis will be a focus on members’ notions that “leaders give back.” 126 VIII. CHAPTER FOUR ENDNOTES 1 In fact, as I write this, I’ve just come from lunch with a friend who bought me a copy of self-actualization author Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose and is excited to discuss it with me. She got it because it was Oprah’s book club pick for the week. I also admit that I have a copy of Wayne Dyer’s 10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace in my bathroom. My own parents heavily invest in the spiritual aspect of the self-help movement. As dowsers, they try to help other people divest unhealthy “energies” or “entities” and find peace within the “white light.” 2 I cannot do justice to the enormous literature that has emerged to analyze the multiple strands of the self-help movements. For a larger discussion of these critiques, please see McGee 2005 and Salerno 2005. 3 The literature on the idea of the American “self” is vast and complex and I cannot do it justice here. For examples, please see Rose (1989), Csikszentmihalyi (1993), Cushman (1995), and Lind (2000). 127 CHAPTER FIVE NETWORK CREATION: ALLIANCES, AUTHENTICITY, AND BIG MEN I. INTRODUCTION This chapter considers the application of the rhetoric of authenticity within larger arenas of leadership, power, and elitism. Practitioners and theorists denote authenticity as both an adherence to the self’s values and a social marker of a valuable, collaborative leader. Here, I discuss the relationship between the notion of authenticity and its use as a strategy to gain social capital and some measure of prestige within larger alliances. Authenticity, while ostensibly focused on self-development, ultimately insists on a service-based collaboration with others. The process of becoming authentic is one that is searching for an object, an “authentic self” that is sometimes presented as distant and impossible to reach in its pure form. As an object, it has become a commodity in the leadership market, and is a valuable tool in the creation of networks, which is the final stage of the model I presented in Chapter Four. These networks operate or are set up to mimic alliances of fictive kin individuals engaged in a common mission. Authentic leaders often engage in public prestations of the self by giving of themselves in order to achieve their goals, similar to the actions of the Melanesian Big Men described by anthropologist Marshall Sahlins (1963). Features of the New Economy, specifically the anxieties created by individualization and risk (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002; Sennett 2006), are deeply intertwined with my analysis of the members’ desires to create networks in order to develop some sense of stability. 128 A. Chapter Organization This chapter is organized into two sections. The first section presents Networkcreation, the fourth stage of the model I presented in Chapter Four. Here I outline the kinds of relationships members hope to build with others. The second section situates my analysis of the coalitions built on the basis of authentic leadership within political anthropology, focusing on theoretical approaches to the study of power, elitism, and leadership. I specifically focus on the big man literatures of Melanesia (Sahlins 1963) for discussions of the intersections between personality, prestige, influence, alliances, and leadership. II. NETWORK CREATION As I argued in Chapter Four, one of the ultimate goals of the self-reflection process is the development of meaningful relationships with followers, peers, and other leaders. Nearly every member with whom I spoke expressed a desire to work in groups with other highly-motivated people. Here I am making a key distinction between working in teams and network building. Teams are often created within specific organizations, with specific goals. They may become Great Groups, which Bennis argues are groups that solidify a central mission and achieve something “greater” than task completion (1989). Great Groups may also grow outside of a specific organization, perhaps as an outgrowth of members’ passions or social visions. The networks that I describe here are more like living organisms, fluidly encompassing organizational colleagues as well as external contacts and other individuals who may play an important role in the achievement of a individual’s life purpose. 129 Members envision these networks as places where the self continues to be cultivated and developed, especially given that they actively choose the people in these networks for themselves. This implies a hefty responsibility to make solid and wise choices of people to include. Additionally, they are made up of people whom the member wishes to cultivate as well, making these networks multilateral flows of ideas and support. Often the network is the group with whom the member would like to create and realize a vision. A. Finding Authentic Connections Authentic leaders, according to leadership scholars Ilies et al, “are deeply aware of their values and beliefs, they are self-confident, genuine, reliable and trustworthy, and they focus on building followers’ strengths, broadening their thinking and creating a positive and engaging organizational context” (2000:pg). At its base, then, the notion of authenticity shuns concepts of hierarchy in favor of leaders who create collaborative, socially-minded environments. The rhetoric calls into question individuals who engage in behavior that could be seen as rank or status-oriented, especially any behavior that appears to be directed at a self-serving goal, whether for power, promotion or financial gain. Authentic leaders, according to George, ultimately aim to “empower people to lead around a shared purpose” (2007: 185). Members characterized these networks in three key ways. First, they described them as groups of loosely connected people who would aid in the leader’s selfdevelopment. Second, some networks were envisioned as small cells of people who shared similar language or missions, generally formed upon a horizontal access of power 130 without a clear leader-in-chief. Third, members talked about networks operating on a larger scale, with the leader as the focal point but with the overall goal of working together to achieve a mission important to all. Ultimately, the goal of these networks is to cultivate personal relationships. 1. Personal Networks Chris Gergen, who as I mentioned before has visited the class six times, is a pivotal figure for many members. He is relatively young, is widely-traveled, and speaks to the students about becoming the “captains of their own lives.” He also exhorts the students to create what he calls a “personal board of directors.” This is a group of people, who may or may not know each other, that can be called upon by the member when needed to aid in life choices, self-development, and purpose-finding. A number of members cite their peers within the class as an initial starting point for developing this type of network. This idea of finding a personal board was repeated by a number of members. Will and Judy, in particular, told me that they had begun to create spreadsheets of people they considered to be on their personal board. 2. Small-Cell Networks and Larger Networks Members often described the group projects they completed during the course as nascent testing grounds for the kind of networks and self-development they hoped to accomplish. Amir, who changed his major from premed to business after the course, enjoyed the kind of collaboration he participated in within the course. “The nature of the collaboration and the nature of performing the business was engaging, more engaging than my engineering and premed activities. So that’s what really kind of opened my eyes 131 to it.” The “it” he refers to hear is the kind of personal relationships he developed with course members. He went on to tell me that his class group project members stimulated his desires to find a job that would allow him to collaborate with other like-minded people. He now is working in pharmaceutical sales. Rick argued that the group project gave him a sense of how to motivate people to realize a common mission. I think everybody needs to have that kind of experience especially if you're trying to create some sort of, if you've got a goal that's going to impact a lot of people. You've got to be able to; those kinds of decisions can't be made in isolation. To be able to have a group of complete strangers working with you on it was a really valuable experience. I hadn’t had that and I don’t think I did have that in college other than that experience in that class. Rick notes that part of this lesson was learning how to work with people who “may really annoy you.” The class reunion, held in the fall of 2007, marked a time when members revisited their peers and also networked within the broader cohort of course members. Rob recalled it as a time to witness “everyone in that room doing important and noble things,” and expressed a desire to create greater connections with fellow graduates to “harness” everyone’s collective strengths. I see in Rob’s comment a desire to create larger connections with the people in whom he recognizes similar ideologies and purposes. B. Building Personal Relationships Members speak frequently of their desires to work within networks of engaged people. They often highlight the ability of leaders to engage with their peers and followers as one they wish to emulate. Raul argued “leadership has a potential to unlock 132 the potential of others to help increase the value of an organization.” Amir said the work he’s done in “progressive leadership positions means I really can show that I know how to essentially play with people. I know how to communicate with them and I know how to motivate them around maybe a perspective that I’ve created.” Niki added: I think a good leader is someone who inspires greatness. I think a good leader is someone who people believe is there because they want to be there and there because they care about the goal and they care about the vision and they care about the mission and they care about, you know, each of the individual people. I mean good leaders just, good in the sense that you’d read in the dictionary, you know, like a, a good person. And, good at doing their job, and good at inspiring people and has that balance between, you know, like, coming down hard on people and also, you know, joking with them. When I asked her why that was so important to her, she responded: I think that people need to look up to a leader. And I think that there needs to be a trust that you’re the right person for the right job. You’re the right person for the job, that you’re the person that’s taking care of them. You’re not only watching, the person is not only watching out for the company or the business or the organization or the candidate but they’re also watching out for you. They’re making sure that you’re having a good experience, making sure that you’re learning, you’re engaged. Or whatever it is. The leader looks at the big picture but also the individual players. Niki’s statement reflects the idea of building a community with a common vision, similar to Bill George’s argument that authentic leaders create a collective mission. Interestingly, Amir, who took the course in 1997, interviewed for a position at Medtronic, where Bill George was CEO for a number of years. In his conversations with Medtronic employees, he found that most people agreed that George’s ideals were practiced. They’re like, wow. Like, you know, Bill George had such a great environment and really focused on employees and the mission of Medtronic, which I think they say every five seconds someone uses a Medtronic product or a life is saved using a Medtronic product. That really 133 resonated with the employees based on the interviews I’ve already had. And they said that Bill George created that connection through missions and employees. Rob quite succinctly summed up his view of good leaders who cultivate other people. They’re the kind of people who are willing to tackle old problems hands-on. They’re always willing to listen to input, willing to listen to questions. Always open-minded to suggestions even from their lowest ranking subordinates. In other words they’re not going to get a bug up their ass and get all high and mighty about their leadership title, whether it’s a formal leadership title or of a more of an informal leadership position. I think, hey, you don’t get the I’m better than you mentality. I mean but on the other hand they shouldn’t be pushed over either. I mean they have to know when to make tough decisions even when those positions aren’t necessarily going to sit well with the followers. You know, sometimes, especially once again when that leader is going to have the courage to say something that’s bold and different, and outside the box. And, you know, the natives may be restless with that idea, but at least they know how to put down and say hey, you know, what we’ve been doing all the time hasn’t been working. Let’s have the guts to try something different. I guess, yeah, once again it’s trying to find that balance between open-mindedness and accommodating, but without being a total pushover. Finding this balance was a consistent theme in my fieldwork. Rob’s comment about “not being a push-over” was illustrated elsewhere, but more frequently members argued that good leaders can and should make attempts to cultivate personal, reciprocal relationships with followers. Niki put it this way: I think a good leader in that place touches each individual person. I don’t care if you have two hundred people in an office you can still walk through it and shake peoples hands and get to know people’s names and you can make a concerted effort to do that. Sure it takes more work than in a smaller organization, but you can still make sure that you make someone feel good by saying ‘Wow, you did a great job today!’ 134 Similarly, when I asked Rob what kind of leader he wanted to be, he responded: I want to be the kind of the leader who’s recognized for valuing the input of all subordinates. Who wants to be recognized as not just the leader of the team, but a member of the team as well. Someone like I said who is personally willing to do the same things I expect of my followers. Someone who’s going to be a source of inspiration. I want to be someone that my followers can turn to in times of trouble just for a simple pat on the back or, you know, for sage advice, for just recommendations. Hey, how do you do this? You know, somebody that can refer to you as a source of counsel or as a comfort, as need be. And I want to be the kind of person like a principled leader and that they’ll be willing to follow with respect. Amir argued that one key way to cultivate a sense of relationships was to be empathetic to followers. He talked about how he practices this in his current job in pharmaceutical sales. The best way you convince people is to develop a sense of trust. And I mean one of the ways to get some trust is to talk about how you truly understand their job and the nature of their work. And to get that thing it’s like and to get to that point of saying I’ve done that for 18 months. So now that’s what the marketing leadership pathway is, marketing development pathway is. You typically have to get an MBA and then you have to have sales rotation. And then you go, you know, doing corporate rotations within product management. So yeah, that is what is required now for marketing leadership in the pharma world. His ideas resonate with Thomas Friedman’s argument that, due to global “flattening” of the work landscape, the future of American jobs lies in knowledge-based positions. He argues that understanding how to access information and synthesize it, then translate it to others, is more important than knowing one technical skill (2005). Amir seconds this thought in his follow-up comment, after I asked him what fits best in an ideal work environment for him. Leaders, and by leaders I mean I guess I’ll kind of call out in the corporate world executive leadership; people who have actually gone through a lot 135 of functions in the company. Those who’ve been involved with, you know, sales, marketing, commercial planning. Understand the commercialization process. And by that I mean they understand how the importance of R&D. And R&D can come up with a great drug or a great device, but is there a market for it? And the marketing folks can come up with a great product need and go to R&D, but can R&D produce that? Can they really manufacture it at the price that yields the margins that the company wants? The person who understands that commercialization process, and thereby would have experience, a good amount of experience across that, you know, process; the spectrum, if you will. Do you understand the importance of communicating all those different groups? And every group has such different objectives and contacts that I feel the best leader comes from successful collaboration across all those groups. And I’ve been, you know, I have experienced such leaders before. And, you know, they do have 20-30 years of experience in this field. And it’s because they genuinely have MBA’s, or if not an MBA, which I don’t only see as a requirement in the corporate world, but an MBA or extensive work experience. And they have work experience across many departments and many different roles. Members who have been working for some time found this ideal of being all things to all people difficult to execute in practice. Dan, who co-started a technology consulting firm, framed this as a cost-benefit issue. We've got twenty-five at our company now and I know I can't keep twenty-five of them, all of them happy with every little thing that we do. I realized that often times what you have to end up doing, both in the fraternity and now in my real job is figuring out what's the maximum? How can I make the most people happy or minimize the amount of people that are upset. Those kinds of decisions and cost benefit analysis; those are all things that I started doing for the first time as one of the leaders in the fraternity [while in college]. Matt reiterated this goal of understanding his subordinates as people and finding ways to empower them to be personally invested in the organization’s goals. Although he has a J.D., he is still relatively young for an admissions officer. I’m the youngest one in the office with a JD, so I’m still close in age to a lot of our perspective students. So I take over the recruiting, the outreach, getting their attention. We play to our strengths and I think, and I think 136 that’s something really valuable to learn. Because that way everyone, mobilize everyone to be the boss of their own project. And I think when somebody, I think when you give someone a personal stake in doing something, the outcome tends to be stronger. Matt developed this idea, noting that, in order to create this personal stake, he might have to relinquish his control. You have to, as a leader, that’s one of the tougher things to do, because you have to give up some control. In order for someone else to feel like they have a stake in something, you have to let go of something. And you have to trust that person that you tell them, okay, this is what I want. It’s up to you how to get there. And I think a good leader is able to do that. Because a good leader is going to hire the right people. And if you hire the right people, you should trust them to get the job done. Maya took this idea one step further, recognizing the importance of others helping her further her leadership. When I asked her what kind of leader she hoped to be, she said: This is going to be a little bit generic, but I hope one that is respected and one that like I respect myself and others respect me. It’s very generic. I think ultimately my goal is to be sort of like a handoff leader, so you help people cultivate and develop ideas from within, because at the end of the day, I can’t do it by myself, knowing myself. The best thing that I can do, the thing that I can add the most value in, is helping people bring the best out within themselves and finding the best people and bringing them together and putting them in situations where they can succeed, kind of when I can do that, find the right people for my team, and I’d love to have the ability to do that. C. Relationships in the New Economy I see embedded in these comments about relationships a sense of need for connection, beyond the utilitarian reasons for improving the efficacy of an organization. Several of the members’ statements reflect a desire for relationships that almost mimic family ties, with their nuances of stability, reciprocity, and longevity. This ties directly to 137 theoretical work, which I outlined in Chapter Two, considering the effect of the New Economy upon social relationships and work practices. Sociologist Anthony Giddens (1990; 1991) focuses on the changes that modernization and globalization has had on social life and the localities of social events. He argues that social interaction has shifted dramatically from previous models of face-to-face interaction (such as those that characterized small, “traditional” communities) to those that privilege remote encounters, made possible by technology, that occur across time and space (Inda and Rosaldo 2008). Modern communication and social encounters “disembed” actors from geographic places, constituting them as much by what is not present as what is. Ultimately, these “distanciated relations” decrease the importance of local places over people’s daily lives. Members appear to be reacting to these distanciated relations by searching for ways to strengthen ties with colleagues and followers who may be distant in space or whose work positions may be transient. Andrew Ross (2003) and Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim (2002) also speak to the fluidity of social relationships within modern capitalism’s service and knowledge-based economy. Ross argues that the ideals of collaborative, humanistic workplaces are often difficult to realize within American corporate structures, and people shift from job to job frequently. Beck and Beck Gernsheim highlight the individualistic nature of modern capitalism, which they argue is meant to be individually reciprocal but which ultimately results in an “institutionalized individualism” that does not actually promote social cohesion. They posit that the extreme focus upon the “self” in modernity does not provide a multitude of selves working together to achieve both individual and social goals. Rather, they argue: 138 The ideological notion of the self-sufficient individual ultimately implies the disappearance of any sense of mutual obligation…it is not freedom of choice, but insight into the fundamental incompleteness of the self, which is at the core of individual and political freedom in the second modernity” (2002: xxi). Individualization is becoming, they say, “the social structure of second modern society itself” (xxii). The nearly universal focus of the leadership course members upon finding work that that allows them to see the effects of their service upon others illustrates a desire to achieve relationships that go beyond the individual. The entire movement toward authentic leadership may, in fact, be in response to these disruptions in modern social fabrics, disruptions that members sense are debilitating both to their own identities and to their ideals of finding leadership through creating collective entities that achieve a “mission.” Authenticity demands a period of self-development, but the rhetoric nearly always includes some reference to then engaging in behaviors to achieve collective “missions.” Authentic leaders find it essential to create alliances that engage followers in a collective identity; these alliances are in part due to the extreme individualization of contemporary America. If individuals are, indeed, the social structure of modern times, then leaders are smart to recognize that long-term followership is predicated upon creating followers who, as individuals, actively make choices to commit to a collective vision. III. THE POLITICS OF POWER AND ELITISM Research in political anthropology is particularly germane to this study of the ways authenticity is used as a strategy to gain political prestige within American work 139 and leadership environments. This section briefly summarizes the foundations of political anthropology theory to understand the underpinnings of anthropological thought regarding power and prestige and to develop a framework of an analysis of elites. The first subsection focuses on the development of theory around power, authority, leadership and leaders. The second subsection focuses specifically on the theoretical category of “big men” for nuances of how personality is used to gather and maintain followers and gain political power. A. The Individual in Political Anthropology: Power, Elites, and Leadership 1. Power The study of power has been a long-standing subject of anthropological inquiry, although definitions and interpretations of it vary. Weber defined it as “the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance” (1964:152). Edmund Leach once argued that all social and cultural change is a quest for power (1954). McGlynn and Tuden write that power is “not a domain but one of the essential forms and conditions of human relations” (1991: 3). Eric Wolf argued that not every individual within a culture shares equal knowledge of or access to power. He created a model of four types of power that are particularly useful to my study (1990). These modes are: a. individual power, or what we might call charisma or the force of one’s personality b. the ability of one person to impose his or her will upon another c. tactical or organizational power, which controls the instruments or social contexts wherein people interact with others and d. structural power, which is “the power to control behavior by governing access to natural and social resources” (Kurtz 140 2001:375). Structural power has two dimensions, the material and the ideational; it encompasses both resource control and symbolic construction (Moore 2004). This last mode is somewhat more abstract than the other three, generally operating outside of individual action and controlling social labor. Anthropologists have differed in their accountings for the basis of the position that gives individuals power, however. Scholars have long noted the relationship of the control of resources to power, but differ on the degree of importance they attach to material (tangible) or ideational (symbolic) resources (Kurtz 2001). Wolf (1999) argues that these domains should not be presented as dichotomous categories, but should rather be understood as intertwined forces. Kurtz argues that power has often been viewed by political scientists and sociologists as a mystical force mainly attached to state formations; he argues that anthropologists demystify power by locating it within specific human agencies and practices. McGlynn and Tuden locate power within social relations rather than formal political institutions; “anthropology demands that the intrinsic consensual and conflicted merging of the private and public spheres of power are where the institutional and behavioral aspects of power achieve their transformations, and this is foremost an issue of group social relations rather than merely formal political institutions” (1991: 4). This last distinction is key to authenticity as a strategy for public leaders to engage in deep social relationships with their followers. The use of authenticity is a tool that developed out of a broader social movement toward self-development. It is also heavily influenced by the context of the New Economy, which rewards leaders who help others mitigate the costly and psychologically difficult issues of individualization. 141 John Gledhill, in Power and its Disguises, argues that scholars studying Western politics often overemphasize the power of the state (1994). He writes that it is necessary “to recognize that power remains incompletely centralized even in Western societies, and that the anthropological study of ‘local-level’ politics…can play as important a role in helping us understand the North as it does in the societies of the South” (1994: 22). These local level politics can take many forms that should be examined for their nuances. Gledhill continues: As Marc Abeles has argued, given the crisis of legitimacy now afflicting the political life of the North, it seems more necessary than ever to move beyond a focus on the state and its formal apparatuses to an analysis of how power is acquired and transmitted in society as a whole. We need to appreciate the ‘multilayered complexity of political reality.’ This includes political action in everyday life and the symbols and rituals associated with these everyday political actions, the concretization of ‘political culture’ at the point where power is affirmed and contested in social practice [Abeles 1992: 17] (1994: 22). This study takes up a part of these charges by studying the daily lived practices of the class alums. While this is not a study explicitly addressing governmental groups or social movements agitating against governmental inequities, it does examine the roles and forms that power plays in leadership. As Kurtz puts it, “agents involved in political processes are not necessarily practicing politicians” (2001: 39). With the weakening of nation states and the rise of capital and transnational corporations as powerful authority structures, often influencing political events, leaders in American business and other leadership arenas exert greater influence than ever before. Kurtz writes, “the competition for power, which is what politics is all about, is largely a matter of changing rules and thereby the political environment in which politics transpires” (2001: 46). The normative rules of gaining power are changing in both subtle and dramatic ways, as both large 142 capitalists and small business owners attempt to lobby for their own ends and restructure financial dealings to escape or reduce state control. Therefore the business environment is nearly as significant a political arena as traditional politics. 2. Elites Here I consider how this course community, and the leadership community in general, construct themselves as elites. The term elite is socially constructed and often overused or ambiguous (Shore 2002). Watson (2002) argues that meanings assigned to “elite” are many and varied. He suggests using the concepts of elite as heuristic devices, and using qualifying adjectives such as military, bureaucratic, business, religious, etc. to clarify distinctions between such categories. Marcus, however, posits that the use of elite is a recognized cultural idiom such that “the organization of these powerful groups can be mapped and described” (1983: 9). Shore provides a working definition useful to this study of leadership: Elites can be characterized as those who occupy the most influential positions or roles in the important spheres of social life. They are typically incumbents: the leaders, rulers and decision makers in any sector of society, or custodians of the machinery of policy making (2002: 4). These definitions provide an important aspect of the agency of elites that is key to this study: as individuals, they provide a sense of causality and a way to attribute “responsibility to persons rather than to impersonal processes” (Marcus 1983: 10). My use of the term here indicates individual decision making within an array of choices and limitations members face while striving toward the status of leader. My aim is to understand how the members construct their own social reality and how they relate to “authenticity” as self-conscious agents (Shore 2002). 143 Bourdieu argued that an elite group often achieves distinction through its use of symbols and actions (1986). According to McGlynn and Tuden, in every society “the relationship between leader and led is couched in partially mystical and partially highly symbolic terms” (1991: 29). Symbols and rituals of leadership, say McGlynn and Tuden, because of “their ranking within society, and their emotional effect upon individuals, are a critical element in the power distribution within human societies” (1991:29). Cohen noted that groups without any particularly impressive institutional power can gain elite status by the use and manipulation of a closed system of symbols and behaviors (1981). Lewellen points out that “elitism is a way of life” (2003: 107). According to Lewellen, joining the elite means a long process of socialization into a: Vast and complex body of symbols including manners, styles of dress, accent, recreational activities, rituals, ceremonies, and a host of other traits. These symbols operate as dual purposes: particularistic, uniting the group in a shared identity, and universalistic, legitimizing it as an agency of power to the great majority of outsiders (107). For the members of the leadership course community, authentic self-development processes and concomitant service behaviors are the ideational symbols by which they enter an elitist way of life. The apparent rejection of traditional elitist symbols is key. This may include the rejection of positional titles, a rejection of ostentatious displays of wealth, and refusals to engage in the creation of vertical hierarchies. To a large degree, this rejection is in fact the way they legitimize their arrival as authentic leaders within a community of other servant leaders. A host of readings and guest speakers within the course legitimize this process by celebrating leadership as being about other people, rather than the glorification of the individual. For example, each year the students read 144 the U.S. News and World Report’s annual selection of “America’s Best Leaders.” This report, generated by Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, consistently recognizes individuals who are driven to create better communities and ways of life for a multitude of causes. The commitment to some kind of moral and social “cause,” is key to their inclusion. Not incidentally, David Gergen, who has spoken to the class a number of times, and Warren Bennis are involved in this selection. In the 2006 edition, authentic leadership author Bill George provided the introduction, writing “the time is ripe to redefine leadership for the 21st century. The military-manufacturing model of leadership that worked so well 50 years ago doesn’t get the best out of people today” (2006: 52) He goes on to identify what does work today. It is being authentic, uniquely yourself, the genuine article…[Authentic leaders] are ‘good in their skin,’ so good they don’t feel a need to impress or please others. They not only inspire those around them, they bring people together around a shared purpose and a common set of values and motivate them to create value for everyone involved. In an especially illuminating passage, he reiterates the value of an authentic leader. Authentic leaders know the “true north” of their moral compass and are prepared to stay the course despite challenges and disappointments. They are more concerned about serving others than they are about their own success or recognition. Which is not to say that authentic leaders are perfect. Every leader has weaknesses, an all are subject to human frailties and mistakes. Yet by acknowledge failings and admitting error, they connect with people and empower them to take risks (2006: 53). The article goes on to highlight servant leaders such as Wendy Kopp, who founded Teach for America, and Procter and Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley, who, as George puts it, “relied heavily on relationships he had built over 25 years to transform P&G’s 145 culture. Through his personal engagement with employees, Lafley has created one of the great corporate success stories of the 21st century.” A third example George cites is Warren Buffett, who exemplifies authentic leaders’ rejection of material symbols of wealth and privilege. Buffett, George writes, “lives in the house he bought in 1956 for $31,500, drives an old car, and washes his meals down with a Cherry Coke at Gorat’s , his favorite Omaha steakhouse” (53). These traits of authentic leaders are validated throughout the article and in a multitude of other course materials. 3. Leaders and Leadership While this group may construct themselves as elites, they often face the question of whether they are leaders, and what leadership itself means. This section therefore considers a larger definition and application of the terms “leader” and “leadership.” At the heart of understanding how a society’s members view leadership is the question of their definition and viewpoints of authority; not all societies view authority in the same way, nor do they value it in similar fashions (McGlynn and Tuden 1991). Kurtz argues that authority and leadership are not necessarily the same: “authority connotes the condition of an incumbent, agent, or structure of statuses recognized by a political community to make decisions on its behalf…authority figures or structures may be more or less legitimate.” He continues, saying leadership exists in a “dynamic and ongoing time frame in which individuals seek goals and try to channel the actions of others to their advantage and the advantage of those for whom they act as political agents (2001: 41). Leaders may or may not hold much authority, and there is no “obvious correlation between power and competent leadership” (41). 146 The leadership literature is rife with multiple definitions of leaders and leadership. In “Ethics and Leadership Effectiveness,” leadership scholar Joanne Ciulla notes that the terminology used to describe American leadership has shifted from terms like “impressed their will” on followers in the 1920s to “persuasion,” “influence,” and “inspiration” (2004: 307). She goes on to argue that contemporary scholars focus on language that implies ideas such as “noncoercive, participatory, and democratic relationships between leaders and followers” (307). Within the leadership course, Dr. Sample relies on Harry Truman’s definition of leadership, which he cites as “the ability to get others to do willingly that which they wouldn’t naturally do on their own.” Dr. Bennis examines levels of power similar to Wolf’s, considering coercion and influence in leadership. The students also read Max Weber’s treatise on legal, traditional, and charismatic authority. Students use these kinds of readings to frame essay and exam “X=Y” arguments about the kinds of power they see being expressed by various historical and contemporary leaders. Ultimately, their own arguments and definitions of leadership are more parallel to Ciulla’s notation of “noncoercive, participatory, and democratic” kinds of relationships. In fact, they seem less interested in examining power than in understanding how to build these relationships. This could speak again to the power that creating alliances builds for authentic leaders. Anthropologists have examined various criteria in groups’ selection of leaders, including class, kinship, age and gender, and the interplay of in and out group membership. However, they have not carefully examined the social and psychological 147 characteristics that construct leaders across cultures (Kurtz 2001). Kurtz lays out a number of general characteristics of leaders and leadership that have been studied by scholars in political science, sociology, psychology, and other fields. These include the following: • Social attributes are the qualities of a leader’s public persona and performance that align with a group’s authority code, which is comprised of the normative rules that a community expects leaders to follow. McGlynn and Tuden add that “Fundamentally, a society must have in its cultural repertoire some expectations of how to interact with a leader, some grasp of what the leader can and cannot do” (1991: 32). • Personality attributes derive from the ways a leader presents his or her self and how these presentations are interpreted by community members. • Leaders function within a set of cultural constructs that form normative rules and codes of behavior by which leaders are generally expected to abide. For example, some groups may expect leaders to be aggressive and to engage in constant public rhetorical displays. Others may expect deference or decorum. Bailey (1969) identified a set of strategies and rules that agents may adopt to further political goals or achieve power within a communally agreed upon authority code. Developed within his work on game theory, Bailey outlined these codes as normative or pragmatic. Normative rules are the publicly agreed-upon values that political agents and the public use to gauge actions as moral or ethical (such as honesty and sportsmanship) (Lewellen 2003). Pragmatic rules are those that players use to actually win the game, and 148 are generally conducted secretively. These strategies may include rule-bending and outright cheating. Normative rules are often used as leveling mechanisms when pragmatic activities become public (e.g. punishing a senator caught lying). Pragmatic rules are those that prevail in most winning scenarios; an individual must gauge the cost versus benefit of using such strategies. Leaders require followers; as Shore puts it, elites “require a general public to affirm their position of superiority; a mass citizenry that belongs to the same culture or imagined community – a community, moreover, that elites help to define” (2002: 9). Kurtz adds “if leaders are cheap commodities in the political marketplace, supporters, who by their sheer numbers should represent even more of a glut on the market than leaders, are nonetheless a very expensive commodity” (2001: 40). This is because the major challenge that any leader confronts is “how to acquire supporters and/or how to hold onto those that she or he has” (2001: 40). The strength of leaders depends on the authority code ascribed to leadership by the society as well as individual abilities. Strong leaders are skillful at manipulating the symbols of their authority and master skills of rhetoric. Strong leaders “command.” Weaker leaders are those with less authority and/or an inability to manipulate their social and personality attributes into real practice. Weak leaders “ask that their wishes be followed” (45). For the members of this course community, framing their leadership as “asking” is a mark of a strong authentic self. In some senses, the degree to which they “ask” rather than “demand” indicates their personality abilities upon a continuum of authenticity. The paradigm shift that I discuss in this dissertation reflects that the American authority code 149 is, at least within this community of leaders, privileging a skillful manipulation of the self as a giver rather than a direct display of the authority he or she may possess in any given position. This distinction is important; many authentic leaders have amassed traditional resources of wealth, corporate holdings, and hierarchically-based followers, and have the luxury to rely upon authentic rhetoric to further their status. I develop these ideas below in my analysis of authentic leaders as similar to big men. B. Big Men and Alliance Creation 1. Types of Leadership Kurtz identifies three types of leadership that are most prevalent in ethnographic literature: episodic leaders, big men, and chiefs. Generally associated by anthropologists with hunter gathering bands, episodic leaders have little authority and almost no power, leading primarily by example. Kurtz locates episodic leaders within modern complex societies as well, as the persons who are granted temporary authority over a particular “sphere of activity” (such as organizing an event). The society’s “authority code” allows “no special rights, privileges, or longevity” in conjunction with these temporary leadership positions. Big Men, most often associated with Melanesia, have some power and authority and work to gain more through their involvement with political economic practices and the redistribution of goods and food. This category of leadership will be discussed more thoroughly below, along with the third category of chiefs. I argue that authentic leaders reject the positional authority ascribed to chiefs for the rhetorically achieved position of a “big man,” framing their leadership as one based upon democratic and horizontal relationships rather than coercion within vertical hierarchies. 150 2. Big Men In Weatherford’s 1981 comparison of the United States Congress to Native American groups (and big men), Tribes on the Hill, he sifted through myriad cultural practices, norms, rules, behaviors and rituals to find some anchoring principles that reflected patterns of similarity between the groups. While there are clearly limits to the kinds of comparisons we can make between American cultures and other groups, the theoretical work done on discovering human patterns of political behavior is of great value to any comparative ethnology. As Weatherford writes, “While granting that American society has produced a technology of unprecedented scope, it does not necessarily follow that Americans have built a social or political organization which is so vastly different from that of other peoples” (1981: 21). Similarly, this project compares the rhetoric and behavior of American authenticity to non-American groups that heavily rely upon personal charisma to gain achieved power, specifically the big men cultures of Melanesia. I also draw upon descriptions of chiefdoms to consider similarities and distinctions between ascribed or systemic positions of power and those reachable primarily via the careful cultivation of personality. These leaders were primarily invested in socioeconomic ventures, and I am studying leaders in the platforms of American work contexts for the interplay between features of modern capitalism and shifting meanings of leadership. In 1963, Marshall Sahlins published his oft-cited piece “Poor Man, Rich Man, Big-Man, Chief: Political Types in Melanesia and Polynesia,” in which he differentiated between the big man leadership systems of Melanesia and the chiefdoms of Polynesia. 151 Sahlins in particular called attention to the human dimensions of leadership with his focus on personality. The chiefs, he argued, were as a whole imbued with “regal bearing,” a result of what Sahlins called an “incontestable right to rule” (289). Big men, on the other hand, had no right of rule to call upon, and instead emerged due to their personal power; they didn’t hold official titles so much as they achieved “acknowledged standing in interpersonal relations” (289). Sahlins compares big men to American values: “The Melanesian big-man seems so thoroughly bourgeois, so reminiscent of the free enterprising rugged individual of our own heritage” (289). Kurtz notes that a big man is often referred to as primus inter pares, a first among equals (2000). Kurtz (2001) notes several values that delineate the authority code that big men operate within. Big men are expected to pay back their followers, or reciprocate, with material goods when requested. They are also expected to engage in practices that benefit their communities, such as managing conflicts and organizing ritual activities. They also are called upon to occasionally represent their groups’ interests to outside parties. The goodwill they have amassed, based on their abilities in rhetoric, economic redistributions, and conflict management, is the key to the amount of prestige they hold. Not only do they redistribute goods; they are central figures in persuading others to produce these goods in the first place. By convincing others to give up the products of their labor to benefit the central community, they influence the status of themselves and their groups’ economic position. Exchange activities thus are arenas for big men to develop and accumulate greater prestige (Godelier 1982; Brown 1990). 152 Sahlins identifies two main sectors or factions that delineate a big man’s actions: in-group and out-group persons. The internal sector is a small group of men with whom he has regular interpersonal, kin-based relations; big men have only slight ability to directly command others’ actions, primarily through public oratory (or, as Sahlins puts it, by “haranguing them”). In the external sector, he has only “fame and indirect influence” (290). This requires creating personal relations of “compulsion and reciprocity” with other big men. In the in-group, big-men (or “center-men” as they might be better known) must create their leadership by creating followers – there are no ascribed positions of leadership. Big men often create followership by creating motives for individuals to follow them, via possessing valued skills of oratory, magic, bravery, etc., through calling on kin relations, or via the ability to amass wealth and redistribute it publicly. These redistribution prestations create status and renown for the members of a faction as well as the big man. It is essential for a big man to harness the wealth and labor of other men to his own political ambition, and to do this he has to convince other men, generally through kinship ties and complex systems of reciprocity, to produce wealth, a “fund of power,” that he in turn gives away to other factions. Ultimately, Sahlins argued, environmental and population restrictions meant factions could only produce so much wealth, which set a ceiling on the intensification of political authority in any one man. These factions were somewhat fluid; they could shift as men within in them began working on their own political aspirations, if big-men overloaded relationships, or if a big man died. 153 Of primary importance to Sahlins, and this study, is this manner in which big men created, maintained, and sometimes lost smaller factions within a larger system of competitive factions. All of these factions were dependent on interpersonal relationships and individual personalities, and were not beholden to maintaining the larger system, even if they did in fact do this through their actions. He contrasts this big-man system with chiefdoms in Polynesia, which were characterized by ascribed positions of social rank and authority. Chiefdoms operated like pyramids, with lower ranks paying tribute and chiefs redistributing resources. This gave the role of chief suprapersonal control over the people and resources within them. This meant that followership was not particularly an option; followers were economically dependent on chiefs (although, of course, resistances happened there as they do everywhere). Therefore, chiefs exercised command, whereas big men had “at best, renown” (297). However, big men who were able to significantly persuade others to produce large amounts of goods, and then were able to translate those material goods into increased power, could in effect alter the authority codes within which they worked (Kurtz 2000). Weatherford notes that the long process from a young man to a big man is similar to the process undergone by politicians in America, and is intricately interwoven with distributions. He writes “In New Guinea and on Capitol Hill alike, the system rests on a delicately synchronized spiral of growth, in which followers and goods increase each other” (1981: 46). Any rupture in the process can completely undermine all of the alliance-formation, strategic marriages, and careful political orchestration. Weatherford 154 argues that the key product that American politicians exhort their followers to provide is their labor as political staff aides. C. Authenticity and “Big Men” in American Leadership I argue that American leaders today in part are invoking a return to “authenticity” as a strategy to gain some measure of prestige and elite status. Authentic leaders “volunteer” to take on characteristics of a Big Man style of leadership, which emphasizes coalition-building. A “big man” style of leadership is one that has no right of rule to call upon; big men emerge due to their personal ability to create alliances in socioeconomic ventures, generally among kin networks (Sahlins 1963). Similarly, as ostensible servants of their followers, authentic leaders voluntarily revoke at least some measure of outright command in favor of recommendations, persuasions, and requests. These take the form of behaviors that emphasize team building, ethics, community service, and servant leadership (Burns 1978; Greenleaf 2002; Avolio et al 2005). The rhetoric of authenticity thus invokes the “first among equals” ideology of big men (Kurtz 2001); authentic leaders publicly engage in rhetoric and behaviors to reinforce the status of followers as “equals.” They also create in-groups of followers, those who have invested in the collective mission, and out-groups, or those who may be “inauthentic” or who practice leadership purely for financial gain. These behaviors result in “fictive kin” networks that strengthen a leader’s ability to perform in an era of risky globalization and modern capital (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). I argue that the prestige associated with being an authentic leader, who works to serve or empower others, results in a greater ability to amass social capital, gain the long-term loyalty of employees or 155 followers, and, consequently, gain access to greater amounts of expended labor by others. These greater amounts of labor and commitment are in part necessary due to the highly flexible, risky, and insecure nature of modern capitalism (Ross 2003; Sennett 2006). In Risk Society, Ulrich Beck argues that postfordism has created a number of new social characteristics and life changes for individuals that vary significantly from traditional life and work trajectories. Chief among these are a growing detachment from employers and workplaces, greater flexibility in work and leisure patterns, and rising economic insecurity. Beck compares these changes to similarities in work and life patterns in Brazil: The spread of temporary and insecure employment, discontinuity and loose informality into Western societies that have hitherto been the bastions of full employment. The social structure in the heartlands of the West is thus coming to resemble the patchwork quilt of the South, characterized by diversity, unclarity and insecurity in people’s work and life (2000: 1). Authentic leaders attempt to buffer these effects of modern capital with their emphasis on creating lasting relationships, increased loyalty within team-based work units, and increased community involvement. Additionally, the process of creating networks based upon authentic relationship can be viewed as an attempt to mediate the “distanciated social relations” (Giddens 1990) of flexible modernity, as both context and product. It attempts this by setting up fictive kin relations built upon reciprocity and “empowerment.” Departing from the model of big man leaders who engage in material exchanges, authentic relationships build alliances precisely because they are relationships, not necessarily because of any real material or concrete exchanges between leaders and followers. This also appears to be a reaction to 156 the anxieties produced in followers of leaders who isolate themselves, appear disinterested in their followers, or describe themselves as superior or act in such ways. Here is an area where authenticity may be coming from the bottom-up, more an activity dictated by followers than by leaders. By requiring authentic leaders to build relationships with and empower followers, followers may be using authenticity as a leveling mechanism. Leaders who do not at least employ the rhetoric of authenticity, or who are seen as inauthentic, may be punished with decreasing amounts of worker loyalty to achieving the leader’s vision. Thus, prestige is granted upon the continuum of authenticity rather than upon the continuum of public admiration or individual financial achievement. Gaining prestige through alliance formation rather than singular achievement is particularly important in modern America, which is currently inundated with highly skilled people. Prestige through material or intellectual achievement alone is no longer the unique occurrence it might have been in the early twentieth century. Many Americans now have access to advanced degrees and management level positions at large companies. New York Times columnist and author David Brooks argues that an entire class segment of highly educated graduates is becoming more and more visible in modern society (2000). What is unique about the members of this “knowledge class,” which Brooks calls “bourgeois bohemians,” is their desire to reject or modify mainstream corporate culture, or at least the trappings of it. I identify this as a rejection of “chief-like” privileges and positions. Similarly, the members of this leadership class are struggling to find a niche that expresses leadership and accomplishments beyond their resume. This is 157 expressed through the words of Will, a member who is currently completing both a JD and an MBA. As he put it, “Smart kids today are surrounded by other smart kids. You go to Harvard, you look around, everyone there is smart and there are a lot of them. Anyone can get an MBA. What you have to have today is something different, something extra, in order to get ahead.” That something extra, I argue, is the elite distinction that comes with being considered “authentic.” IV. CONCLUSION This chapter has presented the fourth component of the model I presented in Chapter Four for becoming an authentic leader. Ultimately, members desire to develop their authentic selves partly in order to then create meaningful alliances with followers who will help them achieve their visions. This process of alliance-creation is similar to the leadership styles of big men, who achieve social status via their abilities to craft and sustain social ties and incorporate other people into achieving a common goal. Big men are generally related to the people in their networks. I argue that authentic leaders mimic the rhetoric of creating kin-like relations in their establishment of collective missions, which invite followers to become personally invested in the achievement of these missions. Leaders today may need to create these alliances in part to mitigate the effects of the New Economy, which have created instability and decreased employee loyalties. In the next chapter, I turn to a deeper discussion of members’ desires to perform good work as servant leaders in conjunction with these alliances. 158 CHAPTER SIX AUTHENTIC LEADERS GIVE BACK: IDEALS AND PRACTICES OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP I. INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the effects of one of the key tenets of becoming an authentic leader – finding “meaning” or a life’s purpose that reflects the “self” and is also socially responsible. Specifically, this chapter characterizes the kinds of service-based leadership goals the members of the class practice, hope to practice, and idealize (Greenleaf 2002). This social responsibility is often at odds with the highly individualized American Dream, but is increasingly becoming more prominent as a mandate assigned to leaders by management texts, leadership journals and programs, and popular media. In many ways authentic leadership is a backlash in response to the current American focus on the self by insisting on a service-based collaboration with others. I situate my analysis of the kinds of work members hope to accomplish within a broader context of the New Economy, which, as I discussed in Chapter Two, influences the work and leadership landscapes into which these members are emerging. Ultimately this chapter argues that these young apprentices are being trained to feel compelled to reject the traditional behaviors of their elite social status, such as enjoying material wealth and isolating themselves from others, in favor of a social mandate to serve others. Members frequently reported that they felt both a desire to give back to others and a personal, ethical responsibility to do so, primarily because they had chosen to follow a leadership path that they felt was defined in the main by some form of 159 public service. While leaders, including the young leaders of the course, often publicly eschew personal fame or financial gain as the rewards they seek, they also portray personal struggles of finding financial security and “work-life balance” within this ideology of service or civic duty. A. Chapter Organization This chapter is organized into two sections. The first examines the ideals of servant leadership and describes the kinds of “giving back” these members identify as important to them and to society. This section also considers the context of the New Economy and how it frames their goals within the characteristics of work arenas into which these members are emerging. The second section considers the practical concerns members express about finding a work-life balance within this ideology. II. SERVANT LEADERSHIP “Servant leadership” is a core concept of leadership studies. In 1977, Robert Greenleaf published his influential essay “Essentials of Servant Leadership.” He argued against the current paradigm of leadership through coercive power, and called on leaders to be the servants of those they led. Greenleaf’s central point is based on what he views as an obligation on the part of those in power to serve those in need. His argument that legitimate authority should come from the consent and fulfillment of the needs of followers (which he considered almost “holy”) rather than positions sparked an entire movement, called Servant Leadership, within leadership studies and practice. In their analysis of “Leadership Education at the Undergraduate Level,” Riggio et al (2003) note that nearly all leadership studies programs in American colleges include service as a 160 prevalent component of learning leadership. They write “many, if not most, leadership studies programs are influenced by values regarding social responsibility. Students are expected to become engaged in the larger community, both during their tenure as students and in their future careers and lives after college” (2003: 4). Their use of “careers and lives” is especially important. In this course and in modern leadership studies, leadership is not defined solely within an individual’s work domain but extends to nearly all arenas of their lives. This perspective that integrates careers into lives and lives into careers is perhaps another indication that the ambiguity and fluidity of leadership in the New Economy lends itself to redefining leadership practices outside of traditional hierarchies or practices. Similarly, three decades ago leadership scholar James McGregor Burns’s seminal theory of transformational leadership emphasized a process by which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation” (1978: 20). He argued that transformational leaders are individuals who appeal to higher ideals and moral values and who consistently foreground ethics in their leadership practice. He contrasted this to transactional leadership, which is based upon leaders and followers achieving their own personal needs and goals through the leadership pact. Transforming leadership is concerned with “end values, such as liberty, justice, and equality,” and ultimately these leaders should “turn their followers into leaders” (Ciulla 2004: 317). Since Burns’ work, numerous scholars (Avolio et al 2004; Bass 1985, 1990; Luthans 2002, George 2003; Ciulla 2004) have called for greater attention to collaborative, humanistic approaches to understanding and practicing leadership. Leadership scholar 161 Jean Lipman-Bluman wrote in Connective Leadership that leaders today need “to emphasize both mutuality (a focus on common interests and values) and inclusiveness (the willingness to include even those very different from the rest, without requiring their homogenization)” (2000: 12). These changing notions of what a “good” leader is and does has implications for how leaders are constructed, maintained, and followed, as well as ways leaders are embedded in relationships with followers. For example, Jennifer, who took the course in 2006 and went on to hold a competitive public service fellowship, illustrated the importance of servant leadership in her sense of becoming a leader who is fully engaged as an individual and is also connected to others. I think people should be in work that they are passionate about and makes them happy. While that differs obviously from person to person, I personally am gratified by feeling like I am doing something bigger than myself, helping people who need it the most and being a bridge and mediator for differing sectors of society. Bradley framed his servant leadership as helping younger people: I am most passionate about helping kids with diabetes. I want to make this world a place where children with diabetes can more easily live a happy, fulfilling free life. Free from blood tests, free from insulin injections, free from the daily hassles of diabetes, free to do what kids want to do, free to be kids. Additionally, many members argued that these service goals were more important than financial rewards. Sherry, who took the course in 2003 and is currently a supervisor in Teach for America, said: I want to do any work that I'm passionate about that has a greater good than JUST my checking account (if money comes with it that's good too but there has to be a bigger purpose outside of just myself). For society, 162 passionate people who care about impacting change are needed in private and public sectors, so it's not just one type of "work" that is needed. These goals of service were not always in traditional veins of non-profit organizations or volunteer work. Lindy, who took the course in 2007, is currently a performer. She hopes to have some kind of impact through personal artistic expression: I have to be doing something artistic all the time or I get depressed. It doesn't matter the size of the work, just as long as I like the material I am working on and I believe it has a good impact on audiences I will do the work. Money doesn't matter, but I do wish to change the world in my small way with art. Rob, who works for the California Border Patrol, desires to make an impact on his agency and the larger national security. I am hoping to become an influential person within CBP and the Department of Homeland Security as a whole. Among other things, I hope to improve the quality of firearms training and firearms carry policies for fellow officers; it fulfills both a personal passion and a chance to make a better agency which in turn will better serve our vital service to the nation's security. In the next section I situate these goals of service within the context of the New Economy, which impacts the kinds of work these young leaders hope to accomplish. A. Context: Doing Good Work in the New Economy I argue that authenticity, and its concomitant ideas and behaviors, is partly in response to the ambiguity and fluidity of career options today. Authentic leaders situate their leadership as one that combats the risks and individualization of the New Economy. They do this by framing the work they do within networks with others as a “mission” emerging from a “life’s purpose,” along with rhetoric about more humane and 163 collaborative workplaces. This grants authentic work and leadership a status above utilitarianism and may result in more stable relationships with followers and colleagues. As I noted in Chapter Two, the New Economy has shaped the work and leadership landscape in ways key to my analysis of these members’ ideas and practices. Old Economy workplaces were generally linear in terms of leadership; the hierarchical pyramid was firmly in place and each level of the pyramid dictated the amount of input an employee might have into his or her work or the corporation’s mission. In addition, employees worked generally predictable work hours with fixed wages attached to their positions. Workers frequently remained in the same career they began as young people, and more often than not they remained at the same place of employment throughout their working lives. Workers lived in the same communities in which they worked. Labor was a necessity, an ethical duty, and an activity that bestowed dignity. These were ideals consistent with those espoused by Horatio Algier and Emerson; hard work was a virtue. Andrew Ross writes “A distinct kind of heroic praise issued from intellectuals like Emerson, who eulogized that ‘a man coins himself into his labor; turns his day, his strength, his thoughts, his affection into some product which remains a visible sign of his power’ (2003: 4). The rise of modern capital has led to an explosion in job opportunities, titles, positions, niches, etc., which means that changing jobs and/or careers is feasible and often done. New jobs are being invented daily, and communication technology as well as new corporate attitudes toward flexibility and “teamwork” have meant that many workers are dependent upon others for completion of their work. Particularly in the knowledge- 164 based job sectors, scholars have noted a surge in descriptions of work as almost a “mission,” with social benefits as one of the stated goals of the work and corporate mission statement (Gee et al 1996; English-Lueck 2001). Job satisfaction is a highly sought-after commodity, and many companies explicitly create programs to retain workers. These career options are most often within knowledge and service-based positions, which are historically less stable than industrial jobs (Hytrek and Zentgraf 2008). The vastness in opportunity as well as the pressure to find a successful niche has influenced the perception of job satisfaction as well as loyalties toward employers. As Carrie, who took the course in 2006, put it, “I know I’ll be moving on in two to three years, so I’m less likely to be interested in achieving an employer’s vision. I’m more interested in fulfilling my own vision.” Her comment illustrates the idea that her loyalty is to a macro “vision” of what it means to be in the world, as opposed to a micro loyalty in which the individual employer is the primary context. Members of the course are cognizant of these shifts in the broader context of the kinds of work they might accomplish. Judy notes that Dr. Bennis addresses these themes in his text Geeks and Geezers. She characterizes these as long-lasting lessons for her: Obviously I haven’t been around for too long, but I mean things have changed in the sense that followers today, quote unquote have a lot more freedom and a lot less, I feel, attachment to a particular job or a particular organization or a particular leader than they would have years ago. That obligation, that sense of, not devotion by any means but that sense of obligation to stay with a particular person, with a particular company within a particular industry isn’t there anymore. So, I feel like leaders have to work a lot harder today to keep their followers motivated and on board than they might have fifty years ago. That a little bit of the power quote unquote shifting to the follower and making it more of a two-way street, I think has phenomenally impacted the way leaders are today. They have to put so much more concern and thought into motivating their followers and 165 keeping them on board. Whereas before it seemed to be more like an obligation and what every good follower quote unquote should do. So, I see that being something. I think that's something Dr. Bennis believes. He wrote about it in Geeks and Geezers and continually teaches his students in the class how to be a leader that's going to survive with that power dynamic shifting a bit in the next century. To combat these trends, part of the ideology that accompanied the rise of the New Economy was rhetoric in corporate mission statements that spoke to developing “humane” workplaces that would allow employees to perform work that was meaningful to them (English-Lueck 2001; Ross 2003). Scholars of work (Applebaum 1998; Gee et al 1996; Howard 1985; Hull 2004) examine what Gee et al (1996) term “the new work order” for evidence of this rhetoric. Many jobs today carry with them rhetoric of a new kind of collaborative, moral workplace and a self-directed worker (Hearn and Michelson 2006). In some ways, Hull (2001) argues, they might be termed “enchanted workplaces,” replete with ideas of creating a “small world rich with social potential.” English-Lueck (2001) argues that these new ideals echo themes in the discourses of the American frontier west, such as the notion of pioneering a new social order, creating “work as mission” and defining self through work. The rhetoric of these kinds of jobs, rhetoric that is filtering out to other workplaces (Gee et al 1996), argues that these new workers will forge a “connectivity that will reap benefits for social change and intercultural harmony” (English-Lueck 2001). Shershow (2005) frames these ideas as differences between utilitarian “work,” which is framed as mundane, and “The Work,” which implies work symbolically valuable to the individual and to society. These ideas are reflected in the members’ goals for the work they hope to do. Members’ service was practiced in a number of organizational formats, both as paid work 166 and as volunteerism. The members’ ideals of social change and service can be characterized within four general themes, though these arenas often overlap. The first is service that allows the member to feel a personal connection to another individual or group of individuals. Members often spoke passionately about seeing or knowing the impact of their work on specific people. The second is work done to create what they term “a better community,” wherein the service is localized to a particular demographic or geographic segment of society. The third is work done to enact broader social change, whether in policy, global work, or as an innovator of new ideas or social institutions. The fourth way that members talked about service was as a way to achieve “happiness” and self-fulfillment. In general, members who searched for happiness through service were less specific about where and how this service might occur. However, most members argued that they hoped to find fulfillment of their “life purpose” across all of these arenas. B. Seeing Personal Impacts Members frequently framed their ideals of service in terms of solving problems for others or making an impact on small numbers of people. A number of members told me, during interviews or via their responses to the questionnaire, that they have chosen careers that will allow them to translate their passion to help individual people into action. They describe their work as part of their identity as servant-leaders. This is similar to what sociologists Bellah et al identify as “work as a calling,” as opposed to work done for material rewards (1985), and also what Shershow calls “The Work” (2005). 167 Amir, who took the class in 1997 and has been working for more than seven years, told me: All my career, all my work experience has been geared towards being along that value chain where something I’ve done has contributed to the process of helping a person improve their health. You know, during business school, during the second year, I had an internship just to get a taste of that industry. I had an idea I wouldn’t like it simply because it’s not the health industry. And it’s a challenging piece of work, but it still didn’t have that satisfaction that I enjoyed in the health industry. Okay, I work in marketing. I do new product planning. Pre-launch, strategic market research. You know, I still get to enjoy the business challenges, but the objective of everything is to really assist in improving someone’s health. And I like that. I’m not a practitioner in medicine. I have a fair degree of understanding of the practice of medicine simply because I’ve worked in ER’s growing up and stuff. But it’s great to feel involved with that process. You know, if it’s way up in the chain, so far away from the doctor, but it’s still like hey, the end result is someone’s sick and they need help. And the doctor needs to understand what’s in front of him that’s best suited for that patient. And I’m involved for that. Here Amir visualizes the end goal of his work within the chain of production as one greater than increasing sales or creating a commercial marketing tool. For him, the most important and personally satisfying value he creates is the one that he believes ultimately helps individual patients and doctors. These ideas of impacting individual people are reflected in numerous other members’ statements about the kinds of work they practice now and want to accomplish in the future. Mike, who took the course in 2006 and recently won a leadership award for his work with the Red Cross, said: I like to see tangible connections from my work to a positive (and hopefully appreciated) impact on a specific person or group. It doesn’t matter per se whom I work for, but my experience with the Red Cross has allowed for the most interesting and memorable experiences. 168 Stacy talked about the importance of acting as a role model for specific people: Again, for me, and I don’t think it’s manifested the same way in everyone, but for me it is leading by example. It is having integrity in myself, and being a loyal person myself. It is understanding and then conveying or teaching right and wrong. And it is my hope that through the sort of quality and value of my own work, that the other people see in me that I am sort of inspiring them in some way to be the best that they can be. This theme of performing as a mentor was key to several other members’ ideals of service. George, who took the course in 1996 and is currently a lawyer, said: I guess I am most passionate about doing work where I am helping those younger and/or less experienced than I am. I really enjoy mentoring and training younger lawyers, and I also enjoy representing associates who aren't yet comfortable enough to advocate on their own behalf to firm management. Michelle, who took the course in 2005 and is currently in law school, said: Ideally, I enjoy work where I feel like I am doing something to enrich people's lives. I have enjoyed the chance to work in organizations where the employees treat one another well and where the leadership within the company seems to support and value its people. These comments reflect that members value helping people achieve their goals and solve problems. In particular, these members feel that they are best serving others when they can visualize the personal impacts of their work. As I argued in Chapter Four and Chapter Five, building personal connections is key to authentic leaders’ practices for several reasons. First, building these relationships helps to offset the potential breakdowns in long-term social relationships that occur in the New Economy. Second, building personal relationships allows authentic leaders to feel more connected to individuals. Empowering others “feels good,” and also aids them in building collective, connective missions. 169 C. Building Communities In addition to helping individuals, members desired to serve communities. They visualized these communities as particular demographic segments, with specific needs, as well as larger social networks with similar backgrounds. Valuing people within groups was a specific concern for a number of members. Ann, who took the course in 1997 and currently works for a non-profit child assistance agency, told me: I feel that the kind of work I am doing is critical to the success of our society and community. I believe that we must work towards improving the lives of others by promoting and restoring human dignity. We do not value people, we value things. I want to spend my time being an enabler of others, so that they could reach their potential. More importantly, my work and commitment to serving God is my personal mission and I strive to reflect that in my actions, words, and attitude. Ann’s comment highlights that modern capitalism places high emphasis on “things,” and she is determined to enact a personal mission to eradicate those effects on “human dignity.” This idea of positively effecting change was echoed by Cindy, who took the course in 2002 and is currently a teacher. She responded that she would like to do “Any kind of work that creates positive change and has a positive impact on people is the most important. Any type of work that essentially leaves a person, the community or society improved.” Similarly, Kate, who took the class in 1999 and currently runs a program teaching parenting classes, directly addressed her own “calling” as one that builds cultural continuity: I want to do work that builds my community. The community I live in and my cultural community. I come from a tradition of healers and teachers. So I see my work “calling” in the realm of teaching children and families, emotional-psychological-and physical healing. 170 Moira, who took the course in 1999 and is currently a teacher for a school serving primarily Pacific Islanders, continued this theme of serving a community in a specific way: Building the sustainability and preservation of my cultural community and extending that community health to the communities I live in. I am of Pacific Islander & Native American descent. I am partnered with a Native American man and our cultural practices, preservation and community are at the center of our lives. Rick directly related authentic leaders to their place in the community. “I just think that those leaders that are really of their community in addition to for their community are the most authentic.” Here he was making the point that leaders need to be fully invested, emotionally and intellectually, in the people they wish to serve, not just invested in broader community ideals. Judy reiterated this need to find, and, importantly, be able to see, value in her emotional impacts on other people. Looking back and all I can do is look back at my past experiences and see when I've been motivated and when I haven’t been. Regardless, I'm the type of person who's going to get up and go every day and do the best that I can. There's been a lot of times where I have not seen the value in what I am doing or not understood why I'm doing what I'm doing beyond thinking of that account. When I was working in PR if we gained a new client that was great for the company but for me I wasn’t able to relate that into any inherent value for me. So, I think I am motivated by something that I think is tangible that I think is the result, for me, I can relate to. I can see the value, the good in the result. I can see how everyone we're influencing we influence in a good way. Judy is one of more than a dozen members who are participating or who have participated in Teach for America. Another dozen or so members, some of whom are highlighted above, are teaching in other capacities. Ellen, who took the course in 2003 171 and took a job at a marketing firm out of college, recently completed her teaching certificate and now teaches at a small private school. She told me she switched careers because she wasn’t passionate about marketing and loved the close-knit community she found at her school. She enjoys helping others now: When I'm helping others or creating something I feel the most happy. I'm sure that working with politics, journalism, the environment, or working with kids in more urban, need-centered areas is ultimately more important to society. Tanisha felt that helping her students learn about the larger world was as important to her as the personal connections she forged. I think the most important work to me and society is teaching. An excellent education provides more than a good job, but freedom to choose a career, financial stability, and competitive citizens against global competition. Finding a community to serve appears to be a grounding element within which members play out their service goals. I also see a desire to be a person who “connects” other people within social networks and with broader community needs. Lipman-Blumen recognized these drives to create connections when she wrote “connective leaders recognize the importance and inevitability of interdependence” (2000: 237). These comments about serving communities also reflect a desire to build strong ties between people and the larger world, a theme I discuss below. D. Broader Social Change According to political scientist Robert Putnam, an important consequence of modernity is a decrease in social capital, and thus civic engagement, which he argues is a result of isolation, individualization, and the breakdown of social institutions (2000). By 172 framing authentic leadership as an antidote to the perceived greed and “distanciated social relations” of modern capital (Giddens 1990), authentic leaders ask for the trust and loyalty of their followers. This loyalty may translate into direct benefits for the leader, in terms of greater labor production by followers, as well as the social benefits of an increased emphasis on ethical and civic behavior. Thus, while they are asking for loyalty, they are also attempting to serve as models and engage others to practice servant leadership. Judy’s comment about follower disloyalty earlier in this chapter highlighted this issue. Members echoed these ideals of creating greater social engagement, which I have discussed to a degree in the previous two sections. In this section, I identify members’ desires to create broader patterns of social change through their interaction with larger social institutions. This engagement is expressed through their desires to change “the world,” practice innovation via entrepreneurship, and leave a long-lasting legacy for others. 1. Being in the World Members are increasingly focused on enacting broad social change, although often within untraditional avenues. As Wolf and others have argued, the notions of “local” and “global” are increasingly ambiguous terms. Beck argues that individualization has “undermined traditional securities such as religious faith and simultaneously it has created new forms of social commitment,” which he terms “antipolitics” (2002: 202). Individuals seeking a “life of one’s own,” he claims, become “disembedded from traditional commitments and support relationships” (203). 173 Ultimately, this separation from large institutions has led many young people, what he calls “freedom’s children,” to not only “enjoy one’s life” but also create self-organized concerns for others” (213). Thus, young people are often attempting to mediate the global and social issues they see through the creation of new institutions. These selforganized concerns are reflected in current social justice movements and members’ ideas about how they, as individuals, are determined to impact “the world.” Several members talked about practicing good leadership in order to change entrenched systems of inequity or immoral practice. Michelle, who is in law school, told me that her future goals are to reform corporate ethics. Professionally, I am most interested at this time in business and corporate ethics. I'd like to use my legal background and my business background to promote fair and ethical practices in the corporate world. In my future, I would like to spend some time doing work with government or nonprofit entities, while also enjoying a fulfilling personal life. Melissa, who took the course in 2004 and is currently an organizational consultant, was more philosophical about the impacts she hopes to have reforming ethics and justice. When I asked her what kind of work she hoped to accomplish, she responded: A question I will probably ask myself my whole life. The most important thing is that I am helping people to understand themselves and others better so that they can make their own lives and those around them better. In working in business, I hope to have a positive impact working with leaders to understand their people and to act fairly and justly while being more effective. On a more global scale, I hope to make a small difference in the world to make it a better place - whether that be through volunteering, mentoring, bringing "soul" back into business, and so on. I'm only at the beginning of my path...and with the one-year of travel I am currently embarking on, I'm sure many revelations will arise about my purpose in the world. 174 Melissa’s thoughts reflect her desire to discover a purpose to help people better themselves, while also reflecting her ambivalence that she’ll find this purpose soon. She is still firmly within her “odyssey” phase of discovering her authentic self. I found her comment about bringing “soul” back into business intriguing – she wants to inject some humanity and character into an arena she thinks has lost its moral compass. Kristy, who took the course in 2005, has been going on global relief missions with her church for nearly a decade and feels that ethical service is mandatory. To her, ideology has its place, but practicing it is the essential thing. “It’s easy to say you believe in something. Serving is just as important as believing something. For me, I need to give back. I have a passion to make a difference in the world.” Sandra, who took the course in 1996 and works for an online video company, loves that she can impact people through stories on a global scale, and thus build what she terms “social networks.” I seek to tell stories that can reach people, which I hope can enrich people’s lives in one way or another. For example, I work with www.aliveinbaghdad.org, which seeks to change the model of journalism, supplementing the "live from" model with a more inclusive model, that incorporates the voices of the people that the stories happen to. Global political concerns were a frequent theme in members’ goals. Lisa, who took the course in 1999, works in information technology. She left her position for fulltime work at a non-profit, but returned to her IT position because, as she puts it, she can “contribute more as a volunteer and also hold leadership positions.” She is most passionate about “helping Israel and promoting peace in that region,” which she is trying to accomplish through the political system. Lisa’s comment reflects a need to be a leader 175 in her service, where she can control her own “mission” and achieve her personal goals on a global scale. This desire to control one’s impacts is illustrated more deeply below in members’ talk about building something solid that can be left behind for others. 2. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Members often remark that they would like to be entrepreneurs, a rapidly expanding ideal today. As I discussed in Chapter Two, the New Economy privileges discourse surrounding the neo-liberal ideals of innovation, creativity, production and competition (Hearn and Michelson 2006). Modern capital’s emphasis on individual responsibility, along with the rapid opening of capital, has contributed to what some scholars term “an Enterprise Culture” (Hughes 2005). This is an attitude, encouraged by governments and consistently highlighted in the media, that individuals should compete in a free market to reach their individual economic potential through creating self-run businesses or through finding self-fulfilling niches in larger companies. Cossman and Fudge (2002) and Hytrek and Zentgraf (2008) note that this is in large part due to the dismantling of welfare programs with the rise of market deregulation. Du Gay and Salaman write that this culture is one in which “personal responsibility, boldness, and a willingness to take risks in the pursuit of goals are regarded as human virtues and promoted as such” (1992: 628). Richard Sennett argues that the New Economy demands that individuals take on the bulk of responsibility for creating careers (2006). Members often argue that, one day if not now, they would like to translate their passion for change into something they create themselves. The idea of being a “life entrepreneur,” as Chris Gergen termed it, is an extremely attractive concept for them, and 176 several took it a step beyond finding a life’s passion to finding a way to create concrete results. Amy, who took the course in 1996, started a charter school in South Los Angeles with her husband four years ago. At the time she began it, she only knew she had a passion. Well, you know, I didn’t know at the time, I knew I wanted to be somebody. I knew I wanted to make a difference in helping people. So I knew I wanted to do a helping profession. I didn’t know if it was going to be in education or not. But at least for now, I know it’s definitely in education. And my passion, my passion at the time, I have a lot of passion for the inner city. Some of actually when I was intrigued to come to USC was because of where it’s located. A lot of people were telling me you don’t want to go there, it’s dangerous, it’s in South LA. The LA riots happened in April right before I started here. And so a lot of people were telling me to reconsider and maybe go somewhere else because it’s not safe. But for me, I know it sounds strange, but I actually was excited to be coming for the riots. While it was scary, it definitely was scary for me. But I wanted to part of trying to mend racial tensions and help be part of the healing process in the city. For some reason that’s just always been a draw for me ever since I was little is wanting to work with people of different cultures and especially the less fortunate, and make a difference. I wasn’t quite sure yet how yet, but those have been a lot of my interests and passions. When she began to translate her passion into a vision for a charter school, she told me, she faced various kinds of opposition from people who thought she was too young and inexperienced. Despite her youth, she was determined to persevere. Her charter school is now nearing the top of the county’s lists for student performance. Similarly, other members argued that they want to do something new and innovative. Niki told me: I just, I don’t like the idea of doing something that’s obvious, you know? Everyone that I went to high school with went to college, the same colleges, they graduated in the same are in New York City, they all work in marketing or PR. They’re basically just doing jobs that they don’t care bout at all. They’re doing them just to make a living for three years until they get married and can move back to Long Island. I 177 mean, for me, it needs to be something that A) I care about, and I believe in and I want to do well in. B) Its something that, you know, I have to work hard at, I can’t just sit and type numbers into an Excel spreadsheet all day. I actually have to work at it. I just don’t’ want to do the same thing forever. I want to do something different. When I asked her for specifics, Niki said she might like to change an organization and take it “from the status quo,” making it different and “shaking it up.” This need to be challenged and to keep being innovative was echoed by Raul, who said “I have lots and lots of ideas. I can’t help thinking of ideas. I’m always wanting to try new things.” He went on to talk about how exciting he found planning his next service venture. It’s an exciting place to be. It’s like what’s going to happen next? What’s the next innovation? What are we going to do next? And I don’t know. I like that. I like that sense of mission and purpose. I like that up and coming. Steve, who took the course in 2001 and is an engineer, also feels like he needs to be challenged. When I asked him what kind of work is most important to him personally, he responded: Work that keeps me challenged, keeps me on my toes, forced to keep thinking, new ways of tackling problems. Routine is anathema. I want to be an important piece of the puzzle and design buildings that will be safe and won’t fail in the event of geologic hazards. Being “important” was a common theme in members’ discussions of the kinds of change they would like to enact. This might reflect a sense that, as elites, they must “prove” their worthiness as leaders. It also reflects a need to achieve some kind of social status they feel is lacking in traditional work, and recalls the themes of discovering and solidifying prestige through giving that I discussed in previous chapters. 178 3. Creating a Legacy As innovators of social change, members often expressed desires to create a legacy that would out-live them. Will talked at length about his need to “build something.” There are two ways to make a lot of money; I mean two ways that are accessible to me to make a lot of money. The first is a job in finance or private equity, something like that where at the end of the day you've provided a valuable service for the market but you haven’t built anything new. You may have re-valued something new. You may have provided capital to somebody who built something new but you didn’t build a new business or you know a new skyscraper or anything like that. You don’t have something to show for it. It doesn’t mean that I think it's less important. I think I will work in finance to begin with but it's important to me that I build something. What distinguishes lawyers from business people most importantly is that business people and I say this as somebody who is in law school, somebody who has a dad who is a lawyer, who has enormous respect for lawyers. At the end of the day lawyers take other people's ideas and ventures and they just work them out and make sure they can happen. They're not driving forces and at the end of the day they provide a valuable service, one that people pay for. They sort of suck their living out of these deals that are happening. It's not that we don’t need them. It's not that they don’t provide valuable but they aren't creating value. They aren't creating a business. They aren't building anything. It's always been something that's important for me to do. I want to build something new. I want to add value. I want there to be more wealth and more things to enjoy in the world because of whatever it was that I did. I find embedded in these comments a drive to find some concrete sign that Will lived and worked. I found this need for some measure of perpetuity to be repeated in other members’ comments. Will needs to build “something new” in order to feel that he has achieved his goals. This idea of success via some marker of permanence, or through the achievement of visible and public results, was echoed frequently by other members. Raul, who is a teacher as well as becoming the mayor of his hometown at the age of twenty-four, said he is constantly motivated to get his school’s test scores up so he can 179 show the county “that we’re starting to achieve very visibly and very, very tangibly the success that, in my mind at least, I imagined we would have from the first year. Now I’m getting restless, and I want to move on to the next thing.” Raul illustrates a desire to achieve bursts of success and then quickly find another avenue to create success. I find this drive to accomplish tangible markers of success, in short amounts of time, directly related to features of modern capitalism that compress time and space. David Harvey argues that one feature of postmodernity is what he calls the “time-space compression” of capital, which he argues was a response to the rigidity of state-regulated Fordist regimes. Modern capital, in order to ensure its own speedy reproduction and increase its “turnover time,” erases the traditionally confining boundaries of geography. Harvey argues that "the general effect is for capitalist modernization to be very much about speed-up and acceleration in the pace of economic processes and, hence, social life" (1989: 230). Harvey goes on to characterize the post-fordist period as one of “flexible accumulation,” one that “rests on flexibility with respect to labor processes, labor markets, products, and patterns of consumption. It is characterized by the emergence of entirely new sectors of production, new ways of providing financial services, new markets, and, above all, greatly intensified rates of commercial, technological, and organizational innovation'' (1989: 147). These intensified rates of innovation have had significant impacts on the labor market, resulting in a multitude of new jobs created to cater to the constant demand for new consumer products and a spate of temporary, contract, and non-standard jobs that serve calls for constant innovations and niche 180 markets. These markets service contemporary consumer demands for plurality in choice and heterogeneity in fetish objects; in other words, the current labor market is characterized by constant motion and constant creativity to satisfy the most extreme individual tastes. The above comments by members reveal a drive to accomplish substantial service goals quickly. They also reflect the enormous number of avenues and niches available to them to achieve these goals. Additionally, members’ comments highlight the notion that they should be able to find an adequate arena in which to conduct innovative social change. Again, they feel an imperative to do so, perhaps to validate the work they have done to become leaders and to have society reflect their successes back to them. They are careful not to explicitly request that society laud them for their accomplishments with financial rewards, but they do seek to be known as “important.” This reifies the notion that authentic leaders should give back and should publicly act as though they are rewarded through the service they perform. However, members do desire to know privately that they left a tangible, lasting mark. Many characterized this private knowledge as “self-fulfillment,” which I discuss in the next section. E. Finding Happiness and Self-Fulfillment Finding happiness and self-fulfillment is a key theme members expressed throughout my fieldwork. The comments in the preceding sections reflect not only a desire to enact social change but also a need to feel fully engaged as an individual and feel some kind of reward for their efforts. These notions recall the self-development 181 ideals of Chapter Four, when members talked about discovering their inner passions, Moral Compasses, and “life purposes.” Niki needs to feel that she accomplished something as well, in order to feel, as she puts it, “alive:” The work that is most important to me personally is work that makes me feel alive - feel like I accomplished something. I like to be stretched to my capacity and I am most satisfied when I know that I did all I could and worked my hardest. Kathy, who took the course in 2007 and is contemplating graduate school, also speaks to this sense of personal accomplishment. Personally, I like to be in a work environment that changes (i.e. traveling) so that I don't get bored. I also love interacting with people. Most importantly, I want my work to make me feel like I have accomplished something, like I'm successful. Raul adds “I want to do work that no one else is doing. I feel a sense of accomplishment whenever I make a difference; when I can say, ‘If I weren’t doing it, it wouldn’t get done.’” The above comments reveal a satisfaction gained from designing careers and service projects in order to be challenged. Ultimately, members value the success that comes from working hard and feeling that they have overcome what are often self-induced obstacles. This highlights the idea that the self is responsible for creating a pathway to self-fulfillment and can doubly enjoy the rewards of achievement that other people may not be as interested in pursuing. Often the talk of self-fulfillment was couched in terms of realizing one’s potential. Jose, who took the course in 2007 and plans to dedicate the next two years to Teach for America, told me: 182 I think the work I find most meaning in and the work that allows me to give back the most is the most important kind of work there is. Anyone can go into a job and work hour after hour and not be happy or feel the slightest bit fulfilled from what they do. At the end of the day I think a life like this does not fully engage the individual and does not allow the individual to make the most of his/her talents. When someone is able to really follow their passion, or apply it to what they are doing, not only are they bettering themselves, but, hopefully, they are bettering society either by providing a good, a service, or just playing a role in the wider context of our society and economy. Here Jose is almost directing an imperative for individuals to determine their talents in order to maximize them, which will ultimately better society. Individuals who do not engage their talents, then, are wasting an opportunity to give back. Similarly, Rob argued that members of the leadership course community are clearly positioned to do something important and self-fulfilling. I suppose, you know, just do something that you’re passionate about for one thing, you know? If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, what are you doing there in the first place? Just I guess, you know, we’re the alumni. We’re doing something they consider to be worthwhile. And doing something that makes, you know, maybe not necessarily the globe a better place or maybe making their community a better place or the city they lived in. The place that they work. Just doing something where, you know, they were sincere about what they were doing and that they were getting a sense of fulfillment, and just getting life’s experiences with that and any lessons that they can share with fellow alumni, and with everybody else, those staying with program. Rob’s comment reflects this idea that service by members is a “duty,” almost a moral imperative. These ideals echo themes inherent in the Enlightenment, namely, that humans are rational and can achieve self-made success through the logical application of hard work. They also call to mind Emerson’s notion of an exemplary man and the 19th century intellectual focus upon one’s “character.” Indeed, within the above comments I see a longing for some members to feel that they are citizens of good moral upstanding. 183 Authentic leaders, and the members of this course, generally express a desire to execute their work lives as a social duty. They feel an “obligation” to give back, in a manner reminiscent of “if I don’t do it, who will?” They are also proud, and ultimately “happy,” when they are able to balance their ideals of duty with productive, well-rounded lives. I turn now to a discussion of the tensions some members expressed about executing this duty with their needs to find financial autonomy and have a balance between work and family. III. GIVE NOW OR GIVE LATER: RHETORIC AND REALITIES While a primary thread of the course is based on becoming a servant leader, many members struggled with finding ways to translate their goals into actions that would also allow them to survive in a fast-paced economy. Several members expressed degrees of hope that they would be able to “one day” give back in some capacity, but also recognized that they had financial needs and obligations to which they needed to pay attention. They often framed their service goals as philanthropy, dreaming of amassing large stores of wealth and resources through traditional means that they then could give away to others. Occasionally members argued that they would prefer to develop whole and happy families rather than serve larger social needs. Some hinted that they felt guilty taking jobs for the money. Others were more matter-of-fact that they were cognizant of the difficulties of finding a work-life balance and were opting for the “life” balance. A. Financial Tensions and Social Guilt In one particularly telling experience, I observed students in the class arguing about how and at what point they would “give back” to society, whether through a 184 service-oriented career or through community service. Three students took the lead in drawing other students’ ideas from them, with only two students arguing they would enter service immediately and three students saying their anxiety levels were too high, and they would work first, give later (the other six students involved in the discussion were somewhere in the middle). What emerged from this debate was an interesting discussion that many students “talk the talk” about public service within the classroom to please the professors, but secretly fear that they would be unable to meet their personal financial requirements if they did actually pursue those positions immediately after graduation. These revelations were made passionately, and perhaps most honestly, because students were challenging each other. Similarly, Will told me that he feels he will achieve higher success as a servant leader if he gives back later. He believes that his own personal attributes do not lend themselves to creating personal connections, and admires the way that money can cure larger issues. In a conversation about what he termed “Robin Hood” leaders, he cites wealthy individuals as key to global change. Those guys are the same ones who happen to be better than everybody else in the entire world at that game of making money. It's touching to me when I think about it. They happen to be more skilled than everyone else. They're beating everybody at their own game and then they're giving it away to do things that they think are more important. There are very few things in my mind that's nobler than that. I consider that much more noble than donating your time at a soup kitchen, than doing things that are very nice things and selfless things to do because at the end of the day, I think if AIDS is going to get cured it's going to be Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who do it. I think that's a more important goal. Maybe in your career you get several thousand homeless people off the streets and that's an astounding feat and you've made so many people's lives better. You certainly have more of an impact on the world than I have or perhaps than I'll ever dream to have. At the same time that person can't hold a candle to 185 what these big time philanthropists are doing. Maybe that's because I'm most well suited to make that kind of contribution. I volunteer at a domestic violence clinic now over the summer as part of my work for Latham. They sponsor you doing pro-bono work and I help people fill out the paperwork they need for restraining orders. The fact of the matter is I'm just not gifted in interacting with people who are in vulnerable positions. I try my best to be sympathetic and to connect with them but they know I can't relate to them at all. I'm this tall white guy who's welldressed. I try my best but they know and I know that I'm just not well suited for that. It's not because I don’t want to help people and want to make a difference. I figure that perhaps the best difference I can make would be to finance maybe a hundred people who want to do that fulltime someday instead of me just doing it and struggling through it right now. Will’s comment reflects his ideal that amassing wealth and then making deep inroads into major problems is more “noble” than helping individuals. He goes on to argue that he feels out of place in smaller community-service organizations, and would prefer to remain disconnected. But he is still identifying the work he’s done to ascertain his inner strengths and weaknesses to make this a deliberate choice. He also told me he is personally responsible for supporting two members of his family, and he is more interested in meeting the immediate needs of those he cares about than in doing some kind of “faceless” charity work. I also note the length of Will’s point – in my follow-up questions, he told me that he felt he needed to completely justify his choices. This also might reflect that my position in the course as an instructor compelled him to validate his decision to skip personal service for the time being. Likewise, Bradley, who took the course in 2004 and is currently applying to medical schools, feels that he has been able to accomplish his service goals because he has a high-paying job. I have spent a lot of time contemplating my work as a real estate developer (I went to school to be a Medical Doctor) sometimes thinking that I was 186 going after too much money and should spend more time doing "good" for others in the traditional sense. But I have come to believe that with the money I now make it has afforded me to contribute in ways that weren't previously possible to society. I was able to re-write a book on diabetes which I hope will help others. Due to my ability to manage my own time (as a partner in a firm as opposed to a financial analyst at a large corporation) I have been able to become a board member at a diabetes non-profit. I am most happy when I am directly helping others, often others with diabetes, but for some other reason (possibly selfish...) I need to feel financially successful to be happy. And making money in real estate development helps me feel good about me. Bradley, like Will, feels that it is important to justify that his money-making job helps him perform service, but he also acknowledges that making money helps him “feel good” about himself. His inner tensions about admitting these come in his comment that he is “possibly selfish.” This might be a reflection that the course and the wider leadership arena’s emphasis on servant leadership induces some form of guilt in those who choose not to actively participate in the ideology. I think it also reflects the anxiety that many members experience upon entering the broader workforce, which, as Sennett argued, is rife with the risks of taking on the personal responsibilities associated with the New Economy (2006). Will and Bradley, quite simply, have to make a living. B. Work-life Balance At least two or three times per semester, students initiate a discussion with the professors or guest speakers about finding a balance between work and their personal lives. Students frequently probe guest speakers for their own practices of living an integrated life. One guest speaker, Paul Orfalea, receives a huge response when he tells students to “be stupid one hour a day” and take lots of naps. When Eli Broad visited class and candidly admitted that his family life suffered because he chose to focus on his 187 business and philanthropic concerns, students were critical of his choices. Stacy highlighted his ideas in her conversation with me, saying she couldn’t understand someone who would “abandon” his family, as she put it. These are two extremes of the ideas of finding balance, however. Most members hope to find meaningful work that will also allow them to develop personal interests and create successful families. 1. Work and Personal Life Several members stressed that they needed to have time “just for me” that would allow them to decompress and alleviate the stress of constantly working or interacting with other people. Others felt that they should be able to find a job they love that will allow them to do other things they loved. Judy talked about finding her connection to public service, and directly addressed conversations she had with other members about finding a work-life balance. I can remember in my class the majority of what I talked about with people outside of class as it related was this idea of being a public servant in the sense that all of us were trying to find something that we felt inspired by, that we felt would help other people. I think for a lot of us it was the first time that we had thought of a career in that way that we had thought of making a career out of something that was more important than profit. I remember having a lot of conversations about that with people, just like what we thought that meant and how we would find something that we were able to do that and fine that work/life balance. I think work/life balance was another theme that kept repeating itself during my class and something that we were really concerned with. It probably has something to do with us having all these options and feeling really independent and having our own autonomy in the work world right now. But a lot of us want to make sure that what we're doing for eight hours of the day, we love or either that or it will balance that with something else that we love as well. That we have something that we enjoy doing and I think that's an option that people thirty, forty, fifty, however many years ago didn’t necessarily have or it's not something they searched for in a job. I think a job to many people in the past and still some people today is just 188 what you do during the day to make money and nothing more than that. So, we talked a lot about work/life balance. Judy’s point reflects that she and others are cognizant that work and life patterns have changed significantly in the past decades. She’s aware that work in modern capitalism stresses the ideal of “autonomy” and workers should “love” what they do (Ross 2003). These comments reveal that members face a complicated landscape with numerous options as well as a mandate to do work that is more “than just a job to make money.” Some members have found strategies that allow them to pair work success with leisure time. Dan, who started his own technology consulting firm, agreed that he took on a huge amount of risk as a young entrepreneur but it was worth it. “It was a pretty big risk. I thought about it for probably a year in one form or another before taking the plunge.” When I asked him if he would consider going back to a “regular” job, he laughed and said probably not. When I asked why, he said “probably because I’ve seen the other side. I’ve seen the light, if you will. I don’t think I could go back to that world. I’ve enjoyed the entrepreneurial spirit in being able to do what we want.” He went on to say that he likes being able to control his work-life balance. While he works constantly, even on weekends, he feels that he can dictate his time as he sees fit to execute his company’s vision. He enjoys the free time he has to play golf and fly to Los Angeles from the Bay Area for football games. Similar to Bradley and Will above, Dan plans to one day “give back” by retiring after he has earned a significant amount of money and then volunteering as a teacher. 189 2. Work and Family Beyond finding time to enjoy leisure activities, members, especially those who took the course in its early years, found themselves confronting the tensions between putting extra effort into their work and service practices and starting families. Matt, who works in law school admissions, argued: Work/life balance is important because if you’re working 70 hours a week, there is no life. You know, I have a fiancee, I enjoy spending time with her. We plan on getting married in March. I don’t think all the happiness you need to be a well-rounded person can come from work. There are people who probably think it can. But I think there has to be an equal amount of happiness coming from your personal life. And for me, that balance was more important than a six figure salary, straight out of law school. So for me, having a work/life balance means actually being able to put work behind me at a certain point in the day, going home and having a life. This concern about having “a life” was a deep concern for members who are still searching for their “life purposes.” Maya is contemplating going to graduate school to obtain a master’s in public policy or international diplomacy, service goals that she is very passionate about. However, she is also cognizant that she wants to have a family one day. It’s just, in school it’s so much easier. You get like such direction, you take classes, you’re done. And this is the real world. Well, there’s some classes, and there’s some direction, but like how much satisfaction do you get? I mean, wouldn’t you want to change? You must have something more specific. With having a regular job, it’s hard to figure out. So I’ve been having a lot of trouble with that, like trying to figure out which direction I want to go in, especially as I’m getting older, there’s that whole like female thing and breeding, and that just like curves this whole other fork into the road that, for example, I’m going to be 28 this year. I’m applying to grad school. By the time I get out of grad school, I’m going to be 29, and you have, what, just two years to make sure, 31, and then you have another five years to start a career. I’d be 36, and that’s, for the breeding thing, I’ve seen enough people like trying to be a parent where 190 there’s no, it’s sad, it’s really a full-time job, and it’s hard for me to figure out. Stacy, who is married, said Being married has always been very important to me. I know I want to have kids. I know I want to be a good mom and I have specific ideas about what I think that looks like. And it means I can’t necessarily pursue super ambitious jobs where I would have to travel a lot, or I’d have to move every couple of years or move or travel internationally. And I know that. I’m conscious about that choice, and that’s okay with me. Similarly, Amir, who is married, worries that he won’t be able to achieve his goal of starting his own company and also balance family concerns. I’m afraid of that question. You know, I got married about a little over a year ago. And, you know, I do understand the demands of startup. And that is like a baby. And you have to watch over it all the time. It’s not just a 9 to 5 personal thing. I don’t think the 40-hour work week exists for anybody more. But it’s not a, you know, 8 to 6 job. That’s only Mondays through Fridays. It’s something that you kind of nurture and develop. And I think the successful entrepreneurs for startups they are seeking any potential linkage to network and expanded opportunities at all times. And it’s really so much activity that I feel like I need to have some touch points along the way. And if I do join a startup and I don’t have all that experience it would be even more stressful. But yeah, I’m hesitant because I definitely want to have a good family life at the same time. When I asked Amir what his ideal situation for achieving balance would be, he responded with concerns other members also noted about paying a mortgage and finding time to spend with his family. Well, the ideal situation, the impossible situation. My wife and I own a home. We have mortgage payments that are very easy; a good home that we can grow a family into in the Bay Area. So okay, we own a 1.5 million dollar home. And the payments are easy enough for her to take care of. But actually for me to take care drawing up some simple salary, you know, as a startup employee; that if push comes to shove or any complications with the pregnancy or raising a child, or nothing where she feels the stress of going out and continue to work as a pharmacist on the crazy hours. That’s an ideal situation for me where it’s like okay, she 191 doesn’t need to work. And if she does want to be a stay home mom or be a working mom, you know, that’s fine. We can handle either or. And I can actually dedicate some time to the startup activity. It will be more time than a normal job, but I just get to have some semblance of family activity and enjoying it, you know, the raising of a child. That’s my ideal environment. Now to get to it that means I’ll have to be extremely financially healthy. Just to be there. And that’s not happening anytime soon. So, and that’s the scary thing for me. And I’ve interviewed with a couple biotech startups. And, you know, the base salaries are still healthy and competitive with other organizations I interview at. But not knowing if that company will be around in a couple years from now with the clinical trial data comes out. And then they have you going back on the job search. It’s uncomfortable. And especially given that most recently my wife enabled me to leave my job that I was not happy at. Amir’s comment, in particular, reflects the difficulties faced by young people in the New Economy. He knows that to do what he wants, which is to start his own firm, would be extremely risky given the speed and flux of modern capital, and also the weakness of workers’ loyalties in technology-based start-ups. This section has revealed that members, while valuing the ideals of servant leadership, frequently struggle with practicing the rhetoric they idealize. These are not new concerns for young adults in America. However, the level of guilt that members expressed reveals that they feel compelled to at least one day practice service as a “duty” but are torn by their current duties to their mortgages and their families. IV. CONCLUSION This chapter argued that members yearn to be known as leaders who serve others. Throughout this dissertation, I have argued that authentic leaders’ focus on team building, character, and servant leadership attempts to act as a catalyst for a “return” to an idealized American form of human connectedness and socially beneficial work. Bourdieu was 192 perhaps the first social scientist to identify social capital, which he defined as “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance or recognition” (1985: 248). I see in members’ stories of practicing servant leadership a clear desire to create relationships that go beyond acquaintanceship or work partnerships. They hope to create deep, meaningful impacts on individuals, communities, and broader society, and in turn they create their identities as servant workers in order to achieve these goals. Most members spoke about practicing these ideals as a form of a “personal mission,” an obligation or duty that they, as young leaders, felt responsible for executing. Interestingly, I found very little qualitative difference between the goals of members who took the course in different years. Members who graduated in the first half of the course, from 1996 to 2001, expressed more awareness of practical concerns about family and money, but still idealized servant leadership. Those who graduated after 2001 were still to some extent finding their “purposes,” but were often engaged in career paths that they felt were meaningful. However, many of these service goals are spoken of in the future tense, indicating that the members have not yet reached a life stage where they can fully practice these beliefs. Overall, the majority of members point to “work that makes a difference” and leadership that “betters people’s lives” as the activities they are most passionate about achieving, while often privately expressing a desire to be financially stable. Key, then, is their desire to create challenging and creative avenues to complete these sometimes incongruous goals. Additionally, they often desire to be entrepreneurs, 193 both in business capacities and in the realm of public service. The key goals, then, are those that develop the self by being “life entrepreneurs,” as Chris Gergen termed them, in service-based leadership. 194 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSION I. DISSERTATION SUMMARY This dissertation has drawn on ethnographic fieldwork with the members of an elite leadership course in order to examine their social constructions of “authentic” and “good” leadership. As a long-running class that socializes young leaders into an idealized model of leadership, this course has offered an ideal case study to examine current cultural constructions of American leadership. This is particularly germane to a study of modern American culture, which increasingly is focused on the idea that all individuals can and should be leaders, and celebrated as such. Members believe that spending time in self-reflection and identifying their values, leadership principles, and Moral Compasses will allow them to develop a life’s purpose. They then hope to translate their purposes into larger visions that others will find meaningful and will be willing to invest their time and resources into executing. My fieldwork revealed that becoming a leader, for them, is nearly synonymous with locating and developing the authentic self. Additionally, I have argued that members invoke an “authentic self” partially as a strategy to redefine and retain elite status as well as to create meaningful and long-term alliances within the increasing individualization of the New Economy (Beck 2002; Sennett 2006). These features of the New Economy have impacted members’ entrance into leadership practice in three key ways. First, the New Economy has created what Giddens calls “distanciated social relations” that serve to disembed individuals from meaningful interactions with others. Second, the new Economy is characterized by 195 increasing niches for careers, a growing detachment from employers and workplaces, greater flexibility in work and leisure patterns, and rising economic insecurity (Beck 2000). Third, these changes have led to longer periods of time for young adults to enter full financial autonomy, creating what Settersten et al call a period of “adultolescence” when young adults are continually attempting to invent new ways of finding security (2005). Members’ stories reveal that they construct their identities as authentic selves and leaders to combat these risks. My analysis has been predicated upon what I identify as a paradigm shift in leadership. Members reject traditionally coercive, hierarchical leadership that gains individual rewards in favor of collaborative work done with others to achieve collective missions. These collaborative relationships aid them in mediating the effects of “distanciated social relations” and create strong ties of loyalty between leaders and followers. Additionally, members construct themselves as servant leaders with fully fleshed out life purposes, partly in order to achieve long-term goals that mitigate rising insecurities about finding stable career paths. By serving others, they amass a certain amount of social capital that they translate into stable relationships with colleagues and followers. These relationships help them create larger visions that engage others and build communal practices. Their ideals and practices of servant leadership also reflect a paradigm shift that recognizes “good” leaders as those who know themselves and their life purposes, and whose definitions and practices of leadership are intricately and deeply bound to realizing larger social change. While traditional forms of leadership, which 196 privilege narratives of individual accomplishment, measurable results, and material gains, still exist throughout American leadership, my research revealed that new rhetoric praising collaborative leaders is becoming increasingly prevalent. Ultimately, the story of becoming a “good” American leader is shifting in some ways to a story of reciprocity and the giving of the authentic self. In return for the self’s “giving,” followers respond with degrees of loyalty, work productivity, and time commitments that are increasingly rarer in modern work environments. Ultimately, the ever-expanding and deeply complex context of the New Economy insists on this new paradigm of leadership as a form of social capital. As my title argues, it’s not just nice, it’s necessary. Thus, authenticity provides a code of ethics and a script of practices for leaders in this New Economy. II. CONTRIBUTION TO POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY In this dissertation, I have attempted to provide an analysis of a group often ignored by anthropologists: American elites. Responding to Laura Nader’s call to “study up,” this work has examined a particular local experience of a leadership community responding to the effects of globalization (Lewellen 2002; Erkisen 2003; Kearney 2004; Inda and Rosaldo 2008). Specifically, I have examined the ways these members have constituted their identities as elites by developing a script of practices befitting an authentic leader. I have also identified key practices and symbols by which they announce their identity as members of an elite group. For the members of the leadership course community, authentic self-development processes and concomitant service behaviors are the ideational symbols by which they enter an elitist way of life. 197 My identification of this process as a way members legitimize their arrival as authentic leaders contributes to scholarship in political anthropology that examines how elites emerge within societies (Cohen 1982; Kurtz 2000; Shore 2002; Watson 2002). Essentially, I argue that authentic leaders seek to disavow traditional markers of American elitism, such as wealth, prominent and elaborate status positions, and class positions, in favor of behaviors that eschew public displays of achievement. The resulting influence they may gain is different in form than anthropological categories of how Western leaders gain and use power. Rather than gaining power through their hierarchically coded, achieved positions, authentic leaders gain power via “asking” rather than “telling.” These subtle differences demand ever more nuanced examinations of how Western elites are relinquishing traditional stances of power in favor of stances that recognize a flattening global landscape of leadership and new definitions of connective leaders as status symbols (Friedman 2005). Additionally, by arguing that authentic leaders translate their authentic selves into markers of prestige that they then use to create long-term alliances with others, this work adds nuances to anthropological studies of the ways individuals use personality, reputations, and symbols to gain influence (Sahlins 1963; McGlynn and Tuden 199; Gledhill 1994; Kurtz 2001). Specifically, I note that the rhetoric of authenticity calls for leaders to reject hierarchical, chief-like positions in favor of collaborative, non-coercive alliances similar to the practices of big men. My argument that authentic leaders’ attempts to create fictive kin relationships with followers complicates anthropology’s traditional stance that big man styles of leadership are prevalent mainly in small, kin- 198 based groups. I anticipate further research to understand how this shift may be playing out in other arenas of American power bases. III. CONTRIBUTION TO LEADERSHIP LITERATURE This work has analyzed how members of the course construct “authentic” leadership. By describing and analyzing how members locate, develop, and publicly share their authentic selves this research contributes to scholarship that examines the current focus on authentic leadership (Terry 1993; Avolio et al 2005; Ilies et al 2005; Goffee and Jones 2006; George and Sims 2007). Additionally, by describing the practices these leadership apprentices undergo to become leaders, my work contributes to leadership literature focused on the idea that the spiritual and/or self-reflective nature of understanding oneself as a leader is a vital component to holistic, integrative, and ultimately healthy leadership (Burns 1978; Greenleaf 2002; Covey 2004; De Pree 1997; George and Sims 2007). Specifically, members argue that they are happier and more complete leaders when they have undergone the heavily self-reflective processes I outlined in Chapter Four. In addition to self-fulfillment, members gain prestige via their reputations as authentic leaders who have made proactive choices to undergo this process, which they translate into an enhanced ability to enact their visions. Further, by arguing that members translate their authentic selves into prestige they use to create long-lasting relationships with peers and followers, this work adds to the body of scholarship that argues that collaborative leaders create powerful and productive teams (Lipman-Blumen 2000; Ciulla 2004; Kellerman 2008). 199 My research has revealed a four-stage model, introspection, odyssey, reintegration and network-creation, by which these members hope to become leaders. Members report that they feel better prepared to engage in leadership practices because they have done this work. As such, this research contributes to leadership scholarship to understand how individuals envision collaborative leadership and, further, how to teach it (LipmanBlumen 2000; Avolio et al 2005; George and Sims 2007). Additionally, by examining the current practices of members as servant leaders, it provides an analysis of the longitudinal effects of teaching service-based leadership, complementing scholarship that seeks to understand how to create effective pedagogy for young students (Riggio et al 2003). Ultimately, I argue that leadership scholars should pay closer attention to teaching an extended, life-long process of becoming a leader and the advantage members argue this gives them in creating productive, effective teams. My research on a longitudinal ethnographic sample suggests that future directions of research should engage the graduates of leadership programs to ascertain the ideologies and practices that have endured. Additionally, I suggest that leadership studies, which have traditionally used statistical evidence to ascertain training efficacy, employ more ethnography to tease out the deeper connections between pedagogy and practice. IV. CONTRIBUTION TO STUDIES OF THE NEW ECONOMY My findings complement ongoing work to delineate the effects of the New Economy on leaders and workers. Throughout the dissertation, I argue that authentic leaders attempt to buffer the risks, anxieties and extreme individualization of the New Economy with their emphasis on building stable teams. By identifying authenticity as a 200 strategy to develop long-term social institutions built upon collective missions, this work nuances, in particular, Ulrich Beck’s argument that modernity creates individualization as a social structure (2001; 2002). Additionally, I have argued that authentic leaders are building a movement to recall “character” as an important focus of personhood as well as leadership, which augments Richard Sennett (2006) and Warren Susman’s (1979) arguments that capitalism has corroded character. I have also presented authenticity as a strategy to combat what Anthony Giddens identified as the “distanciated social relations” of modernity (1990). Authentic leaders offer a community of practitioners that actively seek to enhance social relationships by developing communal goals that are personally, emotionally, and intellectually vital to all participants. Ultimately I argue that the New Economy insists on these kinds of collaborations for successful leadership. Finally, my research has identified that members situate their process of becoming leaders as a lengthy one. My four-stage model revealed that members spend significant amounts of time searching for a life purpose and still often feel “lost” after years in pursuit of these goals. This adds to current scholarship studying the period of time young adults spend to become fully adult (Settersten et al 2005). I propose future ethnographic research that attempts to qualitatively understand how young adults are responding to the increased amount of time they spend in searching for autonomy. I argue that young leaders desire to make active choices about their futures. Leadership training programs offer an arena in which to study these attempts by young people to find agency within an ambiguous and fluid economy. 201 V. PERSONAL JOURNEY This fieldwork has provided a reflective space for me to contemplate my own journey of discovering my “life purpose.” While I have attempted to provide both an etic and an emic perspective in this work, I must acknowledge that I am personally invested in the concepts I have outlined. I do believe in the value of teaching students to analyze themselves in relation to their values, principles, strengths, weaknesses, and idealized leadership outcomes. I do think that leadership is becoming an increasingly important commodity in America, partly due to globalization and resulting competition between nation-states and individuals. If America truly is “flattening,” as Thomas Friedman has argued, then I hope I have assisted in better preparing these students for futures that may be more “knowable” or secure because they have done the work to anticipate obstacles, identify deeply-seated values, and understand how they might achieve their personal goals. Now more than ever we need elites who are prepared to understand the responsibilities of holding power over other people’s lives. I also am in a period of “adultolescence,” finishing a graduate degree in my mid-thirties and contemplating all of the life changes ahead. VI. CONCLUDING REMARKS Ultimately, my fieldwork has revealed that Americans, in particular these young Americans, seek to find meaningful connections with others. I believe this destablizes the stereotype of the “me” generation, with its self-centered behaviors and demands for immediate material gratifications. The members of this course are self-selecting, true, but they are not alone in their pursuit of lives that will eventually grant them greater meaning. 202 Each year a greater number of students apply to take this class, and the mythology of it as a place where one might find a life’s purpose has permeated throughout the student culture at USC. In fact, one of the student project groups for this current semester is creating a leadership fraternity on campus precisely to teach freshman and sophomores the ideology of the course and help young apprentices find ways to practice servant leadership. Group members recently told me that they have had an enormous response to their call for applicants. Likewise, Harvard’s class on happiness has an extensive waiting list, and other leadership programs that emphasize building communities through servant leadership are expanding at a rapid rate. I think that this segment of young Americans has internalized and ultimately rejected, at least in part, the philosophy that self-centered practices will ultimately result in self-fulfillment. These members want not only to love what they do, but also to love themselves as people worthy of being called leaders. I close with the final benediction Dr. Sample gave at the final class dinner last year, which epitomizes the personal connections between the professors and the students. In a moment of quiet reflection, Dr. Sample stood at the podium in front of forty-three new class graduates and said simply: “Go forth and love others as we have tried to love you.” 203 REFERENCES Abélès, Marc 1992 “Anthropologie politique de la modernite.” L’Homme 121, JanuaryMarch, XXXII (1): 15-30. 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Zuboff, Shoshana, and James Maxmin 2002 The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and The Next Episode Of Capitalism. New York: Viking. Zweigenhaft, Richard L., and G. William Domhoff 2006 Diversity In The Power Elite: How It Happened, Why It Matters. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. 222 APPENDIX A: WEBSITE COURSE MATERIALS Course Description This course is designed to expose you to the areas of knowledge and kinds of competencies that are fundamental to the study and practice of leadership in multiple settings. The content of the course draws from several academic disciplines that inform the study of leadership. We will focus on the conceptual aspects of leadership, and will discover the skills and practices of exemplary leaders. At the conclusion of the course, it is expected that you will be acquainted with the interpersonal and technical skills needed for effective communication, decision-making, motivation, and public policy. This course is structured to emphasize some of the philosophical and historical foundations of leadership. The relationships among leadership theory, leadership practice, and the moral-ethical aspects of leadership will be emphasized. A variety of innovative teaching techniques will involve a high level of classroom participation and will require student participation in intensive group situations. In each class, you will be challenged to think critically and imaginatively about the content covered. Classes will actively involve you through lectures, seminar-style discussions, reading assignments, movies, debates, guest speakers, and case studies. In short, this is not a course for the passive thinker. The course is designed for you, if you are prepared to work hard and commit to the challenges presented. It seeks actively to engage and challenge you to challenge yourself, your peers, and your instructors. Learning Objectives of the Course • Students will become comfortable with the variety, complexity, and paradoxes of leadership and its concepts. • Students will develop an awareness of their competencies and themselves, and will develop a personal approach – a personal voice - in relation to leadership • Students will understand the process of leadership, how it involves both leaders and followers, and the connections and resonances between them. • Students will understand the varieties of leadership: charismatic, situational, indirect and direct, informal, legitimate, and positional. • Students will understand the historical leadership icons in comparison with contemporary leaders. 223 • Students will understand and begin the process of grappling with the moral, ethical and political dimensions of leadership. • Above all, students will understand that leadership is an art, not a science — a way of being, not a formula — that a course on leadership will perhaps raise more questions than it answers. Feeling comfortable with the ambiguities is the sine qua non of understanding leadership. Leaders to be Studied Course readings include books and a custom published reader. Through these readings, through various films, and through class discussions we will study the following leaders: * Cesare Borgia * Martin Luther King, Jr. * Margaret Thatcher * King David * Abraham Lincoln * Eleanor Roosevelt * Elizabeth I * George Marshall * Franklin Roosevelt * Gandhi * Jean Monnet * Socrates * Adolph Hitler * Thomas More * George Washington Guest Lecturers Throughout the semester we will have the opportunity to interact with individuals who by virtue of their leadership skills have made a noteworthy contribution in any number of arenas, ranging from the world of politics to that of business, from journalism to cinema and the arts. Some of these guest appearances will take place during normal class times; however, a number of these speakers will address the class at special evening sessions. Students are required to attend all of the special-event, evening lectures. Guest speakers have included, among others: # Pete Carroll, USC football coach # Michael Dukakis, former Governor, State of Massachusetts and democratic presidential candidate in 1988 224 # Albert Gore, Jr., former U.S. Vice President # Lord Hanson, Co-Founder and Retired Chairman of Hanson PLC (deceased) # Jane Harman, U.S. Representative # Suzanne Nora Johnson, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs # Cecil Murray, former Senior Pastor, First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles # Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks # Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles # Robert Zemeckis, filmmaker BIOGRAPHY OF DR. WARREN BENNIS Warren Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and is the Thomas S. Murphy Distinguished Research Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He is Visiting Professor of Leadership at the University of Exeter (UK) and a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s School of Public Policy and Social Research. He has written or edited 27 books, including the best selling Leaders and On Becoming A Leader, both translated into 21 languages. The Financial Times recently names Leaders as one of the top 50 business books of all time. In 1993 Addison-Wesley published a book of his essays An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1998, Jossey-Bass republished his 1968 path-breaking book, THE TEMPORARY SOCIETY, co-authored with Philip Slater. His recent books, ORGANIZING GENIUS, 1997, CO-LEADERS, 1999, and MANAGING THE DREAM, 2000, summarize Bennis’s major interests: Leadership, Change, Great Groups and Powerful Partnerships. Bennis’s latest book, GEEKS & GEEZERS, 2002, examines the differences and similarities between leaders 30 years and younger and leaders 70 years and older. Bennis’s new book, JUDGMENT: THE ESSENCE OF LEADERSHIP, will be published in the Fall of 2007. Bennis has served on the faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he was Chairman of the Organizational Studies Department. He is a former faculty member of Harvard and Boston University, former provost and Executive Vice President of State University of New York at Buffalo and President of the University of Cincinnati from 1971-1978. He has received 13 honorary degrees and has served on numerous boards of advisers, including Claremont University, American Leadership Forum, the American 225 Chamber of Commerce and the Salk Institute. He has served on 4 US Presidential Advisory Boards and has consulted for many FORTUNE 500 companies, including G.E., Ford, and Starbucks. The Wall Street Journal named him as one of the top ten speakers on management in 1993 and in 1996, FORBES magazine referred to him as the “Dean of Leadership Gurus.” Bennis is proud of the 4 years he served in the U.S. Army, 1943-1947; he was one of the youngest infantry commanders and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. BIOGRAPHY OF DR. STEVEN SAMPLE Steven B. Sample became the 10th president of the University of Southern California (USC) in March 1991. He is the university’s first holder of the Robert C. Packard President’s Chair. Dr. Sample is an electrical engineer, a musician, an outdoorsman, an inventor, and author of an acclaimed book, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, which was a Los Angeles Times best-seller, was named one of six “must-reads” for leaders by Harvard Management Update of the Harvard Business School, and has been translated into five languages. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a tenured professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. His patents on digital appliance controls have been licensed to practically every major manufacturer of appliance controls and microwave ovens in the world. Over 300 million home appliances have been built using his inventions. He and his wife, Kathryn, came to USC from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he served as president from 1982 to 1991. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and he holds honorary degrees from the University at Buffalo, the University of Notre Dame, Northeastern University, the University of Nebraska, Purdue University, the University of Sheffield in England, Canisius College, and Hebrew Union College. Dr. Sample has chaired a number of state and national groups examining various aspects of elementary, secondary, and higher education. He is the co-founder and former chairman of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a consortium of 34 premier Pacific Rim research universities. He is also a past chairman of the Association of American Universities, a consortium of the 63 leading North American research universities. Dr. Sample is a trustee of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and the Regenstrief Medical Foundation. He sits on the boards of directors of the William Wrigley Jr. Company, Inermec, Advanced Bionics Corporation, AMCAP Fund, Inc., American Mutual Fund, Inc., and the Santa Catalina Island Company. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth. 226 Dr. Sample regularly teaches undergraduates at USC. During the spring semester he and management expert Warren Bennis co-teach a popular course for juniors and seniors titled “The Art and Adventure of Leadership.” Under Dr. Sample’s leadership USC has enrolled one of the most academically talented freshman classes in the nation, has become world-renowned in the fields of communication and multimedia technologies, has received national acclaim for its innovative community partnerships (for which it was recognized as Time magazine’s College of the Year 2000), has conducted the most successful fund-raising campaign in the history of private higher education (he is the only university president in the nation ever to have secured five gifts of $100 million or more), and has solidified its status as one of the nation’s leading research universities. 227 APPENDIX B: FACULTY SYLLABUS – SPRING 2008 University of Southern California THE ART AND ADVENTURE OF LEADERSHIP MDA 365 SPRING 2008 Thursday 2:00 – 5:20 PM University of Southern California The Law School, Room 130 PROFESSORS: Dr. Warren Bennis University Professor Distinguished Professor Marshall School of Business Office: (213) 740-0767 Dr. Steven Sample Robert Packard Professor Professor of Engineering President of the University Office: (213) 740-2111 ASSISTANT LECTURERS: Mr. Jeff Clark Office: (213) 821-6597 305 Bovard (ADM) Cell: (801) 520-1074 [email protected] Office Hrs: M 2-4 T 4-6 Ms. Sadie Moore Office: (213) 821-6597 305 Bovard (ADM) Home: (323) 666-6633 Cell: (323) 459-1787 [email protected] Office Hrs: T 4-6 W 4-6 COURSE ASSISTANTS: Mr. Daniel Cousineau [email protected] Cell: 310-592-8733 Office Hrs: T 4-5 Ms. Becky Johnson [email protected] Cell: 949-933-8483 Office Hrs: M 3:30-4:30 Ms. Sarah Turkisher [email protected] Cell: 816-718-9211 Office Hrs: W 4-5 228 COURSE DESCRIPTION This course is designed to expose you to the areas of knowledge and kinds of competencies that are fundamental to the study and practice of leadership in multiple settings. The content of the course draws from several academic disciplines that inform the study of leadership. We will focus on the conceptual aspects of leadership, and will discover the skills and practices of exemplary leaders. At the conclusion of the course, it is expected that you will be acquainted with the interpersonal and technical skills needed for effective communication, decision-making, motivation, and public policy. This course is structured to emphasize some of the philosophical and historical foundations of leadership. The relationships among leadership theory, leadership practice, and the moral-ethical aspects of leadership will be emphasized. A variety of innovative teaching techniques will involve a high level of classroom participation and will require student participation in intensive group situations. In each class, you will be challenged to think critically and imaginatively about the content covered. Classes will actively involve you through lectures, seminar-style discussions, reading assignments, movies, debates, guest speakers, and case studies. In short, this is not a course for the passive thinker. The course is designed for you, if you are prepared to work hard and commit to the challenges presented. It seeks actively to engage and challenge you to challenge yourself, your peers, and your instructors. LEARNING OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE Students will become comfortable with the variety, complexity, and paradoxes of leadership and its concepts. Students will develop an awareness of their competencies and themselves, and will develop a personal approach — a “personal voice” — in relation to leadership. Students will understand the process of leadership, how it involves both leaders and followers, and the connections and resonances between them. Students will understand the varieties of leadership: charismatic, situational, indirect and direct, informal, legitimate, and positional. Students will understand historical leadership icons in comparison with contemporary leaders. Students will understand and begin the process of grappling with the moral, ethical and political dimensions of leadership. Above all, students will understand that leadership is an art, not a science – a way of being, not a formula – that a course on leadership will perhaps raise more questions than it answers. Feeling comfortable with the ambiguities is the sine qua non of understanding leadership. 229 LEADERS TO BE STUDIED Course readings include books and a custom published reader. Through these readings, through various films, and through class discussions we will study the following leaders: Cesare Borgia King David Elizabeth I Gandhi Adolph Hitler Martin Luther King, Jr. Niccolo Machiavelli George Marshall Robert McNamara Sir Thomas More Eleanor Roosevelt Franklin Roosevelt Margaret Thatcher Sun Tzu George Washington GUEST LECTURERS Throughout the semester we will have the opportunity to interact with individuals who by virtue of their leadership skills have made a noteworthy contribution in any number of arenas, ranging from the world of politics to that of business, from journalism to cinema and the arts. Some of these guest appearances will take place during normal class times; however, a number of these speakers will address the class at special evening sessions. Students are required to attend all of the special-event, evening lectures. Past guest speakers included among others: Charlie Bolden, Major General, USMC (ret.), astronaut Pete Carroll, USC football coach Michael Dukakis, former Governor, Massachusetts, and democratic presidential candidate (1988) David Gergen, director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Al Gore, Jr., former U.S. Vice-President Jane Harman, U.S. Representative, 36th Congressional District, California Monica Lozano, President of La Opinión newspaper Suzanne Nora Johnson, Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs Cecil Murray, former Senior Pastor, First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, current USC faculty member Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, Great Britain Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles Robert Zemeckis, filmmaker 230 MARKS/EXAMINATIONS/COURSE REQUIREMENTS/ATTENDANCE Grades will be determined by performance in class, on essays, on the group project and on exams. This is not a “pass/no pass” course. Final grades will be assigned to reflect your performance as judged by the professors in consultation with the assistant lecturers. Your performance will be evaluated on the consistency of your attendance, your achievement on assignments, and your participation in (and preparation for) class. Without exception, you are expected to come to class prepared, to turn in essays and other assignments on time, and to attend every class. Your final course grade will be reduced when you turn in a late paper, when you are obviously not prepared for class, when you arrive late to class meetings and/or when you miss any class without documentation proving that you have an acceptable reason for being away. There will be no exceptions to the dates scheduled for the mid-term and final exams. You are expected to take exams on the specified days. Following is a breakdown of course requirements and their corollary grade weights: Requirements Essays (6 graded) Midterm Exam Group Project Final Exam Participation/Attendance/Quizzes Reading Questions Professors’ Discretion Weight 30% 15% 20% 15% 10% 5% 5% Due Per Syllabus March 13 April 24 May 8 N/A Weekly N/A Please bring five copies of your essays to class: one for each professor, one for each assistant lecturer, and one for an extra file copy. Late essays will be reduced one letter step (e.g., from a B to a B-) for each day they are late. One essay over the course of the semester may be rewritten and submitted for reconsideration; please see the syllabus for the date by which all final rewrites are due. Unless otherwise noted, papers should be 5 full pages, double-spaced. Whenever possible, you should reference the readings in your writing. You are expected to check your e-mail at least 12 hours before each class. E-mail is a tool for communicating class changes, updates on assignments, or any other pertinent information concerning the class. 231 You are required to send one discussion question from the week’s readings by NOON of the Tuesday before class to the MDA e-mail address <[email protected]>. Please write your question in one sentence. This is your opportunity to voice your thoughts and concerns about the readings so that they can be incorporated in discussion. This will be included as part of your participation grade. Drs. Sample and Bennis reserve the right to call on you during class regarding your comments and questions; be prepared to elaborate on and respond to the issues you raise. At the same time, be aware that your particular questions and comments may not be discussed during class – not for lack of faculty interest in your thoughts, but for lack of time or relevance to the discussion. You are also required to attend extra “extended evening” sessions as indicated on this syllabus. Please make arrangements to be available for these planned events. 232 REQUIRED TEXTS 1. Bennis, Warren & Robert J. Thomas. Leading for a Lifetime. Boston: HBS Press, 2007. 2. Bennis, Warren. On Becoming a Leader. New York: Perseus, Third Edition 2003. 3. Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: Basic Books, 1994. 4. Llyod-Jones, Hugh. Sophocles: Volume 2- Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, Oedipus at Colonus. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. 5. Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. New York: Hackett, 1995. 6. Sample, Steven B. The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001. 7. Sample, Steven B. & Warren Bennis, Eds. Course Reader for MDA 365, Special Topics, The Art and Adventure of Leadership, 2008. Los Angeles: USC University Bookstore Custom Publication. 8. Sun Tzu. The Art of War. London: Oxford UP, 1963. 9. Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership. New York: Simon Schuster, 1994. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Some of the selections in the Course Reader were taken from these works, many of which are displayed on the second floor of the University Bookstore. 1. Antonakis, John, Anna Cianciolo & Robert Sternberg. The Nature of Leadership. London: Sage, 2004. 2. Bennis, Warren & Burt Nanus. Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge. New York: Harper and Row, 1985; Second Edition 1997. 3. Burns, James MacGregor. Leadership. New York: Perennial Classics, 1978. 4. DePree, Max. Leadership is an Art. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988. 5. George, Bill & Peter Sims. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. 6. Heifetz, Ronald A. Leadership Without Easy Answers. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. 7. Kellerman, Barbara. Bad Leadership. Cambridge: HBS Press, 2004. 8. Lipman-Blumen, Jean. The Allure of Toxic Leaders. London: Oxford University Press, 2004. 10. O’Toole, James. Leading Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995. 11. Tichy, Noel M. & Warren G. Bennis. Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls. New York :Penguin Group, 2007. 233 STUDENT DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to Ms. Moore or Mr. Clark as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776. MEETINGS WITH FACULTY One of the perks of this course is the chance to spend time with the faculty and learn through your discussions of leadership with them. Dr. Sample and Dr. Bennis will each host their own dinner and conversation session in an intimate setting where you can ask questions and learn more about their experiences. Toward the semester’s end, you will have the opportunity to sign up for lunch with Dr. Bennis and discuss your papers in a small group with peers from class. Ms. Moore and Mr. Clark will provide more information on these special event dates as the semester progresses. Because of the demands of the professors’ schedules, meetings with Professor Bennis or Professor Sample outside of class must be arranged through either of the assistant lecturers, Ms. Moore or Mr. Clark. Ms. Moore and Mr. Clark will be available during office hours and by appointment. We understand that the demands of this class are heavy and the expectations are high. Should questions arise, you are invited to contact the assistant lecturers and course assistants by e-mail or by telephone. 234 ◊ S ESSION 1 ◊ JANUARY 17 REQUIRED READING (page count: 193) Book: 192 Reader: 1 Sample, Steven B. The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership. (Entire book). Course Reader: (1 total pp.) • Sample, Steven B. “Supertexts.” (pp. 302) DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 1 Imagine that you are a book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times. Write an analytical review of The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership for an educated audience, including your overall assessment of the book’s contribution to the leadership landscape. SESSION BREAKDOWN Class welcome and discussion of readings, Dr. Sample 2:00 4:00 Break Communication and consensus with Ms. Moore and Mr. Clark 4:15 Small Group Orientation 5:00 Communication and consensus: Without speaking, determine the single most important aspect of leadership; then, render it visually. Charge one person in the group with explaining your rationale to the class once the silence has been lifted. Small group orientation: Introduction to the group project process and requirements for final projects. 235 ◊ S ESSION 2 ◊ JANUARY 24 REQUIRED READING (page count: 200) Book: 196 Reader: 4 Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Introduction, Chapters 1-3, 5, 8, 12, 14-19, and 22-25. (76 total pp.). Sun Tzu. The Art of War. Introduction, pp. 30-44, 57-101. (83 total pp.). Wills, Gary. Certain Trumpets. (37 total pp.) Chapter 1: “Electoral Leader: Franklin Roosevelt” (pp. 23-38). Chapter 15: “Opportunistic Leader: Cesare Borgia” (pp. 227-247). Course Reader: (4 total pp.) • Wade, Nicholas. “Is ‘Do Unto Others’ Written Into Our Genes?” (pp. 341-344) SESSION BREAKDOWN Discussion of readings, Dr. Sample 2:00 Break 3:45 Video: “The Democrat and the Dictator” 4:00 Discussion, Dr. Bennis 4:40 236 ◊ S ESSION 3 ◊ JANUARY 31 REQUIRED READING (page count: 268) Book: 235 Reader: 27 Handout: 6 Bennis, Warren. On Becoming a Leader. (Entire book) Course Reader: (27 total pp.) • Bennis, Warren. “The Challenges of Leadership in the Modern World: Introduction to the Special Issue.” (pp. 8-11) • Center for Public Leadership, The. “America’s Best Leaders 2007.” (pp. 81-103) Handout • Bennis, Warren. “Get Real: Leadership as a Performing Art.” (6 pp.) DUE IN CLASS: 1. GROUP PROJECT PROPOSAL Submit for approval a three-page proposal detailing the structure, resources and goals of the group project you envision. Bring 6 copies to class (for Ms. Moore, Mr. Clark, all three Course Assistants and the file). 2. ESSAY QUESTION 2 Keeping in mind the quote: “If a prince must choose between the two, it is better for him to be feared by his subjects than loved, but above all it is essential that they do not hate him,” examine a situation in which you were forced to make a decision choosing between being feared or loved. What would Machiavelli have done in your situation? Would you make the same decision again? SESSION BREAKDOWN Dr. Bennis on leadership 2:00 3:45 Break Ideo film and conversation 4:00 237 ◊ S ESSION 4 ◊ FEBRUARY 7 REQUIRED READING (page count: 75) Book: 35 Reader: 34 Handout: 6 Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. (19 total pp.). Chapter 11: “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Leading in a Rapidly Changing Environment” (pp. 203-221). Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets. (16 total pp.). Chapter 14: “Rhetorical Leader: Martin Luther King, Jr.” (pp. 211-226). Course Reader: (34 total pp.) • Carlyle, Thomas. “The Hero as King” (pp. 80). • King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” (pp. 259-272). • Lipman-Blumen, Jean. “Freeing Ourselves from Toxic Leaders.” (pp. 275-290) • Tolstoy, Leo. “Rulers and Generals are History’s Slaves” (pp. 325-327). Handout: (6 total pp.) • Rejali, Darius. “A Painful History.” (6 pp.) EVENING EVENT REMINDER: A Conversation with Michael and Kitty Dukakis Former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis and his wife Kitty will meet with us on February 14 in the Trustees Board Room, Bovard (ADM) 210, following class at 7 PM. Dinner will be served. SESSION BREAKDOWN Discussion, Dr. Sample (MLK, Jr.; Tolstoy, Carlyle, Torture Article and Sun 2:00 Tzu) 3:30 Break “I Have a Dream” video clip 3:45 Responses to video clip, Dr. Bennis 4:00 Guest Speaker Rev. Chip Murray 4:30 238 ◊ S ESSION 5 ◊ FEBRUARY 14 REQUIRED READING (page count: 74) Book: 33 Reader: 41 Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. (18 total pp.). Chapter 14: “Jean Monnet and Mahatma Gandhi: Leadership Beyond National Boundaries” (pp. 267-284). Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets. (15 total pp.). Chapter 6: “Charismatic Leader: King David” (pp. 102-116). Course Reader: (41 total pp.) • Goleman, Daniel. “Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance” (pp. 177-188). • Kellerman, Barbara. “What Every Leader Needs to Know About Followers” (pp. 215-224) • Lao-Tzu. Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching (pp. 273-274). • Sample, Steven B. “Leadership.” (pp. 303-312). • Weber, Max. “Types of Authority” (pp. 351-357) EVENING EVENT: Dinner and conversation with Michael and Kitty Dukakis in ADM 210. DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 3 All leaders have one or more distinctive strengths; the key is to determine how best to discover these strengths, celebrate them, and develop them. Keeping this in mind, tell us: What is/are your greatest leadership strength(s) or skill(s) and how have these strengths influenced your decision making? How might you further develop these strengths? SESSION BREAKDOWN Guest Speaker, Henry Cisneros 2:00 2:45 Break Discussion, Dr. Sample (King David, Kellerman, Lao Tsu, and Sample) 3:00 Discussion, Dr. Bennis (Monnet, Gandhi, Weber, Goleman) 4:15 Guest Speakers: Michael and Kitty Dukakis and dinner in ADM 210 7:00 239 ◊ S ESSION 6 ◊ FEBRUARY 21 REQUIRED READING (page count: 180) Book: 125 Reader:51 Handout: 4 Llyod-Jones, Hugh. Sophocles: Volume 2- Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, Oedipus at Colonus. (Antigone only) (pp. 3-127) Course Reader: (51 total pp.) • Bennis, Warren. “An Invented Life: Shoe Polish, Milli Vanilli and Sapiential Circles” (pp. 12-30). • Bennis, Warren & Noel Tichy. “Judgment Trumps Experience” (pp. 54-55). • Bolt, Robert. “Preface” to A Man For All Seasons (pp.56-65). • Goffee, Rob & Gareth Jones. “Managing Authenticity” (pp. 167-176). • Tichy, Noel & Warren Bennis. “Making Judgment Calls” (pp. 315-324). Handout: (4 total pp.) • Gootman, Elissa. “In Bronx School, Culture Shock, Then Revival” (4 total pp.). DUE IN CLASS: GROUP PROJECT UPDATE Submit a three-page update that indicates the progress, successes and failures of the project your group has launched. Also let us know what obstacles you foresee. Bring 6 copies to class. SESSION BREAKDOWN Class discussion of Antigone, Drs. Bennis, Nikias, and Sample 2:00 4:00 Break Discussion, Dr. Bennis 4:15 240 ◊ S ESSION 7 ◊ FEBRUARY 28 REQUIRED READING (page count: 118) Book: 71 Reader: 47 Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. (71 total pp.). Chapter 1: “A Cognitive Approach to Leadership” (pp. 3-21). Chapter 2: “Human Development and Leadership” (pp. 22-40). Chapter 3: “The Leaders’ Own Stories” (pp. 41-65). Chapter 12: “Margaret Thatcher: A Clear Sense of Destiny” (pp. 225-242). Course Reader: (47 total pp.) • Kellerman, Barbara and Deborah L. Rhode. "Women and Leadership: The State of Play" (pp. 225-258). • Valley, Kathleen, Lisa Gunther & Dina Witter. “Katharine Graham” (pp. 328340). DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 4 All leaders have blind spots or weaknesses; the key is to determine what they are so you can be aware of them. Tell us: What is your most prominent or significant leadership ‘blind spot’ or weakness, and how has this blind spot impacted a decision you have made in a leadership role? What steps could you take to make your weaknesses irrelevant? SESSION BREAKDOWN 2:00 Guest Speaker: Paul Orfalea Discussion, Dr. Sample 2:45 Break 4:00 Thatcher documentary and discussion of film and readings, Dr. Bennis 4:15 241 ◊ S ESSION 8 ◊ MARCH 6 REQUIRED READING (page count: 39) Book: 0 Reader: 39 Course Reader: (39 total pp.) • Bennis, Warren. “The End of Leadership” (pp. 45-53). • Bennis, Warren. “March of Folly Redux: Iraq” (42-44). • Gladwell, Malcolm. “The Cellular Church” (pp. 158-166). • Janis, Irving. “Groupthink” (pp. 208-214). • Milgram, Stanley. “Behavioral Study of Obedience” (pp. 291-298). • Orwell, George. Excerpt from “Shooting an Elephant” (pp. 299-301). SESSION BREAKDOWN Discussion of Great Groups, Dr. Bennis 2:00 Break 4:00 4:15 Guest Speaker: Pete Carroll Midterm Review Session (SM, JC, and CAs) 5:30 . 242 ◊ SESSION 9 ◊ MARCH 13 MIDTERM EXAMINATION DUE IN CLASS: One envelope, containing five copies of your one page, typed, anonymous comments assessing the course and your performance to date. Post-midterm: Happy Hour hosted by Sadie, Jeff and the Course Assistants * ☺ S PRING BREAK ☼ MARCH 17-21 * 243 ◊ S ESSION 10 ◊ MARCH 27 REQUIRED READING (page count: 238) Book: 224 Reader: 14 Bennis, Warren & Robert J. Thomas. Leading for a Lifetime. (Entire Book) Course Reader: (14 total pp.) • Brooks, David. “The Organization Kid” (pp. 66-79). DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 5 Reflecting upon a group situation that involved groupthink, consider the ways in which you contribute to or mitigate groupthink. What steps could you take to prevent groupthink? Are you comfortable working in teams, or do you prefer to work in clearly delineated hierarchies? SESSION BREAKDOWN Discussion of Leading for a Lifetime, Dr. Bennis 2:00 3:30 Break Small Group Discussions 3:45 4:30 Guest Speaker Sidney Harman 244 ◊ S ESSION 11 ◊ APRIL 3 REQUIRED READING (page count: 73) Book: 32 Reader: 41 Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. (20 total pp.). Chapter 10: “Eleanor Roosevelt: Ordinariness and Extraordinariness” (pp. 183202). Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets. (12 total pp.). Chapter 3: “Reform Leader: Eleanor Roosevelt” (pp. 53-64). Course Reader: (41 total pp.) • Eagly, Alice E. & Linda L. Carli. “Are Men Natural Leaders?” (pp. 132-153) • Haigh, Christopher. “Introduction,” “The Queen and the Throne,” and “Conclusion” (pp. 189-207). EVENING EVENT REMINDER: Dinner and conversation with Dr. Bennis on April 10. DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 6 – NOT GRADED, LENGTH UNLIMITED Based on your understanding of the concepts covered in Dr. Bennis’ book and their resonance with themes from your own life, meditate on the following question: What is/are your crucible(s) and how did it/they impact the development of your leadership potential? SESSION BREAKDOWN 2:00 Guest Speaker: Congresswoman Jane Harman on video feed 2:45 Break Discussion of readings, Dr. Sample 3:00 Annual Sample/Bennis Interview 4:15 “Fog of War”: In-class screening 5:30 245 ◊ S ESSION 12 ◊ APRIL 10 REQUIRED READING (page count: 89) Book: 29 Reader: 60 Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. (17 total pp.). Chapter 8: “George C. Marshall: The Embodiment of the Good Soldier” (pp. 147-163). Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets. (12 total pp.) Chapter 9: “Constitutional Leader: George Washington” (pp. 148-159). Course Reader: (60 total pp.) • Bennis, Warren. “When to Resign” (pp. 33-41). • Ciulla, Joanne. “Ethics and Leadership Effectiveness” (pp. 104-131). • Fleming, Thomas. “Washington’s Gift” (pp. 154-157) • Sample, Steven B. “Code of Ethics of the University of Southern California” (pp. 313) • Sample, Steven B. “The Role and Mission of the University of Southern California” (pp. 314) • Walters, Ronald. “Legitimacy to Lead” (pp. 345-350). • Weick, Karl. “Leadership as the Legitimation of Doubt” (pp. 358-368). Also required: Outside viewing of “Fog of War” EVENING EVENT: Dinner and conversation with Dr. Bennis in ADM 210. SESSION BREAKDOWN Discussion of “Fog of War,” Dr. Bennis 2:00 2:45 Guest Speaker: Charles Bolden 3:45 Break Discussion of Readings, Dr. Sample 4:00 6:00 Dinner and Conversation with Dr. Bennis 246 ◊ S ESSION 13 ◊ APRIL 17 REQUIRED READING (page count: 9) Book: 0 Reader: 9 Course Reader: (9 total pp.) • Atlas, James. “The Art of Failing” (pp.1-7). • Bennis, Warren. “The Wallenda Factor” (pp. 31-32). DUE IN CLASS: ESSAY QUESTION 7 How important is authenticity to leadership? Keeping in mind McNamara’s personal insights, examine a leadership decision you made wherein you were not entirely honest with your co-leaders or followers. Why did you make such a decision? What were/are the consequences? Do you feel that dissembling or shading the truth is occasionally necessary in leadership, or is it always unethical? EVENING EVENT REMINDER: Dinner and conversation with Dr. Sample on April 24. SESSION BREAKDOWN 2:00 Guest Speaker: Chris Gergen 3:00 Break Lecture and Discussion, Dr. Sample 3:15 Small Group Discussions 4:45 7:00 Presidential Lecture Series: Tom Brokaw Guest in class: Pat Byrne, CEO Intermec Note: Special Evening Session, Wednesday April 16, Dinner and Conversation with Wendy Kopp. ADM 210, 5:30-7:00 pm. 247 ◊ S ESSION 14 ◊ APRIL 24 GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATIONS I EVENING EVENT: Dinner and conversation with Dr. Sample in ADM 210. SESSION BREAKDOWN Group Presentation 2:10 Group Presentation 3:00 3:45 Break Group Presentation 4:00 4:30 Guest Speaker Robert Zemeckis 6:00 Dinner and conversation with Dr. Sample ◊ S ESSION 15 ◊ MAY 1 GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATIONS II SESSION BREAKDOWN Group Presentation 2:00 Group Presentation 2:40 3:20 Break Group Presentation 3:30 Semester Wrap-Up with Dr. Bennis and Dr. Sample 4:15 5:00 SM & JC review final exam instructions and due date; hand out evaluations Distribute the final exam as students exit the room after completing their 5:15 evaluations FINAL DATE TO SUBMIT ESSAY REWRITE TO SM OR JC 248 ◊ C LASS DINNER ◊ THURSDAY, MAY 1 “A CELEBRATION OF LEADERSHIP” Dinner with Professors Sample and Bennis at the home of President Sample San Marino, California Due to Ms. Moore and Mr. Clark at dinner: One envelope, containing five copies of your one page, typed, anonymous course comments and suggestions for future classes. BREAKDOWN OF EVENTS Garden Tour and Hors d’oeuvres 6:30 7:00 Dinner ♠ FINAL EXAMINATION ♠ THURSDAY, MAY 8 2:00 – 2:30 P.M. Turn in your final exam and question sheet no later than 2:30. Come to our regular classroom. Note: • You need only turn in two copies of your final exam essays • Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances. Late exams receive an “F”. • Early submissions may be turned in to the President’s Office (ADM 110) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (prior to May 8). NO EARLIER THAN SATURDAY, MAY 10– SM & JC NEED TO GRADE FINAL GRADE DETERMINATION SESSION TBD SME (SBS, WB, SM, JC) Lunch served 249 APPENDIX C: QUESTIONNAIRE ITEMS Following are the data points I gathered via an on-line survey posted on Survey Monkey. Data Gathered Age range Gender, marital/partnership status Year took course, year graduated college Major/minor in college Other degrees held (and if so, where received) Leadership roles in college Leadership roles post-graduation Type of work performed post-grad (non-profit, private sector, size of firm, position held, kinds of activities, professional or management, academic, etc) Extra-job activities (community service, networking, etc) Willing to do follow-up interview? Yes or no Following are three sets of questions about leadership, the course, and your own experiences. Please answer them as briefly or as fully as you choose. You may choose to skip any question or questions. LEADERSHIP AND LEADERS 1. Do you feel that the general concept of leadership or what it means to be a leader has changed over the past decade? If so, how? 2. What do you feel are the main symbols or attributes of leaders today? Are they any different than 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 3. What are the kinds of ways people “become” leaders today? Are there any differences from 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 4. Have you heard of the term authentic leader or leadership? How would you define “authentic” leadership? What are the major qualities of an authentic leader? 5. What are the qualities of an inauthentic leader? 6. How is an authentic leader different from other leaders? 250 7. How important are authentic leaders or the principles of authentic leadership to you personally? How important do you think they are to followers? To society in general? 8. Are there obstacles (social, political, economical, etc.) to practicing authentic leadership? Why? 9. What are the key buzzwords you notice about leadership? Authentic leadership? 10. Are there differences in leadership across fields/disciplines? How would you characterize these differences? REFLECTIONS ON THE LEADERSHIP COURSE 11. What important concepts do you recall from the course? 12. Which concepts most resonated with you personally when you took the course? Why? 13. Are the major concepts you recall from the course reflected in your “realworld” experiences and observations? How and to what degree? 14. How are course concepts not reflected in your real-world experience? 15. To the best of your recall, what ideas and/or values about leaders or leadership did you have when you entered the course, and how did these change, if at all? 16. When you took the course, do you remember much discussion about “authenticity” in leaders and leadership? Please describe as best you can remember. 17. Which guest speakers do you most remember and why? Do you feel that any guest speakers are more closely related to “authentic” leaders than other guest speakers? 18. What are the take-aways you remember learning from the course? YOU AND YOUR WORK 19. What kind of job or occupation do you have? Please describe it in as many terms as you wish. If you are not currently working, please describe your most recent job. 20. Why did you choose this particular job? 21. Do you do any work in groups or teams? Please describe. 22. Do you do any work that is based on online networking or the use of the internet? Please describe. 23. Do you envision yourself changing jobs at any point? If so, why and how? 251 24. What kind of work do you feel is most important to you personally? To society? 25. Are you doing work now that feels important to you, however you may define it? 26. What kind of work or activities are you most passionate about accomplishing in your life? Why? 27. Do you consider yourself a leader in your own “real-world” activities? Please describe. 28. What kind of activities do you do outside of work (community service, sports, etc)? How long have you been doing this/these? 29. Do you think people “work” the same or differently than they did 10 years ago? Please describe any changes you’ve noted in the ways people think about and do work. 252 ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course ECON 112 taught by Professor Tres during the Spring '11 term at Assumption College.

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etd-Moore-20080410 - IT’S NOT JUST NICE, IT’S...

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