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Faculty: Barbara Kellerman
This course constitutes a history of leadership – an intellectual history. The great leadership literature – the literature judged seminal – serves as both medium and message. Thus the first half of the course is devoted to readings from Lao Tsu to Lenin, and the second half focuses on 20th century ideologues and intellects from Freud to Friedan and beyond. The primary purpose of the course is cognitive: it is designed to convey changing conceptions of leadership and followership. The secondary purpose of the course is to stimulate critical thinking about the prescriptive implications of work widely considered classic. Among others, we will explore these four questions: 1) Why has this particular piece of the leadership literature stood the test of time? 2) What does this particular writer assume about the nature of the human condition? 3) How have our ideas about power, authority, and influence evolved over time? And 4) what would the leadership system look like if some seminal thinkers had their way? The course will draw primarily from one text - Barbara Kellerman’s,Leadership: Essential Selections- but it will also include other readings, some in consequence of suggestions from students.